You are here

Perspective

Aging Up

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My recent return to Xterra, and in some strange way, competition itself, was thwarted by the weather. But that sounds lame. Shit happens. After four days of near constant rain, the great majority of the bike and run course were mired in two or three inches of icy clay; that sticky earth of which bowls and mugs are shaped and fired. Great for a set of dishes when glazed but a challenging surface on which to run or push a bike up a steep slope as the red dirt collects, dries, and immobilizes movable parts.

Passing Lane

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dale Basescue 

1950’s fitness guru, Jack Lalanne, argued wrongly that “I can’t die; it will ruin my reputation.” The American icon lasted 96 years and three months before he passed quietly in January of 2011. At the root of any discussion on the cultural history of health and fitness, you will still find the name, Jack Lalanne. Increasingly, however, Jack Lalanne’s nine and one-half decade tenure stands anomalous to a troubling trend of athletes dying before their time.  

Pride To Fill The World - Rediscovering the Sport of Triathlon

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

On the last weekend of August, 2015, like thousands of other men and women across the globe, young and old, rich and poor, in all shapes, sizes and colors, across the continuum  of fitness from barely there to fiercely (and for most, naively so) competitive,  my 23-year old daughter McKenna finished her first triathlon. It was a lowly sprint-distance race held on a somewhat awkward course in Oakland, California. The finish line announcer didn’t call her name. There was not, in fact, a finish line announcer.

Tri Bum

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

If you offer that you are a triathlete, you are often greeted with awe, admiration, and support. It wasn't always that way. The modern triathlete, whether realized or not, undertake their quest cloaked in the safety of fashionability, a luxury afforded them by those who came before: The Tri Bums. They were the burgeoning sport's Quixotes and Mittys that today make completing an Ironman and hearing Mike Reilly's legendary call a bucket-list staple for athletes everywhere.

The Big Fifth -- A Look Back at Mike Pigg in His Prime

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We thought our readers would enjoy this look back at Mike Pigg by Scott Tinley, on the occasion of Mike's well-deserved induction into the USAT Hall of Fame. -- Ed 

MIKE PIGG TRAINED HARD. Where Molina did mega-miles and Dave Scott applied NorCal mystique and Mark Allen used a focused periodization, Pigg suffered. In the annals of raw, gut-level, in-your-face work, Pigg stands atop the pinnacle of journeyman efforts. 

Tri Geek

Monday, March 3, 2014

Jay Larson racing at the Carlsbad 5000.  And yes, that's Mark Allen on his shoulder. 

When I tell people I was a triathlete back in the mid-to-late 1980's, they always throw me in with true pioneers like Tinley, Moss, Warren, etc. I don't belong there, I was part of the next wave—I was what they spawned. Though ignominious, I did have an important contribution to the covered wagon era...I was first generation Tri Geek!—the first seduced—junkies, lusting for inclusion to a sexy, shiny new sport. However painful to observe, we were born of the oh-so-true, "...sincerest form of flattery" maxim. Tri Geek, along with "poser" and "wannabe," is stamped into the sport's lexicon.

Breakfast in Kona, Naked in Transition

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dan Empfield at the Ironman in Kona, Feb., 1981

For Mark Montgomery (Monty on the Slowtwitch Forum, and my next door neighbor), Scott Tinley, Scott Molina and I, it was our first Ironman and very near all of our first triathlons.  That was Kona in 1981, the first Ironman on the Big Island and when I say it was the first time we all attended that race I don’t mean to imply we knew each other.  We didn’t.  I don’t believe I met any of them until 1986 or later.

Why I Continue To Race

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Scott Molina at the Nice Triathlon in 1983. He's still racing hard, 31 years later. (Mike Plant photo)

For me the act of signing up for events is the key to continued motivation to find the best version of my athletic self. I don't actually need to do the races; they are almost always anti-climactic. I know that but it does not deter me. Signing up and knowing I have events is enough to help me find the urge to prepare, and it’s that process of preparation and all that's involved with it that keeps me in the game.

Doing a Sport’s History

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mike Plant photo 

The history of sport is the history of civilization; an appropriate and focused lens through which to observe, dissect, detail, and discern the ways in which humans interact as social beings. And the short history of triathlon begs for a longer lens on which to scan the landscape that rides beneath our modern feet.  For me, anyway, there are few things more engaging and more revealing than an historical sociology of sport.