• The Tempo
  • Posts
  • Tragedy Strikes at Ironman Ireland

Tragedy Strikes at Ironman Ireland

And should you take protein during your next workout?

Good morning everyone,

Just wanted to say good luck to everyone here who is competing at 70.3 Worlds this weekend. You’ve worked super hard to be in this position, so enjoy it.

Also, this is the last reminder that there’s still time to take our survey! Let us know how we can improve the newsletter and help shape the triathlon community you want.

In today’s edition:

  • 🙏 Tragedy and unaccountability strike Ironman Ireland

  • 💪 Should you consume protein during your workout?

  • 🏎️ And how to find the right tire pressure for your next triathlon.

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


IRONMAN and Triathlon Ireland Play Blame Game After Triathlon Tragedy


The tragic death of two triathletes last weekend in Ireland has left the community questioning what happened, who knew what, and how the race was able to proceed, as IRONMAN and Triathlon Ireland provided contradictory statements over just what happened.

Background: The water conditions on Saturday forced Ironman to move the Ironman 70.3 Ireland to Sunday, alongside the Ironman Ireland. You can watch a video of the water conditions on Sunday below.

Triathlon Ireland: The group claims that after reviewing the water conditions on Sunday, they told IRONMAN that they could not sanction the race due to rough wave conditions and that they informed them before the race began, according to BBC.

Ironman: Not so, said the company. They say Triathlon Ireland notified them several hours after the race began that they could not sanction the race, and not before it began. Ironman said they conducted their own review and proceeded with the race, but shortened the swim out of an abundance of caution.

  • The problem: As reported by Triathlon Magazine, Triathlon Ireland officials continued to work on the event after they said they told Ironman.

Cork County Council has distanced themselves from the event, saying all decisions about the race and participant safety were the responsibility of Ironman, according to the Independent. The Council also said they would review whether to continue hosting the race.

Big questions remain: Triathlon Hour outlined numerous questions that must be asked. Who’s timeline is correct? Who did Triathlon Ironman communicate it to? Can anyone actually confirm this was the case?

  • It also raises future questions about how races should be coordinated between local groups and Ironman itself.

Tempo’s take: Sadly, deaths in Ironman races are not unheard of. In the past, we’ve seen athletes tragically pass away during the swim segment, and often under ideal circumstances.

  • But ideal circumstances, these were not. The videos clearly show athletes absolutely struggling even to enter the water, let alone fight what was an exceptionally brutal current to the first buoy.

  • I personally have experience in these kinds of conditions. But it’s safe to assume that most athletes have not. Waves are one thing, but the current is actually the most treacherous aspect.

Both parties should have taken one look at the water and said “No.” In reality, athletes in this situation can’t always be trusted to make the right decision, especially when personal goals and the many costs of getting to the start line are factored in. And when herd behavior is added, it can only lead to even more bad decisions.

  • Leadership means making tough but correct decisions. Both parties appear to have lacked the necessary leadership to protect the athletes.

Our sincere thoughts are with the family and friends of Ivan Chittenden and Brendan Wall who passed away.

Who do you think is to blame for what happened?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


Financial Freedom With AI? It's Possible!

AI might be unable to stop you from cramping during your next race, but it can help with your finances

If you've ever been curious about what AI can do for you, then check out AI Tool Report.

With over 200,000+ subscribers, they teach you how to free up time and achieve financial freedom with AI. That means more time training and less time worrying over finances.

Plus, you're in good company. They're read by executives from Tesla, NASA, Meta, and more.


🏎️ Tire time: You’ve trained super hard for your goal race and you’re ready to perform your best. But all your effort could be wasted due to an underinflated tire! Check out this video from GTN that gives some great tips on how to choose the right tire pressure for training and racing. [GTN]

💪 Pondering protein: Some sports nutrition products tout the benefits of adding protein to your sports drink. But will consuming protein during your workout help you perform better? What about recovery? This article from My Sports Science has the definitive answer to both questions. [My Sports Science]

📝 Coaches corner: Do you need a coach for your first half Iron? Well, this thoughtful and surprising Reddit thread might have the answer! [Reddit]


Of all the types of people you’ll meet before a race, we’re definitely the one who’ll be asking for your pump!


Which person are you?? I’m all of them. But i’m especially the person who cant figure out the swim course 😂 #triathlon #triathlete


Less than 24 hours to complete our Tempo Survey

There’s still time to share your thoughts on how we can make the Tempo even better.

Want deep dive stories into training tactics? Better content on nutrition? More race? Let us know by taking the short survey.


We had some very thoughtful submissions from readers on the Ironman Ireland tragedy and we wanted to share them with a wider audience.

Reader: The sense of panic in the water and on the shore was overwhelming… They should have stopped it there but continued to push athletes out into this mass wash of people… When we arrived at the beach on Sunday morning, the winds were gusting high and the swell was very strong. The swim course for the full was cut to 1.9k because it was too hard to swim into the current, prevailing winds, and crashing waves. The rescue boats and support kayaks were struggling to stay in position and in some cases upright, it was very clear to me at this point that the swim should be called off. The swim start was delayed and delayed, with little communication to athletes. It was clear that there was conversations going on about these adverse conditions and the potential risks involved. Suddenly we had an announcement, pros get ready, followed by 70.3’s and full will leave last. Waves got bigger as they were about to fire the gun, we were then told of technical issues with timing chips, we had to hold again. Then they came back and called the pros to get ready.

Continue reading about athlete’s Ironman Ireland experiences.


📆 It’s super: It’s that time of year — the Super League Triathlon’s 2023 Championship Series starts in London this weekend with over $1.24 million in prizes. Contenders include Alex Yee, Jonny Brownlee, Katie Zaferes, Sophie Coldwell and more. [Super League]

🥇 Prize time: USA Triathlon and the Challenged Athletes Foundation have teamed up to provide $20,000 to the medalists at the USA Paratriathlon National Championships, to be held on Sept. 10 in Williamsburg, Virginia. [USA Triathlon]

🏊️ Moving on: After six years in charge, the Chair of Triathlon Scotland announced he’s stepping down to be the CEO of Swim England in 2024. They have a tight timeline to replace him with the Olympics on the horizon. [Tri247]

🌊 Bad pipes: Leaks are bad, but this one especially. It was announced on Wednesday that the likeliest cause of the cancelled the pre-Olympics swimming event was an incorrectly closed sewage valve that leaked into the river. The good news is something like that is fixable! [Reuters]


Loads of Action in Lahti

Klemen Suligoj takes us through this weekend’s 70.3 World Championships

The PTO Tour has finished, but world-class triathlon racing has only just started. What lies ahead are 3 Ironman World Championship events, with the first one being Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Lahti, Finland.

When: Women’s race starts on Saturday, August 26th at 7:30 am local time (6:30 CET, 0:30 EST, 14:30 AEST). The men’s race starts on Sunday, August 27th at 7:30 am local time (6:30 CET, 0:30 EST, 14:30 AEST).

How to watch: Both men's and women’s races will be broadcast for free on Outside Watch.

Big prize: The winner takes home USD $50,000. Second is $25,000, and third is $18,000.

Men’s favorites: Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), Sam Long (USA), Jason West (USA)

Women’s favorites: Daniela Ryf (SUI), Taylor Knibb (USA), Paula Findlay (USA)

Check out Klemen’s full preview for full athlete breakdowns and intriguing under-the-radar picks!


Here is what readers said about finding a new venue for the Olympics. Most readers said they should consider a backup option.

Reader: It just looks really bad for the sport on the world stage if they can’t do it. World Triathlon might want to consider the impact on their image.


What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Thanks for reading to the end. If you enjoy the Tempo, we have three things you can do to help our community grow:

  1. Share the Tempo with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Every person you refer will win prizes (coming soon!)

  2. Forward this email

  3. Follow us on Instagram

Join the conversation

or to participate.