If you ask any long-distance triathlete what is the ultimate dream, the ultimate goal you will definitely receive the answer that the topmost prize would be qualification for the World Ironman Championship, which takes place in Kona, Hawaii, every year in October.
Even the local triathletes, with their passion for long-distance triathlons, have been allured with the almost-mystical aura that surrounds 'Kona' as it is refered in triathlon-jargon. This sense of elusiveness for this holy-grail in endurance multisport was also nurtured by the face that during the first 25 years of triathlon in Malta no one was able to land the coveted prize : a qualification for the Kona Ironman World Championship. That was until 2013 with Dermot Galea's game-changing qualification. Dermot continued to be the only Maltese athlete to qualify for this topmost triathlon prize, until the recent qualification of David Galea some months ago.
David Galea has been into mutlisport and triathlon for two decades. Two decades of constantly being on the top group of athletes practicing the sport and which saw him winning Triathlon Championships, Duathlon Championships and Triathlete of the Year awards in 1996, 1997 and 2004.
In the last years, Galea set his goal on endurance and long distance triathlons abroad, which was crowned with an improved National Record in the iron-distance (3.8KM swim, 180KM bike and 42.2KM run) established a year ago in Barcelona.
However, Galea remained focused and hungry to make his dream a reality and last July, during Ironman UK he achieved his life-long goal and qualified for the prestigious Ironman World Championships.
The Kona race took place in the 50th America State in the second weekend of October. Galea was representing Malta in the most iconic of triathlon in the world, among other 2315 triathletes from all parts of the globe.
Following the swim, Galea emerged from the water after 1 hour and 6 minutes and in 144th place in his category. The bike segment saw Galea advancing to to 112th place and keeping an average speed of 33.5KM/h for more than 6 and a half hours. Galea seems strong and in control until the last segments of the race and managed to climb to 60th place during the marathon run, concluding his feat at 10 hours and 13 minutes.
soon after the race, David Galea commented about his race by stating : 'I have been racing for alwost thirty years now but this must have been the most amazing experience ever! Qualifiying for Kona has haunted me for a long time and now, being here among the topmost endurance triathletes and taking part in this epic race will be an experience to cheris forever. The weather during the race was very hot and with strong winds, but I was focused and mentally strong even when I had to endure the last 10KM on the bike on a puncture.The support on the course was fantastic and the thought of my family, friends and sponsors kept me going until the finish line.
Galea was aided by his sponsors and supported by the Malta Triathlon Federation and Sport Malta.
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