This is the kind of story we tell each other over a beer. It’s a triathlon classic from the wooly early days of the sport, when the world was just waking up to the notion of triathlon, and even folks in the business were learning as they went. It was on-the-job training for everyone,...Read More
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Here is some of the latest news in the world of triathlons and triathlon history.
Five individuals, whose involvement spanned the breadth and length of the sport since its inception were named to the USAT Hall of Fame in March
John and Judy Collins translated the fledgling, cobbled-up sport from its muddy roots on San Diego's Fiesta Island to what would become the grand stage of the Ironman in Hawaii. The story of how Naval Commander John Collins loosed the Ironman phenomenon on the world has been widely told and mis-told; the reality is less dramatic than some tellings, but still fascinating and always crtically important to the establishment and growth of the sport.
Roman Catholic Religious Sister Madonna Buder, recognized for her long and enduring career as an age group triathlete, has completed more than 300 triathlons over the course of more than 30 years – each with the humility and goodwill one might expect from someone of her religious persuasion. Along the way she has no doubt motivated any number of individuals, young and old, to set aside doubts and take to multi-sport. The media, understandably, has loved her every step of the way.
Pro triathlete Mike Pigg announced himself to the triathlon world with a third place finish at the Bud Light USTS race in Livermore, Calif., in 1985 and was a major factor in every race he entered after that. With his family often in attendance at his races, wearing pink "Pigg Power" T-shirts, Mike Pigg was the first triathlete to consistently and successfully challenge the reign of the Big Four – Allen, Scott, Tinley and Molina – at Olympic-distance races across the country. Appropriately, his best finish at the Ironman in Kona came with a second place to his old USTS rival, Scott Molina.
The iconoclastic Tom Warren, winner of the 1979 "Iron Man" Triathlon on Ohau, personified the early days of the sport with a lifestyle and philosophy that was beholden to no preconceived notions of conformity. It was as much Warren's personality as the Iron Man itself, that turned Barry McDermott's article in Sports Illustrated that year into a cornerstone of the multisport movement. No one has every collected the wisdom of Tom Warren in a book of quotations, but someone should. "Why should you assume you should go slower when you get tired? He mused. "Why not try going faster?" And, "I don't care much to go back and try a goal after I've failed, he said. "Because I already have it figured out."
Among the Age-Groupers at the 2013 the Go-Pro Ironman in Kona… were two influential former winners of the race: Gordon Haller, 53, who won the first Iron Man Triathlon on Oahu in 1978, and Kathleen McCartney, 54, whose dramatic victory over Julie Moss in Feb 1982 helped kicked off an international multisport movement. Haller finished his 23rd Ironman event in 14:19:41. (His time in 1978 was 11:46:58). McCartney finished in 13:19.59.
USAT recently announced their 2014 Retro Tri Series… a fifteen race series of events scattered across the country. Distances are advertised at “300-400 yard swim, 5-10 mile bike and 2-5k run.” USAT website claims that “the Retro Tri Series is taking a step back to those days by offering a unique series that highlights the retro allure that once was. Retro attire is encouraged to enhance the experience and atmosphere!” TriHistory.com loves the opportunity to bust out crusty 25 year old Speedos in an effort to enhance the allure that never left. USAT also suggests that “all events within the series are not required to be timed, but timing is acceptable.” TriHistory.com is also intrigued by what else in the sport might not be required but acceptable.
In 2014, Multisport.com…arguably the first group to create and disseminate generic triathlon training programs online, celebrates its 15th anniversary. Founder/principles Paula Newby Fraser, Norm Paul Huddle, Roch Frey, and Heather Fuhr represent a kind of micro royalty of triathlon with dozens of international titles amongst them. Their group set occupational standards for what an elite athlete might do for “real work” after their retirement from sport.