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January 2014

The Original "Iron Man" Sanction Packet

The original 1978 Hawaii Iron Man (sic) event permit. It’s arguably true that without this document, the Ironman – perhaps even triathlon as an organized international sport -- might not exist today. It would be going a bit far, however, to call Mr. D.E. Parsons, Small Boats Harbor Manager in Oahu, the father of triathlon. He played an unwittingly key role, however. Wonder if he knows? 

Tugs Tavern Swim-Run-Swim

Before there was ITU, before there was Ironman, and before there was an Olympic Triathlon there was Tug’s Tavern Swim-Run-Swim. Begun in July of 1975 on the shores of San Diego’s Mission Beach, Tug’s was our world championship of multisport. “Tug” was Tom “Tug” Warren, winner of the 1979 Iron Man on Oahu and owner of Tug’s Tavern, a hangout for surfers, bikers, college ne’er-do-wells and a certain class of runners. 

Diana Nyad Interviews On The Run

Jennifer Hinshaw was in the lead on the bike at the Ricoh Ironman in May, 1983 when long-distance swimmer and ABC television commentator Diana Nyad decided it was time for an up-close-and-personal interview. Back in those days the on-camera ABC Sports talent wore distinctive yellow blazers; the camera never saw what was going on below – in this case shorts and running shoes. No one ever faulted Diana for her work ethic. Jennifer might have questioned her timing in this case, however.

Pocket Change Triathlon

Those Were The Days 

Folks paying $500 for an entry fee and riding a $15,000 bike might get a kick out of this blurb from the dim recesses of multi-sport history: the July 1980 issue of the San Diego Track Club News. This is the real thing, run on the same course as the original race four years previously, staged by the same organization. Quaint? Awesome? Depends upon your point of view.  Note the contact person.  If you don’t know him, you should.

The Strange, Sad Tale of John E. DuPont

This is a rather macabre bit of memorabilia – a piece profiling John. E. duPont from the official program for the 1982 Ft. Lauderdale Bud Light USTS. The race that year was hosted by the International Swimming Hall of Fame, an organization with a close association with duPont back in those days. duPont was the real thing in terms of being an actual (and quite wealthy) duPont, but he was a strange man and a lifelong wanna-be athlete who took a number of sports under his financial wing, including triathlon, pentathlon and amateur wrestling.