Wheaties Honors Feat Of Endurance With First Ironman Cover

Chris McCormack celebrates Ironman victory and being named cover athlete by Wheaties.October 10, 2010: Wheaties boxes have been a place of honor for MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Olympians and other athletes since 1934, when Lou Gehrig became the first athlete to appear on a cover. Now, for the first time, the winner of the Ford Ironman World Championship endurance event will be featured on a Wheaties box for the first time. The honor fits it in with Wheaties marketing as its Fuel brand is the official cereal of the Ironman Triathlon.

The honor goes to Chris McCormack who finished the grueling 2010 140.6-mile championship race in 8:10:37, ahead of approximately 1,800  competitors; finished strong in the 2.4-mile swim with 51:36; maintained a front position during his 112-mile cycle leg of 4:31:51; and finished ahead of the competition with a 2:43:31 26.2-mile run.

This marks McCormack’s fourth top-10 finish and second championship at the Ford Ironman World Championship. McCormack also holds five Ironman Australia titles.

McCormack still has a way to go to compete with Wheaties cover record holder Michael Jordan, who has been on the box 18 times, followed by Tiger Woods' 14 appearances. The division of General Mills did not specify how Wheaties would support McCormack's honor with marketing, but it is expected to include Internet and POP.

Wheaties Fuel has been supporting its role as the official cereal of the Ironman Triathlon with national TV, print and online advertising. The brand will also have on-site activation at upcoming Ironman events in the form of signage, sampling stations and a presence on the run course. Wheaties Fuel also has launched "Prepare to Win Ironman" nutrition tips from Ironman competitors, inviting Ironman athletes worldwide to submit their nutrition tips via video submissions to the Wheaties Facebook page.

“We are so excited to welcome Chris into the Wheaties family and celebrate his tremendous achievement in winning this highly competitive championship,” Dan Stangler, Wheaties marketing manager, said in a statement . “The Ironman triathlon competitors are some of the toughest and most fit endurance athletes in the world, and each competitor to complete an Ironman competition is a champion in his or her own right. It is with great appreciation for what they do that we are showcasing a true Ironman champion on the Wheaties box.”

According to Ben Fertic, CEO of World Triathlon Corp., owner and organizer of the Ironman Triathlon, “Wheaties has long been known as the ‘breakfast of champions,’ which makes it an excellent choice for Ironman competitors. The state-of-the-art nutrition in Wheaties Fuel can help today’s world-class athletes train for success.”

Wheaties Fuel was developed by General Mills in cooperation with such athletes as Hunter Kemper (triathlon), Bryan Clay (decathlon), NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett, MLB All-Star Albert Pujols and NFL All-Pro QB Peyton Manning, in addition to sports nutritionist Dr. John Ivy (University of Texas).

Tough Stuff: Ironman Endurance Competition Now Fueled By Wheaties Fuel Brand

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