Bacoleño goes the distance in Denmark

Bacoleño goes the distance in Denmark
John Ordoñez, in Copenhagen for his 17th Ironman Challenge

Bacoleño athlete, John Ordoñez, was in Denmark recently to take part in the ultimate test – the Ironman Challenge.

This was John’s 17th Ironman – a record it’s believed no other Filipino has so far achieved.

Held in Denmark’s historic capital, Copenhagen, Ironman is a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. 

And it’s not for the faint-hearted. It consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order.

“I wasn’t at my fittest in Denmark, but the strong support I had from so many well-wishers, especially those in Bacolod, gave me the willpower and determination to finish,” said John, who now lives in Huntington Beach in California. 

A graduate of La Salle Bacolod high school who completed his college degree in the United States, John, now 57, came late to Ironman.

“I’ve always been bitten by the sports and fitness bug having swum competitively in my elementary years. At the age of 50 I decided to try my luck in the 2014 Ironman in Arizona. I was immediately hooked and couldn’t wait for the next Challenge.” 

Since then, John has competed in Challenges not only in the US, but also in Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada and South America.

“My target is do all the Ironman races throughout the world. Training is intense and it pretty much eats up all my spare time, but it’s more than a sport for me. It’s a lifestyle, a passion. 

“Next year, I’ll be off to Kailua-Kona in Hawaii to compete in the Legacy category of the Ironman World Championships, having qualified by completing 12 Challenges in four years.” 

But before then, John is planning to compete in the upcoming Ironman Indiana and once again Ironman Arizona.  He hopes to close out the year with 19 Ironman finishes, maybe 20.

The mantra of the Ironman is ‘anything is possible’ – for John Ordoñez, that is certainly true!

Article by Robert Harland

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