Mike Reilly 2017 Events Schedule

Thank you everyone for voting on where you would like me to announce in 2017. Over 11,500 votes were cast and I’m happy to say I’ll be working 8 of your top 10 events voted for. The top three were 1. IM Lake Placid 2. IM Chattanooga 3. IM Mont-Tremblant. Also thanks for all the Aussie and Euro votes, hopefully will get back in 2018.

Let’s get the season started so we all can witness your Moments of Glory at the finish line!

Happy Training!


Mike Reilly 2017 Announcing Schedule

Running USA Conference – February 25-27

Ironman New Zealand – March 4

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 – April 1

Ironman Texas – April 22

Ironman Boulder – June 11

Ironman Buffalo Springs 70.3 – June 25

Ironman Lake Placid – July 23

Ironman Santa Rosa – July 29

Ironman Mont-Tremblant – August 20

Ironman Wisconsin – September 10

Ironman Chattanooga – September 24

Ironman Hawaii – October 14

Ironman Arizona – November 19

Mike Reilly Ironman


Mike caught up with Phil Wrochna  from firstoffthebike.com to talk about his love for announcing and his experiences behind the microphone at races. See the full article at http://firstoffthebike.com/triathletes/triathlon-interviews/behind-the-mic-mike-reilly/

He’s the global voice we all know at many ironman races. Mike Reilly is as chilled away from the mic as he is on it. A genuine man with a love for the Ironman community Mike is always fun to talk to about the thing he does best, calling Ironman.

What was your pathway to commentary?
I didn’t really have a pathway to getting on the microphone at endurance events, it more or less just happened.  I liked to public speak and was always attending groups like professional toastmasters to keep developing the craft.  Plus when you public speak you can’t suck, there is no second take like on TV, you have to nail it the first time.  When I was injured not able to run a 10k race here in San Diego (was an avid runner) in the late 70’s I still attended to watch friends. Low and behold the race director saw me and said since you’re not running get on the microphone and call everyone to the finish. Seeing the reaction of people finishing when I called their names and told them they were winners was very special, it sealed the deal for me!

What do you love about it?
I love everything about it, the preparation, the travel, seeing old friends, visiting places people dream about, being with the athletes and watching them achieve their dreams, and then being a part of a finish line party that lasts into the night.  How can you not love that!
What do you hate about it?
I don’t hate anything.  One thing I don’t like is a finisher sprinting down the chute that blocks someone else’s finish, especially that testosterone filled guy that sprints in front of a female finisher.
At hour 15 how hard is it to find your happy place?
The happy place is easy to find at 15 hours, its at about the 12 to 13 hour mark it is tougher.  A lot of the crowd thins out to go to eat then come back.  Plus sometimes in my head I’ll go okay we have 6 more hours to go which is stupid to do.  So my goal is to just go hour by hour and treat each hour like it is my last and always remember the athlete is hearing us at the finish line for the first time, make it count!
What has been the weirdest thing you have ever seen whilst calling a race ?
People always ask me that but not one particular thing quickly comes to mind.  I do remember an Ironman finisher carrying a little dog across the line!  Speaking of dogs, at Ironman Arizona a few years ago a Border Collie came running down the chute all by himself like he owned the finish line, there was no one finishing just the dog.  So I called Bow Wow an IronDog, the crew put a medal around his neck and draped a T-shirt over him.  I said now that finisher had a tough day and looked like a dog, it got a few laughs.
I also had a male finisher coming down the chute and just before the finish turned around.  I could tell the dude was about to pull his pants down and moon everyone, so very loud on the speaker system I said if you do it you’ll be DQ’d for life (which was BS but had to stop him somehow)!  He froze and you could tell he thought about it, but luckily he didn’t do it and turned around and ran in. 

What has brought you a lot of emotion during an event?
My emotion during an event is always up. But when a finisher comes in that I am close to like a friend or relative or a person where I know their story of struggle just getting to the start line let alone the finish – it raises my emotion every time.
Top 3 athletes you have ever seen from the comms tower?
Wow only 3 that is a tough question.  I never got to call in Dave Scott as a winner but bringing him in at 2nd place in 1994 at 40 yrs old was amazing.  Paula Newby Fraser was always and still is my top when it comes to finishes, she every year gave more than the year before.  Watching Greg Welch be the first non-American to win Kona was actually very special, all of us close to the sport knew that would open up the world’s door to Kona, which it did.  Another one was Chrissie Wellington’s first Kona win in 2007.  No one really knew who she was and she destroyed an amazing field.
Do finish chute marriage proposals make you cringe?
Ha ha asking that question they must make you cringe!  I like them especially if they don’t interfere with other finishers.  Most of them are done behind the finish which is great but some are done before finish.  It is actually fun to watch (usually the woman) reaction when the sweaty guy gets on his knees.  You get every reaction from WTF are you doing to laughing hysterically. I’ve never had anyone say No yet but have had a few hesitations, which makes for a good tense moment.
Thanks Phil for asking me to be a part of this.


Mike Reilly to Keynote TRI-MANIA

Sun Multisport Events today announced the 13th annual TRI-MANIA Summit and Expo is ready kick-start the new multisport season for more than 2,000 athletes by offering them the best value in triathlon – a free to attend event featuring an incredible line-up of speakers, a vendor expo with 80+ exhibitors and giveaways worth thousands of dollars.  TRI-MANIA, developed in partnership with the USAT Northeast Regional Council, takes place this Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Boston University’s Fit Rec Center in Boston, MA.

Headlining an all-star line-up of speakers is MIKE REILLY, the Voice of Ironman, who will deliver the TRI-MANIA keynote presentation, “Finding Your Next Finish Line: Your Best Memories are Ahead of You”. Reilly’s announcing talents will also be on display for the morning’s Marathon Sports 4 x 1600m Relay Run and 1600m Dash and he will join a panel of judges for the “You Make the Call” Contest, a competition that invites attendees to step up to the mic and deliver their best rendition of Reilly’s iconic finish line call, “You Are an IRONMAN!”


Mike Reilly To Celebrate 150th Ironman At New Zealand

By Susan Lacke | Triathlete Magazine

As seen on:http://triathlon.competitor.com/2016/02/news/mike-reilly-150th-voice-of-ironman_128637

“The Voice of Ironman” chats about his illustrious career.

The finish chute of an Ironman triathlon is one of the most iconic of any sport: bright lights, loud spectators and an overwhelming sense of joy. It’s a spectacle unlike any other, driven by a constant refrain of four words: YOU are an Ironman!

Those four words, of course, are inextricably linked with Mike Reilly, “The Voice of Ironman.” Since first taking the microphone in 1989, Reilly has called tens of thousands of Ironman triathletes across finish lines all around the world. On March 5, Reilly will mark his 150th Ironman race at Ironman New Zealand with the same boundless enthusiasm as his first race.

Triathlete.com: Congratulations on calling your 150th Ironman! When you took the microphone for the first time, did you ever dream it would last this long? 

Reilly: I would dream how lucky I was to be able to do this and that it would last as long as I had a passion for it, which I still do! If someone said to me back in 1989 I would still be going in 2016 I’d thought they were nuts! But, like the old adage of living one day at a time, I’ve had the attitude to live one Ironman day at a time.

Triathlete.com: How did you become the “Voice of Ironman?”

Reilly: In the early years it just kind of evolved, someone introduced me as that and it kind of stuck. At first, and even still today, it is a little embarrassing and humbling. The bit of insecurity that is in all of us questions, “Do I deserve that title?” Then my secure side says to go out and prove it at every event. That’s why each Ironman is like my first one.

Triathlete.com: What’s your favorite thing about this job?  

Reilly: First off, it is very hard for me to call it a job. Yes, there is work involved, it’s a long day, and the preparation prior is detailed. But in the end being able to make people smile, cry, scream, and shout for joy is not work. It’s an honor!

Triathlete.com: You mentioned long days – how many hours are you awake on race day?

Reilly: 21 to 22 hours. I’m up at 4:00 A.M. and to bed by 1:00 or 2:00 A.M.

Triathlete.com: Your energy and enthusiasm is amazing – how do you keep it up for so long? 

Reilly: The day actually goes by pretty fast for me. Watching and being a part of an Ironman day is like watching the best long movie ever. There are 2,500 happy endingswhat more could you ask for?

Triathlete.com: You’ve had to call a lot of names in your careerincluding some rather unpronounceable ones. Do you recall any particular monikers that left you tongue-twisted?  

Reilly: I have probably correctly pronounced 95% of the names I have ever called, but there are 5% that can be tough. A lot of athletes will send me private Facebook messages on how to pronounce their name, and we’ll put it in the bios for race day. Knowing that someone’s name is really their most prized possession, Ialong with all the Ironman announcers in the worldwant to get it right. But yes, at times our tongues will twist! One thing that will never be mispronounced: “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”

RELATED PHOTOS: 30 Years Of Ironman New Zealand

Triathlete.com: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever witnessed at an Ironman finish line? 

Reilly: I get asked that all the time, and I can never remember the one crazy thing. Obviously, there have been finishers doing cartwheels, hand-stands, turning around running in backwards (I have no idea why on this one), ripping shirts off (only men), and people kissing the ground and not being able to then get up.

But one Japanese woman was finishing at a race here in the United States, and when she got to the finish she didn’t cross it, but turned around and ran back out. A few minutes later here she comes again, hits the finish line and turns and runs out again. So now we are all laughing about it as officials were now ready for her at the finish and here she comes again, they grab her (she no doubt was going to do it again) and brought her across the finish line. I don’t recall what I was saying to the crowd but everyone was really into her third finish! We asked her why she did that and her reply was “I didn’t think I had worked hard enough, so I wanted to run more.” Now that is crazy!

Triathlete.com: Do you have a favorite finish-line experience?  

Reilly: Up until 2013, that would have been a very hard question to answer. But my most favorite and cherished call of all time was when my son Andy finished Ironman Arizona in 11:29. Announcing my first Ironman when he was 3 years old to bringing him in 24 years later probably won’t be topped. To call him in and watch his big sister put the Mylar blanket around him and his Mom put the finisher medal around his neck and me standing there about ready to lose it – it’s a memory and picture that will be etched in my mind forever. I actually called him an Ironman two times at the finish. I figured I had the right to do that!

Triathlete.com: Is there a particular race location you love most?

Reilly: Ironman New Zealand is in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and of course Kona. But the most beautiful location to me is the finish line, period. No matter where you are in the world, the beauty of an Ironman finish line can’t be beat.

Triathlete.com: What’s a bucket-list race you haven’t yet made it to? 

Reilly: Wow, there are a few. I’d love to get to Ironman UKthe British triathletes are so passionate, and it’s growing like crazy there. Also South Africa and Austria. I worked IM Frankfurt once, and it was an incredible experience. The really tough part is there are now so many Ironmans in the world, so my goal is to get to one new one each year.

Triathlete.com: You’ve been a fixture at 150 races so far – will you try for 200? 

Reilly: I have never looked ahead at a number, as I believe it’s unhealthy. Like I said before, it’s one Ironman at a time.

RELATED PHOTOS: The Final Hour At The 2015 Ironman World Championship



Announcing Schedule 2016

Wish I could get to more Ironmans throughout the year but it is just physically impossible. As you all know there seems to be one every weekend now!  There are other great announcers working the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events like Paul Kaye, Peter Murray, Tom Ziebart, Dave Ragsdale,  Joanne Murphy, Eric Gilsenan, Dave Downey, Michael Lovato, Cameron Harper, Alain Cyr, and more. They’re voices that don’t go unnoticed and to work with them and watch their amazing passion for Ironman is a pure pleasure.

How do I pick which events to work (not really work in the true sense of the word).  A lot depends on my full time great job with Events.com and how much travel I can pull off in one year. Plus working Ironmans on back to back weekends is a tough call.  Being a new Grandpa and loving to be with my family at home in San Diego is always my #1 priority! But the best part of doing what I do is being with all of you who I consider my second family. The number of you I see at the events each and every year I consider my friends.

I’ll be out for a run or riding my bike and one of you or more will pop into my head.  I’ll remember your finish, a conversation we had, what you said it meant to you hearing those 4 words, or meeting your children.  It is like a page in a chapter of a book that I remember like I just read it.  And yes, I am trying to get it all down for a book someday.

Now with the schedule – which consist mostly of the full distance.  The good folks at Ironman give me the autonomy to choose the Ironman events I’d like to go to in the US. I am honored that Ironman New Zealand and Australia invite me every year! Ironman chooses who works the 70.3 World Championships and European events. There are a few US Ironmans where my goal is to keep them in my schedule every year (Lake Placid, Wisconsin, Kona, Arizona) until I hang up the microphone (don’t ask when because I don’t yet know).

3/5 Ironman New Zealand (#150 total for me)

4/2 Oceanside 70.3

5/1 Ironman Australia

5/14 Ironman Texas

7/24 Ironman Lake Placid

8/7 Ironman Boulder

8/21 Ironman Mont-Tremblant

9/11 Ironman Wisconsin

10/8 Ironman Hawaii

10/22 Ironman North Carolina

11/20 Ironman Arizona

The reason I can’t do Ironman Vineman here in my home state a family member is getting married that weekend and I am officiating her wedding.  It was a tough decision not going to Ironman Coeur d Alene, one I’ve been to every year but it falls on IM Mont-Tremblant weekend.  Mont-Tremblant is my only opportunity to call a Canadian event so I chose to go there again for their 5th anniversary. They are on different weekends in 2017 so I’ll be back to Coeur d Alene!

Can’t wait to see you all and your amazing finishes!  Happy training everyone.



“Voice of Ironman” Mike Reilly Shares His Learnings as a Long Standing Leader in the Endurance Sports Industry

Mike Reilly is best known as the Voice of Ironman. Tens of thousands of ironman finishers around the world have heard his famous phrase “You are an Ironman” as they crossed the finish line. He was inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2011, is a founding member of the industry organization Triathlon Business International, and committee member and host of the Running USA National Conference and more.

What you may not know is Mike has had a very successful career of over 30 years in the endurance sports industry. Hear about some of his learnings, challenges and words of wisdom as a long standing leader in the running, cycling and triathlon industry.

Listen to the podcast HERE

Kona Ironman Lottery Phone Call to Allysin Bridges

The Ironman Lottery is a coveted way to go to Kona from all over the world.  Before athletes were notified publicly I had the chance to call 10 lucky winners and tell them in person.  The reactions were anywhere from crazy screaming to “hey, am I getting punked”? Here is a lucky Allysin Bridges and her reaction….