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See also: iron man


Competitors beginning the swimming phase of the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 2005

Alternative forms[edit]


From iron +‎ man. First applied to Joe McGinnity, a baseball player who pitched 48 complete games in one season and worked in an iron foundry during the offseason.




ironman (plural ironmen or ironmans)

  1. An extremely tough and strong athlete, especially one who competes in extreme athletic competitions or in a large number of games consecutively.
  2. (Australia) A form of surf lifesaving competition which combines swimming, board paddling, ski paddling and running.
    • 2011, Katrina Marie Russell, Youth Sport in Australia, page 153,
      The catalyst for this rift was the ironman, a multi-discipline sport combining swimming, running, surf-skis and paddle-boards.
      Introduced to Australia in 1965 by touring American lifeguards, the ironman is a test of stamina, strength, and diverse skill.
  3. An extreme form of triathlon, expecially one organised by the World Triathlon Corporation that comprises a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike race and a marathon run.
    • 2007 July 21, Aimee Berg, “Far-From-Basic Training for a 135-Mile Footrace”, in New York Times[1]:
      “Every sense of your body is taken over by the climate,” said the New York City native Christopher Bergland, who set a record at triple ironmans (7.2-mile swim, 336-mile bike, 78.6-mile run) but failed to finish one of his three Badwater races.
  4. (by extension) The winner of such a lifesaving event or triathlon.

Usage notes[edit]

The plural ironmen pertains to the athlete; ironmans pertains to the event.

Coordinate terms[edit]


See also[edit]