Just when you think you're tough enough


Susan Haag celebrates 100th Ironman triathlon

Susan Haag has completed 100 triathlons. (
Susan Haag has completed 100 triathlons. (

Susan Haag crossed the finish line of the Ironman Florida in Panama City last weekend in centennial style, completing her 100th triathlon.

Haag has made history as the first woman to complete 100 Ironman races, which consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.22-mile run. She has been running triathlons since 1990, and Ironman races since 2002.

“So many people were stopping me and friends were running alongside me saying, ‘This woman is doing her 100th! This woman is doing her 100th!’ It’s made it special because everyone knew the significance of the race,” said Haag.

When she first started racing Ironman triathlons in 2002, she signed up in Brazil two weeks before the race to accompany a friend not knowing what to expect or if she would see the finish line.

However, as she swam, cycled and ran, Haag marvelled at the mountains and towns she passed. Crossing that finish line brought a surge of pride, amazement and accomplishment of pushing her body non-stop for a little over 130 miles. It was an experience she wanted to do again and again.

Centennial Triathlete, Susan Haag. (
Centennial Triathlete, Susan Haag. (

“It is that self locomotion of swimming to biking to running and have your body be able to meet its challenges. You experience every emotion. So, when you come across that finish line, it is such a rush. You’ve got people clapping. Even when nobody is there, when you step across that line it is such a sense of accomplishment it’s addictive,” said Haag.

Since then, she has raced across the U.S. and numerous countries across the world and a proud member of Triathlon Team U.S.A. from 2003 to 2007.

Haag also said that getting more people-especially women-is important. She wants them to have the opportunity to experience the sense of accomplishment she does at the end of every race. To see parts of the United States and the world that aren’t accessible by car.

Haag takes the opportunity to race for a cause as a member of the NF Endurance Team, sponsored by The Children’s Tumor Foundation, to raise money for neurofibromatosis research and awareness. No matter the tough conditions along the course, she made it a point to dance across the finish line for the children the team raised money for.