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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 21 November, 2018

Chasing Kona: From 60-a-day smoker to elite Ironman

Dubliner Rob Cummins gave up smoking at 27 and rose to the top of one of the world’s toughest endurance sports.

IN 1999, ROB Cummins sat on his couch flicking through channels, smoking a cigarette and nursing a hangover.

He landed on coverage of the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii – the latest installment of which took place last weekend. 

After watching the grueling race (comprising of a 3.9km swim, 180km bike and a marathon) he decided to make a small change to his lifestyle that would go on to alter the course of his life – he gave up cigarettes.

Now, almost 20 years on, Cummins is attempting to reach the start-line of Kona for the third time, attempting to bounce back from a back surgery a few years ago. 

This is the story of how a 60-a-day smoker found himself Chasing Kona.


Rob’s book is available on Amazon and you can follow his training blog at

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About the author:

Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

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