The ‘Beast from the East’… wins IRONMAN New Zealand**

While the ‘Beast from the East’ wind was cancelling races in the UK, the ‘original’ athlete of that moniker, Ken Glah, was doing what he’s done for years in Taupo


Congratulations to the legend that is Ken Glah!

(** Age-Group 55-59)

If you are relatively new to the sport (as in, ‘only’ been around 15 years or so…!), then the name Ken Glah may not be one you are familiar with. Thankfully, old people like me can help fill you in on some history…

One of the ‘original’ IRONMAN Pro’s back in the day, Ken won multiple IRONMAN races (Brazil three times, New Zealand twice, Canada), and was involved in what was surely the closest finish in IRONMAN history in 1990 – ironically, also at IRONMAN New Zealand, just losing out that day to Finland’s Pauli Kiuri:

YouTube video

Ken also excelled at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, finishing in the top-10 a total TEN times between 1986 and 2000, with a best of third in 1988. He clocked a rapid 8:24:01 way back in 1993, finishing fourth that year.

Ken is still heavily involved in the sport, travelling the world and running his Endurance Sports Travel business (, and I got to know Ken in Kona last year as a client of his – and he cooks awesome breakfast pancakes!

This past weekend Ken (now in the 55-59 category), raced again at IRONMAN New Zealand (for the 21st time) – and won the division by almost 23 minutes, finishing in 10:11:46.

The result? He has now qualified to race his 35th consecutive IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii.

If you are going to Kona and want an all-inclusive package from somebody that knows that place and race better than anyone, Ken is the man you need to speak too. Congratulations on keeping that incredible streak going.

John Levison
Article by
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in the sport for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages. He's also a familiar voice in commentary at major events, including the recent Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. While his passion is triathlon, you'll also find him watching Boxing, Darts or at the theatre enjoying a good musical...
Love exclusive offers, competitions & opinion?
The revamped TRI247 newsletter is the only place to find exclusive offers, awesome competitions and unique opinon from leading triathlon commentators.