Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)

Degree Level





Dale Carpenter

Committee Member

Larry Foley

Second Committee Member

Tom Hapgood


Communication and the arts


The documentary film Ironman: The Gordon Haller Story takes a look at an ordinary man who accomplished the extraordinary feat of winning the first Ironman triathlon in 1978. Gordon Haller was born and raised in Oregon before a career in the United States Navy took him to Hawaii where he would eventually participate in the first Ironman competition. He is now a programmer analyst for Walmart, living with his wife in Bella Vista, Arkansas. This 26-minute film includes interviews with Haller as well as his wife, a friend and the director of development at the American Diabetes Association where he volunteers. The documentary film is comprised of footage I shot at the Hallers’ home, a local hospital, and at regional races. This film provides a look at other aspects of Gordon Haller’s life besides his race victory nearly four decades ago. The film also explores how his athletic endeavors have continued to affect his life both in negative and positive ways. The goal of this film is to illustrate how a person is more than his or her accomplishments. The purpose of this documentary is to show while Haller did accomplish an impressive athletic achievement, he is still a regular guy.