WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In less than a month, football MVP and Dancing with the Stars champion Hines Ward hopes to hear the words, "Hines Ward, you are an IRONMAN®." The phrase has kept Ward motivated throughout an arduous 12-month training and recovery journey that will conclude on October 12, 2013 at the most challenging one-day endurance event on the planet: the IRONMAN® World Championship triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i. The iconic race comprises a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 112 mile bike race in winds of up to 60 mph, then a 26.2 mile run through sauna-like lava fields – all within 17 hours.
Ward teamed up with REFUEL got chocolate milk? to become an IRONMAN® triathlete as part of its BECOME ONE program, which aims to inspire others to reach their goals and also to shine a spotlight on the importance of post-exercise recovery. A growing body of published research supports what elite athletes have known for years – lowfat chocolate milk can help athletes recover after hard workouts so they can perform at their best during the next bout of exercise. For Ward, recovering effectively after each workout has helped him make it this far and could mean the difference between crossing the finish line in Kona next month and "bonking out" somewhere along the 140.6-mile course.
From Gridiron to IRONMAN Triathlete
Fans will still recognize Ward's imitable smile – but his physical transformation has been so dramatic they would likely double-take at this new, lean look. Since he started training last fall when he couldn't run more than one mile, Ward has transformed from a 232-pound gridiron athlete into a slender 196-pound endurance athlete, weighing in lighter than he was during his high school years.
Ward declares he's in the best shape of his life to take on the IRONMAN World Championship: "I've been training for up to 20 hours a week and have focused more than I ever have on nutrition and recovery, so I'm feeling fitter than at any time in the 14 years I played pro football. But that's important as this will be the biggest challenge of my career."
Fans can follow Ward's training and recovery journey by tuning into the online documentary series, BECOME ONE, at www.gotchocolatemilk.com.
New Hines Ward got chocolate milk? Ad Campaign
With his big race less than a month away, the REFUEL got chocolate milk? campaign has launched a new national print ad featuring Hines refueling with chocolate milk, shot just after he completed a 2.4 mile training swim in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i.
The ad copy reads: "Rebuilding my muscles for Hawaii and this ain't no luau. The 2013 IRONMAN® World Championship in Kona will push me to the limit, and then some. So after every workout, I drink chocolate milk. It's got protein my muscles need to get ready, that's something scientists know. Now you do, too. got chocolate milk?"
Tune in to Watch Ward's Journey and Race
To watch BECOME ONE episodes, learn more about the science behind the recovery benefits of lowfat chocolate milk, and to check out exclusive training tips and videos, log onto gotchocolatemilk.com. Join the conversation on Facebook/gotchocolatemilk and Twitter @gotchocomilk using #BecomeOne.
To learn more about IRONMAN and the IRONMAN World Championship and to tune into live streamed coverage of the race on October 12, visit ironman.com.
Tune in to watch NBC's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the IRONMAN World Championship on Saturday, November 16, 2013, which will feature Hines Ward. Check local listings for details.
About the REFUEL | "got chocolate milk?™" Campaign
The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, through MilkPEP, runs the REFUEL | "got chocolate milk?™" Campaign, a multi-faceted program designed to educate athletes about the recovery benefits of lowfat chocolate milk after strenuous exercise. Lowfat chocolate milk is simple, effective and scientifically shown to help refuel the body so athletes can perform at their best. It's a natural source of high-quality protein to build lean muscle; it has the right mix of protein and carbs to refuel exhausted muscles; plus fluids and a natural source of electrolytes to rehydrate and help replenish what's lost in sweat. For more information, go to www.gotchocolatemilk.com.
The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world's most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, World Triathlon Corporation (d/b/a IRONMAN), owner and operator of the IRONMAN® Series, has grown from owner of a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IronKids®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
SOURCE The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP)