Sunday, 29 Jan, 2023

It’s done, end of an era: Mike Reilly hangs up the mic

Mike Reilly hangs up the mic. (Picture: Ironman Press Release)

The Ironman community has bid an emotional farewell to Mike Reilly, most likely the most famous voice in the sport of triathlon, after a storied career spanning 33 years, 33 IM World Championship events, and a total of 214 Ironman events all over the world. Throughout his career, Reilly’s iconic call of ‘You are an Ironman!’ welcomed nearly half a million IM athletes across the finish line. Acknowledging his importance not only to Ironman but also the endurance industry as a whole, Reilly was inducted into the IM Hall of Fame in 2011, Running USA Hall of Champions in 2017 and USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2018.

Reilly, known as the “Voice of Ironman”, officially hung up his microphone on Saturday, December 10 as the clock struck midnight at the 2022 Ironman New Zealand triathlon, calling his now iconic four words, ‘You are an Ironman!’ to last finisher Ron Skelton, to the cheers of the hundreds of spectators who stayed up late to be at the finish line to witness the celebration.

After the 17-hour cut off rolled over on the stroke of midnight, it was time for Reilly to officially call time on his career. Ironman New Zealand was the first Ironman outside of the United States that Reilly announced, and it is an event he says is one of his favourites in the world. “I couldn’t have written the script any better, the passion and the knowledge of New Zealand for Ironman, and the love for it, no other place in the world I think displays that as much as this place, so that’s why I wanted to be here,” said Reilly.

Reilly is stepping away from his announcing career to spend more time with his family. Though he knows his decision is the right one, he says he’s going to miss being at finish lines sharing the camaraderie with his second family; the Ironman athletes, supporters, volunteers, and everyone else associated with these events. “I feel elated, I feel loved, I feel passion and I feel I gave it everything I had for 33 years for the athletes because that’s what it’s all about. I feel it’s time, it’s definitely time, because I wanted to make sure that every time I called someone an Ironman it was like the first one, and tonight proved that to me,” he said.

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