While the 2013 Ironman World Championship was won by Frederik Van Lierde and Mirinda Carfrae, the race on Saturday also featured nearly 2000 age group athletes, most just hoping to arrive at the finish before the 17-hour cutoff. Two such hopefuls were a pair of celebrities competing in Kona for the first time: Gordon Ramsay and Hines Ward.
In their first attempt at the Ironman distance -- 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2 mile run -- Ward bested Ramsay, finishing in 13:08:15. Ward, a Super Bowl MVP, swam a 1:20:01, finished the bike course in 6:21:12 and ran the marathon in 5:12:56. Ramsay, a chef maybe best known from the TV show "Hell's Kitchen," finished nearly an hour later, crossing the finish line in 14:04:08 (1:21:20 swim, 6:35 bike and a 5:48 run).
Ward, who was coached by eight-time Ironman World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser, competed as part of the BECOME ONE team with Chocolate Milk. After the race, Ward wasted little time in marking his accomplishment -- permanently.
Ward was there to greet Ramsay when he became an Ironman late Saturday night: