For Hines Ward and REFUEL | got chocolate milk?, the road to the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship triathlon has officially begun. On Feb. 23, the former pro football superstar joined some of the biggest names in endurance sports at L.A.'s Club Nokia for the 21 st Annual Endurance LIVE awards gala presented by REFUEL | got chocolate milk?. Ward unveiled his new REFUEL | got chocolate milk? "my After" national advertising campaign as well as an online documentary series that will follow his training and recovery journey toward conquering the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i on October 12, 2013. Ward also introduced three everyday athletes chosen to join him on this Epic life-changing journey.
"Playing football was tough but training for a 140.6-mile swim, bike and run is probably the biggest challenge of my life," said Ward, a 14-year pro football veteran and championship game MVP. "I've got a long road and a lot of workouts to go through, but I want to prove that by training hard and refueling smarter with chocolate milk, I will become an IRONMAN triathlon finisher."
A Training and Recovery Journey to 'BECOME ONE'
In partnership with REFUEL | got chocolate milk?, Ward will undertake a training and recovery regimen with elite professional coaches and sports dietitians that will prepare him for the grueling race. His transformation from a grid iron athlete to IRONMAN triathlete will be captured in the new online documentary series "BECOME ONE," which debuts this week on www.gotchocolatemilk.com.
In "BECOME ONE," cameras will follow Ward and his fellow IRONMAN triathlon apprentices for seven months as they prepare for the biggest athletic challenges of their lives: a back-to-back 2.4-mile open water swim, 112-mile bike race, and full 26.2-mile marathon. The reality-style webisodes will document the highs and lows of their grueling training, spotlight the importance of their after-exercise routines and role that lowfat chocolate milk plays in helping their bodies recover after hard workouts; and inspire all athletes to break out of their comfort zone and prove that anything is possible.
Introducing Team "BECOME ONE"
Last fall, REFUEL | got chocolate milk? launched a nationwide search to find two "everyday athletes" to join Ward on this Unforgettable training and recovery journey to "BECOME ONE." In addition, through its partnership with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), REFUEL | got chocolate milk? also selected a challenged athlete to join the team to inspire others disabled or able-bodied to overcome adversities. The team includes:
- Captain Eric McElvenny, USMC, 29, San Diego, CA In December 2011, while serving in Afghanistan on his third deployment with the United States Marine Corps, McElvenny suffered the loss of his right leg below the knee in an IED explosion. With the support of CAF and their Operation Rebound program, he has used sports to help him recover and has since raced in two sprint distance triathlons using a prosthetic leg.
- Chrisann Dalton, 39, Bedford, NH Stay-at-home mom Dalton wants to prove to her kids that "If you want something in life, you go after it. You become your dream by wanting it more than anything that might get in your way." She has participated in sprint triathlons but never attempted anything on the scale of an IRONMAN triathlon.
- Joshua Kalb, 24, Denver CO A first-year medical student at Rocky Vista University, CO and a triathlon newcomer, Kalb wants to show his classmates and future patients that "Being healthy is a decision and that everyone can live a healthy lifestyle."
Ward and his fellow IRONMAN triathlon apprentices will be coached by eight-time IRONMAN World Championship winner Paula Newby-Fraser, plus a host of elite athletes and sports dietitians. Together they'll learn about the importance of post-exercise recovery and that what they do after strenuous exercise, such as refueling with chocolate milk the Official Refuel Beverage of IRONMAN can make a dramatic difference in how they feel and perform during their next workout. A growing body of published research suggests the nutrient profile of chocolate milk can help athletes recover after hard workouts so they can perform at their best during the next bout of exercise. For Ward and his fellow athletes, training and recovering effectively every day could mean the difference between crossing the finish line in Kona or "bonking out" somewhere along the 140.6-mile course.
"There's a reason that athletes of all types are turning to chocolate milk as an integral part of their post-workout nutrition," said Miranda Abney, Marketing Director of the Milk Processor Education Program, the group behind the 'got chocolate milk?' campaign. "To perform at your best, it's essential to take the time to refuel, recharge and get your body ready for the next challenge. Chocolate milk is an easy, effective and delicious way to do just that. Hines and the Become One Team know chocolate milk will help them make every workout count as they work toward the starting line in Kona."