Home » News » Dale Mackay: From the Kitchen to Ironman World Championship

Dale Mackay: From the Kitchen to Ironman World Championship

A surprising message landed in celebrity chef Dale Mackay’s inbox eight weeks ago. Ironman extended an invitation to him to compete at the Ironman World Championship. It was an instant “yes” from Mackay.

Dale Mackay’s culinary journey, which spanned across a decade working alongside renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Daniel Boulud, culminated in his victory in the inaugural season of “Top Chef Canada.” Since then, he has established five award-winning eateries in Saskatchewan. In addition to his culinary conquests, Mackay also flaunted his competitive spirit on “Iron Chef Gauntlet,” “Fire Masters,” and “Wall of Chefs” television series.

Yet, a full-distance triathlon is uncharted territory for Mackay. Preparing for this demanding race in Nice, while simultaneously inaugurating a new restaurant, has indeed been a whirlwind for him.

His reason to compete is not solely to outdo his former mentor, Ramsey’s Ironman record, but rather a personal challenge. As Mackay puts it, “Any time something gets me a little bit nervous in life, I immediately go for it. That’s why I’m here.”

Triathlon might not seem like a natural fit for a chef, but for Mackay, it’s more than just a sport – it’s a way of life. His work ethics and discipline from his culinary journey play a significant role in shaping his triathlon training. “Being a chef has automatically put me in a good position for triathlon. It’s all about the training and the diligence,” he said.

His initiation into triathlon was rather unexpected. The COVID-induced downtime in the restaurant industry compelled Mackay, a ball of energy, to channel it elsewhere. Not knowing how to swim, bike, or run, he was drawn towards the sport, making Ironman his “big, big goal.” With his girlfriend’s support, who taught him to swim, and a newfound passion for running and biking, Mackay was hooked.

Mackay draws parallels between the meticulous nature of cooking and triathlon. Having worked under Gordon Ramsay, he learned the value of perfection and diligence. “You’re only going to get a perfect dish by putting in all those steps,” he added.

With the Ironman World Championship at Nice presenting a challenging terrain unfamiliar to the flatlands of Saskatoon, Mackay aims to finish strong. Whether or not he surpasses Ramsay’s 14:04 Kona finish time, completing the race will be a testament to his hard work and dedication.

Given Mackay’s unwavering spirit, it’s likely that once the Ironman World Championship ends, he’ll be setting yet another ambitious triathlon goal for himself.

About The Author