The 57-year-old athlete, also known as ‘Racemachine’, was hit by a car during a triathlon race in Leon, Mexico. Fortunately, he escaped with just some bruises, but his right leg and his recently operated knee were injured.
Ferenc Szőnyi is one of the best ultra-triathletes in Hungary and also in the world. He only started to compete in ultra-triathlons after the age of 40, but he achieved outstanding results from the very beginning. In 2000, Szőnyi set two new Hungarian Bike Records, completing a distance of 721 km in 24 hours and 1,000 km in 34 hours and 20 minutes.
He ran his first Ultra Marathon in 2007 and the next year, he competed in his first triathlon event in Duble Ironman Bonyhád, Hungary, placing 4th overall and finishing third in the 10X Deca Ironman in Mexico. He became the overall winner in the 2009 Deca Ironman World Championship in Monterrey (Mexico) and set a new record for the competition.
In 2017, he was the only runner to finish the 480-km-long Hell Race endurance race meandering through the Himalayan passes. Two years later, he became the only athlete in the world to complete the Double Deca Ironman − the equivalent of twenty Ironman races − twice.
However, during his latest ironman race, the 57-year-old Hungarian sports legend also had to face an unexpected challenge.
Szőnyi was cycling on a closed track near Manuel Doblado when he was hit by a car, and the driver drove away without stopping,
writes Origo. He was at the 570-kilometre mark when the accident happened. Luckily, another competitor saw the collision and immediately called an ambulance. Szőnyi escaped with minor bruises, but he injured his recently operated right knee.
Despite the shock and the pain, the ultra-triathlete decided to continue the race.
However, he had to stop after a few laps because of the swelling in his right foot and knee, but he got back on the bike the next morning. Szőnyi wants to finish the race within the time limit, but he accumulated a disadvantage of about 12 hours, explained his partner, Szilvia Menyhárt, on the athlete’s Facebook page. After cycling 330 kilometres, he successfully completed this portion of the event. The swelling in his knee went down a bit, but he still has to run 211 kilometres.