Hockey and Ironman

Heather Jackson competes at the 2019 Ironman World Championship. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Hockey and triathlon differ in many ways, especially when you look at longer distance tri events. Hockey players are often on the ice for shifts lasting less than a minute. The all-out effort on the ice forces quick changes to keep players fresh for the 60-minute games. The NHL has their own form of “Ironman,” a record for most consecutive games played within the league. Doug Jarvis, a four time Stanley Cup winner, holds this record with an astonishing 964 consecutive games played during his career.

While the top “Ironman” hockey players have not completed a triathlon, here are a few hockey players who have completed an Ironman:

Ian Laperriere played 16 seasons in the NHL as a winger and, when he retired turned his attention towards triathlon training and racing. In 2013 Laperriere completed Ironman Mont Tremblant event in 12:11:55.

“The crowd was unbelievable, I stopped before the finish line and applauded them, thanked them for the support all day,” he said about his day out on the course. “It was a great feeling. I had been warned, just enjoy the moment and I did. … The Ironman people were kind enough to bring my wife and kids to the finish line. My oldest one put the medal on me. It was a great finish.”

Mike Richter is another NHL player who gave Ironman a go. The former New York Rangers goalie and Stanley Cup winner completed the 2007 Ironman Lake Placid race in 12:49:10.

Heather Jackson was a NCAA hockey player at Princeton before turning her attention to triathlon. The American pro triathlete has shown impressive performances with a number of wins in both Ironman and 70.3 events along with multiple top-five finishes in Kona.