An Ironman for sharks!

Posted on December 22, 2011
Written by: Hannah Medd
Tags: Fun Fundraisers 

Brian Yannutz promoting shark conservation at Ironman World Championship.

Early in 2011, Shark Savers received a request from a young man who wanted help bring shark awareness tothe Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii on October 8th, 2011. Brian Yannutz, a recent graduate of marine sciences from University of Hawaii at Hilo, had previous experience in shark conservation. Following the landmark fin trade ban in Hawaii, he visited Chinese restaurants in his town to inform them of the new legislation and asked them to sign a pledge to stop selling shark fin soup.

Because of the international popularity of the Ironman Championships, Brian felt it would be an excellent opportunity to spread the word about the need for shark conservation. But Brian wasn’t going as just a spectator; he had been awarded a chance to compete. He decided to dedicate the grueling 140 mile journey to the sharks.   

The day of the race, facing the enormous physical challenge, Brian stayed focused on how important sharks are and his campaign to raise awareness. He wore his bright blue jersey with the words “Stop shark finning” boldly printed on the front and back. During the bicycle portion of the race, Brian sported an awesome dorsal fin on his helmet, as he raced past the barren lava fields of Hawaii’s ‘Big Island’. “There were many times I wanted to quit the race, but I would think of the sharks and my will to save them encouraged me to keep going” Brian explains. 

The Shark Savers team applauds Brian’s herculean effort that raised over $130 and broadcasted the message to not only the other competitors and spectators, but also potentially reaching the estimated 50 million television viewers. Brian has plans to continue his support for Shark Savers by repeating his journey in the 2012 Ironman World Championships. We are grateful and inspired by his continued support of Shark Savers! 

This impressive feat of athleticism is one example of how people can apply their talents in unique ways to raise awareness and funds in support of the dedicated efforts of Shark Savers’ conservation programs.

But you don’t have to tackle a triathlon to make a difference. You, too, can create or celebrate an event by raising funds to save sharks and rays through Shark Savers' programs. Click here to learn more about creating your own fundraiser, with your personalized Donor Page for shark conservation. Thank you.


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