-:: Ironman Motivations ::-
Posted On July 8, 2019
WELCOME TO THE IMAGE GALLERY AND PRESS AREA!!!, Below are links to the preview pages of images of this year’s event. Click on the links below to be transported to those pages now!, One of the many articles on the 2002 CEO Challenge!!!, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Saturday, July 27
Iron CEOs Forging a union of mind and body, executives bring competitive fire to triathlon By RICK BARRETT of the Journal Sentinel staff Last Updated: July 26, 2002, For CEOs facing a crumbling stock market and the wrath of investors outraged by deepening corporate scandals, the ability to outrun shareholders is probably a good thing., That said, top executives from Motorola, Unisys and 17 other companies ought to be well ahead of any pursuers. The corporate honchos have spent several hundred hours preparing – often under the direction of personal trainers – for the CEO Ironman Challenge in Lake Placid, N.Y., Sunday’s 112-mile bicycle race, 26.2-mile run and 2.4-mile swim will determine who is the fittest CEO in North America, according to Ironman Motivations, the race organizer., These are your typical over-achievers, said Ted Kennedy, with Ironman Motivations., Still, at a time when corporate leadership is under scrutiny as never before – often by shareholders who have seen much of their personal savings eaten by the bear market – the timing of the CEO Ironman Challenge may seem a bit ironic to some., Especially in today’s business environment, most shareholders expect their chief executives to have an obsessive focus on the company, said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, international employment consulting firm in Chicago.,The CEO Ironman contestants, including one from Wisconsin, are a subgroup of a field of 1,700 athletes at the Ironman USA Triathlon. Two of the CEOs are women. For a $4,500 entry fee, the chief executives get prime race starting positions and other perks, including luxury hotel accommodations, private receptions and dinners with professional triathletes., If they didn’t have professional training before getting ready for this race, we hired it for them, Kennedy said.,Training pays off, Some contestants, such as John Schlagenhauf of Brookfield, have trained for the event in a blue-collar fashion. The co-owner of Badger Truck Center runs and bikes through cold, wet winters and sometimes pushes his 2-year-old daughter in a baby jogger.
The efforts paid off with a win in the over-40 division of last year’s CEO Ironman Challenge.,Contestant Mark Holowesko, CEO of a $90 billion investment firm, lives in the Bahamas only a few a hundred yards from the beach and has training conditions that are a little more luxurious than Schlagenhauf’s., I am fortunate to have a lap pool at home, said Holowesko, chief executive officer of Templeton Funds, a Nassau money management firm. And I can literally drive to work in a golf cart, he said., Although he lives in a tropical paradise, Holowesko is far from sheltered from Wall Street and the troubles that have plagued the financial markets., It’s been a horrific year in the investment field, he said., Even as investors clamored for more of his attention, the 42-year-old money manager found time to bike, swim and run at least six days a week while he trained for the Ironman competition.,The training has been my stress relief, he said. And it’s not like I have I spent three or four hours a day on the golf course. I haven’t golfed in months.,Like many athletes, Holowesko and other CEO Ironman Challenge contestants do much of their training in the early mornings and on weekends. Still, at times it’s difficult to find free hours, especially while on business trips, said Motorola President Mike Zafirovski., Zafirovski, named Motorola’s president and chief operating officer on Thursday, previously headed the company’s personal communications sector, which has 18,000 employees. He is competing in his first CEO Ironman Challenge – on the heels of business trips that took him to nine countries and four continents., I took my bike with me to France, he said.,Multitasking required CEOs who train for rigorous sports learn to do two things at once, such as talk on the telephone while riding a stationary bike, said David Varwig, a CEO Ironman Challenge contestant and head of the Citadel Group, a Chicago real estate investment firm., In a tough economy, a chief executive can’t afford to let fitness training get in the way of business, noted Curt Girod, a CEO Ironman Challenge contestant and head of operations for Unisys Corp., a Blue Bell, Pa., technology company with more than 37,000 employees in 100 countries.,I don’t put in any fewer hours at work, he said. The biggest challenge for me has been to maintain time with my family. The Ironman training has pretty much consumed my weekends.
, Still, long runs, bike rides and swims often are the only times that executives have to be alone and to reflect on business decisions, said Larry Sobal, a contestant in last year’s CEO Ironman Challenge and chief executive of Don F. Jabas Associates, an Appleton insurance benefits consulting company., While on a two-hour bike ride, Sobal said, he came up with an idea to reorganize his company., I had a couple of hours to think the idea through, and by the time I got home it was pretty much set in my head, he said.,Fitness advocates say CEOs – and others – who exercise regularly are more productive on the job because their energy levels are boosted and their stress levels are lowered by the workouts.,A good word to describe the jobs of executives today is ‘intense,’ said Christopher Neck, a Virginia Tech University business professor who has written about the connection between exercise and CEO productivity. Endless meetings and extremely long working hours are par for the course.,Most executives have the self-discipline to balance their personal lives with the business demands placed on them, Challenger added.,But there are a few who act like kings and treat their businesses with benign neglect. When they go off and become adventurists, you have to wonder about their loyalties, he said.,Competitive breed, An Ironman competition, marked by up to 17 hours of strenuous activity, is natural for many CEOs, who are goal-driven and competitive by nature., I am a pretty competitive guy, Holowesko said. If we walked to the food store together, I would make a race out of it.,Still, like the rest of us, CEOs sometimes make excuses for falling off the fitness wagon, said Dave Scott, a six-time national Ironman champion and personal trainer from Boulder, Colo., About 30% of Scott’s clients are executives.,I don’t buy the excuse of a business trip forcing someone off their training schedule, he said. Don’t tell me you had to skip a workout because you were doing business in Tokyo.