Welcome to trihistory.com

History, it has been argued, is written by the victors. But In this case, it is being written by a few of us who were there and are willing to write it. A fool’s errand, perhaps.  Surely, the question will be asked and answered: Does anyone really care? Time will tell.  

Why trihistory.com?  Well, why history of anything at all? Historians are driven to remember, record, interpret. It feels almost genetic. You’re either interested in the past or you’re not. It means something to you or it doesn’t.  But if it does -- and particularly if it’s connected to a physical activity in which you are actively, perhaps even passionately, involved – you’re all in. We’re interested in the history of triathlon for the same reason we’re interested in the history of our families, our parents; it matters how it all came together. It matters because we are both players in the ongoing genealogical drama and products of all that has gone before. 

The Latest Features

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The boat escort has always and already been a part of the Escape experience. In ’91 Oakes and Co. organized a traditional whaling boat to keep the swimmer safes from cargo ships and white whales. Photo courtesy of Eric Gilsenan

“If the earth has a soul and Alcatraz Island is stuck in some geographical purgatory, it would all make sense, would it not? It could pay the penance of all those who had used this place for evil by itself acting like a bridge. -- S.Tinley, from The Alcatraz Swimmer’s Manual by Joe Oakes

“One day when I die, I hope that most of what flashes before my eyes includes memories of the Tuesday Run.” -- Paul Huddle
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Left to right: Gary Peterson, Kathleen McCartney, ST, Tom Lux, Chris Miller, Ted Pulaski, Steve Fletcher, and Stan Silbert. Photo: Mike Plant

Like many things that shaped the sport of triathlon, the Tuesday Run was catalyzed mostly by accident. And a little design. Nothing but a group of like-minded endurance freaks in search of their mirror deviates…in search of speed. When that handful of San Diego-based triathletes decided sometime in the spring of 1983 to meet every Tuesday morning, it began a 20-year streak of pleasure and pain. The time was 7:30 AM. and the entry point was a public street adjacent to the private Lomas Santa Fe Country Club.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
cover of merged TRIATHLETE magazine

It wasn't just the sport that was trying to figure out what it was—and what it could be—in the early days. Fifth magazine iteration shown.

It was the day after the 2.4-mile Waikiki Rough Water Swim in September, 1979. I sat in the Sans Souci restaurant next to the Outrigger Canoe Club as the scent of sweet plumeria wafted through the open windows that faced the long curve of Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach. I was lunching with one of my two publishing partners, Penny Little, and enjoying the grilled Mahi Mahi and more than a few Mai Tais.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Was Marseilles, France the original Fiesta Island? (Paul Cezanne's The Gulf of Marseilles as seen from Lestaque) 

People love to celebrate birthdates for the sake of celebration, a bit of history, and a few beers. And in the case of the first triathlon, TriHistory.com is guilty of this charge.  Forty years to the hour after 9/25/74, when forty one participants gathered on those boggy and incomplete shores of Mission Bay, a bunch of us gathered and drank beer. And celebrated our locally-global history. Much ballyhoo was awarded San Diego’s Fiesta Island; the group back-slapping each other…damn we were young and bitchin’ then. So prescient, so tan.