The youngest athlete to complete IRONMAN on 6 continents had no coach and a side hustle

A 26-year-old Canadian has become the youngest to complete an IRONMAN on six continents. Instead of a trainer, he used YouTube.

In just a few years, Connor Emeny has gone from budding triathlete to world record holder for the youngest person to complete an IRONMAN on six continents.

On May 29, Emeny completed IRONMAN Brazil, making South America its sixth and final continent. At 26, the Canadian athlete broke the previous record of 6 years. He had participated in IRONMAN events in New Zealand, Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and South America (Antarctica does not have an official IRONMAN).

Before heading to Brazil, Emeny gave an interview to CP24 News. When asked if he has a mantra to help him through the toughest times, Emeny explained his jersey. Beneath the phrase “Got Your Back”, the jersey’s number 6 is a mosaic of 84 names. They represent the people “who inspired me and believed in me,” Emeny said.

“So I remember this goal is bigger than me, and I’m doing it for everyone else too,” he said.

Finding Your IRONMAN Goal

Emeny started doing IRONMAN challenges in college. According Triathlon Canada Magazine, he and a few friends tried out for the IRONMAN team at Queens University in Ontario. Emeny made the team.

He completed his first full IRONMAN in New Zealand in March 2020. According to the magazine, Emeny had moved to Auckland six months earlier on a transfer from Uber, where he worked. Knowing no one in town, he spent his mornings commuting around town on a scooter, then practiced in the afternoons. Instead of hiring a trainer, Emeny used YouTube to find cycling, swimming and functioning tutorials.

Shortly after completing IRONMAN New Zealand, COVID-19 halted most sporting events. While in lockdown, Emeny decided to become the youngest person to complete IRONMAN on six continents. Jackie Faye held the mark at the time, pegging it at 32 in 2018. In general, few athletes have completed an IRONMAN on six continents.

It took Emeny just over 2 years from his first IRONMAN to break Faye’s record, facing the logistical nightmare of training and competing during a global pandemic.

“I do it very responsibly, not overlooking what’s going on or being naive… there’s never a perfect time to pursue what you want to do; you just have to go now,” said Emeny blogTO in January 2021.

When he finished IRONMAN Brazil, Emeny wrote on Instagram that he always overcomes fatigue by thinking of his loved ones.

“I thought of so many people throughout the race who have supported me throughout this journey. Every time my mind entered the cave of pain, I thought of a conversation, person or place that believed, inspired or encouraged me,” Emeny wrote. “I learned that we were bulletproof when surrounded by an army of amazing people.”

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