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Missing in the Mist

Sunday, May 7, 2017

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, athletes and race promoters alike. We’ve peered into most of the corners by now; most of us understand where the dangers lie. But back in the early 1980’s bad things could jump up out the dark and bite you hard, unexpectedly, in the strangest places.
The Bud Light US Triathlon Series was a primary driver of the growth of triathlon in the 1980’s.  The Series was a leader in production innovation, athlete safety, media relations, course design, venue selection and more. But being out in front of the curve carried risks, as well. When the USTS screwed up, it was usually big, and everyone knew it. And like I said, screw ups had a tendency to pop up under the oddest circumstances. -- MP
"There is a bit of history to this Atlanta race. The Bud Light USTS has been to Stone Mountain, Georgia before. The last time was back in 1984, and the scene is the same as it will be in ’87 -- Stone Mountain Park. While the race that year was not a total disaster, it came very, very close to being just that.  It was the Race of the Short Swim, the 1500-foot swim, the 500-meter swim, the dive in, take-three-strokes-and-turn swim that turned the hair of Race Director Caroline Muegge gray, and the head of CAT Sports Vice President Jim Curl a bit less lushly forested…"
(Click on the PDF link below to read the full story as it appeared in the official program of the 1987 Atlanta Bud Light USTS.)