Steel City Ironman Triathletes Cross the Kona Finish Line

Three Steel City Endurance athletes crossed the finish line at the Ironman World Championships on October 11, 2014.  Each of our three athletes has had their own journey to make it to the starting line, and each of them experienced their race day unfold over the blisteringly hot and windy 140.6 mile course.

We are very proud of…

  • Kirsten Sass, 35, McKenzie, TN
  • David Wirth, 25, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Gregory Christiansen, 48, Pittsburgh, PA

Kirsten Sass of McKenzie, TN qualified at IM Louisville this year.    Kirsten grew up watching her father train and enter innumerable running & triathlon races.   His dream of nearly 20 years to race in Kona became a reality this year when he won a legacy spot.   Kirsten immediately added IM Louisville to the 2 other IM races she’d already registered for in an attempt to qualify.  She ended up winning  her age group and taking 4th place female overall.


David Wirth of Pittsburgh, PA qualified at IM Arizona in 2013, taking 3rd in his age group after an all day battle among the top 5 men in the competitive 25-29 year old category.   He ended up 85th overall in that race and qualified as a 2013 Silver All-World athlete.  David’s build up to Kona for 2014 was planned to include racing at several shorter distances, earning him several podium spots along the way as well as a PR at the Boston marathon (again) in 2014.


Gregory Christiansen of Pittsburgh, PA won a lottery spot after competing in Syracuse 70.3 as well as Ironman Lake Placid for 2014, with a respectable first time Ironman finish in the upper 5th of his age group during a treacherous weather-filled day.   With about 8 weeks of recovery & build between Lake Placid and Kona, Greg maintained excellent fitness. Given the severe heat and winds of Kona as compared to Lake Placid, Greg’s finish was superb.


All three athletes are coached by Steel City Endurance head coach Suzanne Atkinson, MD.  If you are interest in seeing if you might have the potential to qualify for Kona in the next few years, please contact us for a consultation.

**Photos coming**

Kirsten Kona Bike

Kirsten Sass along the hot bike course at Ironman World Championships, Kona, Hawaii October 12, 2014




KIrsten Sass hydrates and refuels at the aid station on Palani hill between miles 10 & 11 as the run course climbs from Ali'i drive up to the Queen K

Kirsten Sass hydrates and refuels at the aid station on Palani hill between miles 10 & 11 as the run course climbs from Ali’i drive up to the Queen K


Greg Kona Bike


Greg Kona Run 2


Greg Run Alii


Greg Kona Finish 2


Greg Kona Finish


David Swim Finish - Kona






David Finish Kona funny