In 2017 we had a record amount of athletes race the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. As we start 2018 we already have seven Irish (or adopted Irish) athletes qualified for Kona in October.

Click on through to see who has ticked the Kona box so far…

If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.

Kona Secrets book available

Kona Secrets: Lessons learned from over 50 Kona Qualifications.

Knowledge doesn’t produce results, action does. Just knowing how to do something doesn’t guarantee success, especially something as difficult as qualifying for Kona; you have to put in the hours. In this book I share some of the lessons I learnt between being a back-of-the-pack beginner to qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

The eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Ironman Arizona Qualifiers

Ivan O’ Gorman


Ivan took out 2nd in his age group and 35th overall in a time of 9:26:41. After what looked like a difficult swim Ivan had his work cut out for him as he exited the water in 523rd place overall and 68th in his age group.

His race really started on the bike where he went on to ride 4:54:36 for the 180k which was the third fastest split in his category.

Ivan has always been an exceptional runner and he put in the fastest split of his category of the day running himself up to 2nd place and taking an incredible eight Kona qualification.

  • Swim 1:13:57 68th
  • T1 3:58
  • Bike 4:54:36 3rd
  • T2 1:42
  • Run 3:12:30 1st
  • Overall 9:26:41 2nd

Mark Mc Cabe

Mark Mc Cabe from Dublin took a Kona slot in the 45-49 age group with a fifth place.

  • Swim 1:03:58 18th
  • T1 4:26
  • Bike 4:56:34 7th
  • T2 2:20
  • Run 3:39:34 10th
  • Overall 9:46:50 5th/333 57th/2236

Ironman Vichy Qualifiers

James Curran


James Curran racing in the 30-34 age group at Ironman Vichy not only took a spot on the podium as well as a Kona slot he went sub 9 in the process. James had a very strong bike and run to Take a top 10 overall at the French Ironman.

Swim 1:06:41
T1 3:02
Bike 4:38:43
T2 ??
Run 3:06:48

Ironman Maryland qualifiers

Donnacha Holmes


Donnacha Holmes not only took a Kona slot but he took the 40-44 age group win at Ironman Maryland on October 7th.

Swim 1:02:23
T1 4:04
Bike 4:41:41
T2 3:46
Run 3:14:54

Ironman Chattanooga Qualifiers

Martin Kirwan


Long time athlete Martin Kirwan raced Ironman Chattanooga on the 24th of September and took his first Kona qualification. Martin was racing in the 40-44 age group and finished in 4th.

Swim 58:26
T1 6:29
Bike 5:12:41
T2 4:36
Run 3:27

We had two local athletes qualify for Kona in the last month. We may do well to try and “adopt” them under the “granny rule” that is common in international football especially as they are both fast. You can never have too many fast athletes representing at Kona. One of them took a slot at Ironman Wales, the other at Ironman Italy. Click on through for details 

Ironman Italy

Garron Mosley

Garron Mosley a South African living in Ireland took his third Kona slot in the inaugural Ironman Italy in September. Garron is a really well rounded athlete who has become very strong across all three disciplines.

Racing in the 40-44 age group Garron came close to breaking the 9 hour barrier, the holy grail of fast age groupers with a 9:03:58. He also took second place in the age group and 22nd overall.

  • Swim 52:19
  • T1 5:39
  • Bike 4:53:19
  • T2 3:51
  • Run 3:08:50
  • Overall 9:03:58


Ironman Wales

Mariusz Olejniczak

Mariusz Olejniczak is a Polish athlete living in, and running his own gym business, No1 Fitness in Kilcullen, Co Kildare. He took his second Kona slot at Ironman Wales with an incredible 12th place overall in September.

Mariusz only missed going sub 10 by 12 seconds on what is widely regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the world in what was very tough conditions even by Welsh standards. Mariusz also took home one of those coveted perspex Mdot trophies as he took second place in the 55-39 age group.

  • Swim 57:08
  • T1 8:32
  • Bike 5:37:53
  • T2 3:15
  • Run 3:13:26
  • Overall 10:00:12


If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.


Chasing Kona eBook available

From smoker to back of the pack triathlete to the Ironman World Championships.

Read about how I overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships – my eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes

It is also available as a paperback at Wheelworx.