Hungarian Ultra-Triathlete Ferenc Szőnyi First Ever to Complete 20x Ironman Twice
Fanni Kaszás 2019.10.29.
Hungarian ultra-triathlete Ferenc Szőnyi, also known as the ‘Racemachine’ by fellow sportsmen, has completed the Double Deca Ironman race this weekend in Mexico for the second time, which made him the first person in the world to complete the distance twice. Following his first place win in 2010, this time he finished second in the race, which consists of 76 kilometers of swimming, 3600 kilometers of cycling, and 844 kilometers of running.
He first posted the good news on his Facebook page, writing that he placed second on the 20x Ironman distance, which means “I’m the only person in the world who completed this insane double deca ironman twice!”
Szőnyi started the race back on October 5th, finishing second in 523 hours – less than 22 days. He completed the distance with 2 to 3 hours of sleep a day, losing a total of 7 kilograms during the more than three-week-long Double Deca Ironman race.
Szőnyi, also known by other ultra-triathletes as the ‘Racemachine,’ only started to compete in ultra-triathlons after the age of 40, and only learned to swim a week before his first race. He was the fifth person and the first Hungarian ever to win a Double Deca Ironman and has also won multiple Deca Ironmans, breaking world records. In 2017, he was the only runner to finish the famed Hell Race—a 480 km long running festival organized in the Himalayas. The following year, he completed the distance again, improving his time by four hours the second time around. In addition, last year, Szőnyi was presented with the Knight of Cross from the Order of Merit of Hungary.
When he is not at a competition, he runs 130-140 kilometers a week, which he augments with gym training. These extreme competitions are straining on the body, so Szőnyi follows a special diet, where he has to replace the lost calories without losing weight or muscle mass. His dream is to finish a Quintuple Ultratriathlon, as it is still missing from his collection. He said to index.hu that when he runs, he can take a break from everyday life, be free, and be himself.