Butcher’s Hawaiian iron man dreams on ice

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Mike Hanson has had an uphill battle trading through lockdowns and Delta alert levels, on top of this during lockdown last month he was told the world ironman champs in Hawaii were postponed.

Mike has been training for at least 20 hours a week for the last few months leading up to the event, timing to peak at the date of the race.

The World Ironman Championships was due to take place on 9 October, a notice on the official website states:

‘Covid-19 is worse in Hawaii than at any point in the pandemic. This risk affects athletes, volunteers, partners, staff, the community – everyone. After deep and careful consultation with county and state officials and other important constituents, we agree: the risks right now are too great to bear.’

The race has been rescheduled for February 2022, but Mike is holding back on making a decision on taking part because of the uncertainty around covid, and being a business owner.

“That’s what makes it hard for the butcher shop, it takes four different flights to get from NZ to Hawaii, you need to take eight weeks off to go there, because you might have quarantine over there, do the race come back and might get another few weeks quarantine here,” he said.

It has been a long road for Mike to qualify for the World Champs, only the top five in each age group in the country can qualify to compete.

“It’s like a pinnacle you can compete in normal iron man racing but you need to get in the top five in the country to go to the world champs.”

Mike has been training for nine years and has qualified for the 50-59 age group.

He now plans to slow down on his training until Summer when he will start again with the aim of peaking in February/March, which will coincide with Mike’s other scheduled race, Ironman New Zealand in Taupo next March.

By Daniel Tobin