Interview with Mike Reilly: The Voice of IRONMAN Episode #25

Aaron McHugh


Mike Reilly has been the official voice of IRONMAN Triathlon for the past twenty-six years. In this powerful interview, Mike tells the stories of why every IRONMAN event is a life changing event for everyone involved.

Mike is spirited, genuine, deeply committed and the guy you want calling your name home as you cross the finish line of IRONMAN Triathlon.

Change your life forever: Racing IRONMAN

In June 2005, a man I had never met put an exclamation point on my life that I desperately needed. He said over the loudspeaker “Aaron McHugh YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” as I crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Coure D’Alene. Nine years later, I tracked down Mike Reilly, The Voice of IRONMAN Triathlon and the man who helped change the trajectory of my life.

As you listen to our conversation you’ll understand why thousands of others IM finishers would use such a strong statement “Changed My Life” to describe the power of Mike’s voice and definitive words.

Podcast Highlights:

  • The History of IRONMAN
  • Why the IRONMAN finish line should be on your Life List
  • How Mike Reilly got his start calling IRONMAN athletes across the finish line
  • How IRONMAN is a Human experience, not just a triathlon

Click to Listen

Who is Mike Reilly?

I read an article by Kendra Mahon written in honor of Mike’s twenty-four years of announcing IRONMAN races (now he’s up to twenty-six years).  She started off stating that at anyone’s first-pass attempt to describe what Mike does at an IRONMAN finish line, some would attempt to group him into the category of announcer, motivational speaker mixed with part comedian.  Kendra highlights that none of those vocational descriptors fit Mike’s role rallying his audience for seventeen hours at an IRONMAN race.

In today’s podcast you will hear over and over You have to be there to experience it yourself.  We wrestled to articulate the power of Mike’s role as he calls in thousands of athletes to the IRONMAN finish line and the privilege-of-significance Mike experiences when calling them by name and saying “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”.

I’m not an athlete; I think I’ll skip this one

For some of you, you might think about skipping this podcast because you are not an athlete, let alone an IM triathlete.  Don’t skip it.  What Mike and I wrangle to unpack together is about life, about our stories, about relationships, about being acknowledged for who you already are in the crowd of witnesses.  You don’t want to miss this one.

Mike Reilly Interview Resources:

Chris “Macca” McCormack Two Time IRONMAN World Champion: See Maccas new clothing line

Craig “Crowie” Alexander Three Time IRONMAN World Champion

Legends of Triathlon Podcast: Hosted by John Newsom and Bevan James Eyles

Watch the video of Chris McDonnell IRONMAN athlete who lost his daughter Grace in the Sandy Hook shootings December 14th 2012.
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