triathlon and family can mix

Ironman Tattoo

M. Dot.


It seems like a right of passage. Cross the finish line and straight to the tattoo parlour. The more I see them around the gym, pool, path, or beach these days, I wonder if I would get one.

First, to qualify I am sure you have to finish a long distance Triathlon, all 226.3 kilometers of it. Second, you need to be proud of it. How could you not be? Not many people would attempt it, let alone finish it.

I think there is a stigma around people who have an Ironman tattoo. Some opinions say that ‘are they not proud of anything else than finishing that race x years ago’. I don’t think this is the case; starting, let alone finishing a long distance triathlon is a feat. I think it is a celebration of something that they have worked hard at achieving. Trust me, the amount of training hours that come along with the finish can be staggering. Average 11 hours per week with 3 hour bike rides on Saturday and 2 hours runs on Sunday; not to mention strength training and your real life. This is what I averaged in preparation for Ironman 70.3 Calgary, a half distance triathlon.

So back to my original thought.

Would I ever get a tattoo?

I love this sport and all of the tangible and intangible benefits that have come along with it. I am in the best shape of my life, my energy levels are thru the roof, and my daughter is racing as well. I will talk about it with anyone that asks, and hey, alot of people who don’t (sorry if you have been one of the unwilling listeners in the past). The people I have met including instructors, physiotherapists, and fellow triathletes over the past two years have made a positive impact on my life. Thank you for that.

I just find it hard to want to advertise it to the entire world, all the time. I mean having people check out your tattoo, check you out (elevator look?), then make a judgment based on your current physical condition is something I would like to avoid. “He has an Ironman tattoo, he doesn’t look like he could finish the walk up the stairs!”

I am just saying I don’t think that I would get one. Better to leave the memory where it belongs, in my mind.

Just a thought: Do you need to show proof, like a picture of you crossing the finish line or a secret membership card? I sure hope so.

Question: Would you get an Ironman Tattoo?


10 responses

  1. sweatingforit

    I would totally get one… But I already have several tattoos so that makes a difference.

    January 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    • That could be a problem. You could always incorporate it into your existing tattoos….

      January 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

      • sweatingforit

        Well, I think once you have one, you are pretty willing to get more.

        January 6, 2014 at 11:04 am

  2. I got a tattoo after my first Olympic! Not the M-dot guy, but a Tri tattoo nonetheless. I’d get an M-dot guy in a second. The answer to your problem is to get it where it doesn’t show, or can be covered. Upper shoulder, something like that.

    January 5, 2014 at 6:15 am

  3. if/when I ever finish a full IM, I will get one for sure!

    January 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

    • The idea of a long course race is getting more traction in my mind, getting closer to ‘when’ than ‘if’.. I haven’t told my wife yet….

      January 6, 2014 at 10:57 am

  4. My advice is not to care what other people think about your physical appearance and realise that if someone does look at you like that then you can smile and think “yea but I completed the toughest 1 day endurance challenge ever” When I finish the full distance I am getting one just as a reminder to myself and not for anyone else’s benefit. The fact that they look really cool is just a bonus 🙂

    January 8, 2014 at 2:09 am

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