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Mike Plant


Author, photographer, journalist, and entrepreneur, Mike Plant has been a professional marketer and communicator for more than 40 years, with a career in multisport that spans almost the entire lifespan of the industry. As co-founding publisher of the San Diego-based Running News in the late 1970’s, he was arguably the first journalist anywhere to cover triathlon as a bona fide sport in its own right. During the 1980’s and 90’s his photographs and feature articles appeared in numerous national publications, including Runner’s World, Ultrasport, Outside, Elle, Women’s Sports & Fitness and many others. His feature article about the October, 1982 Ironman in Kona was the cover story of the inaugural edition of Triathlete (now Triathlon).  During the 1980’s, Mike served as writer, segment producer and on-air color commentator for endurance sports television productions by NBC, CBS, ESPN and numerous local network affiliates across the U.S.  His book “Iron Will” is widely acknowledged as a definitive history of the early days of the Hawaii Ironman. He also co-authored with Scott Tinley “Scott Tinley’s Winning Triathlon.” 

Mike was the finish line announcer/emcee at the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kona for four years, from 1987-1990. He and his wife Cathy spearheaded marketing and public relations for the Bud Light U.S. Triathlon Series through most of the 1980’s. The couple played a leading role in educating the mainstream sports media about the still-emerging sport. 

A lifelong athlete and fitness enthusiast, Mike was a three-sport varsity athlete in high school and a scholarship springboard diver at the University of Nebraska.  He placed third at the National Masters Age Group Diving Championships in 1996, and finished the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon in 1983. 

Mike is currently president and CEO of Mike Plant & Associates Inc., dba MPA Event Graphics, a leading supplier of large-format promotional signage (tents, banners, flags, table covers, inflatables, vehicle graphics, etc.) to promotional agencies, corporations, events and organizations. 

Recent Articles

Ron Smith (Date) - June 29, 2011

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ron Smith was an important person to both Scott and me. The man was a lion, a guy you could meet once and never forget – a personality as far out there on the edge as a person could go, yet as grounded and centered as a Buddist monk. His passing affected us both deeply, and we were each moved to mark the launch of with a personal essay. Ron would have not liked all the attention, but he would have loved this site. (MP) 

Game Change – The Malibu Triathlon, 1982

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It was November, 1982, and the sport of triathlon had just begun a claw its way out of the primordial multi-sport ooze.  This was back before aero bars, or even Power Bars.  It was a time when the choice of technical rehydration was mostly limited to green and orange Gatorade, and when a “professional” triathlete was anyone capable of running six miles off the bike in less than 46 minutes, and willing to do so in a Speedo, in public.  There was no such thing as an Ironman back then; there was only the Ironman -- one race, one place -- and the fact that the e