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Mike Plant

Bio

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

Chaos Theory

Marc Evans had what it took to bring order and organization to the early days of triathlon training.
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Back in the day when people were still looking at triathletes as if they were gods or fools, Miranda Carfrae was still in diapers, and fig newtons and chocolate chip cookies were the multisport energy foods of choice, a young man in Walnut Creek, California decided that he had what it took to be a triathlon coach.

The Beast from the East

Sunday, October 16, 2016

There was a post in mid-October on the excellent French triathlon Facebook site, Triathlon : plongée dans l'histoire avec les légendes à bord featuring USAT Hall-of-Famer Ken Glah on a vintage cover of Triathlete magazine, and with a reference to Glah as “The Beast from The East.” 

Finishing Touches - Ironman Great Mark Allen Sees "TO Version 2.0" in 2016

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tim O'Donnell, with about a mile to go.  He will finish in third place, wobbly, but happy, at the end. If TO and his coach Mark Allen have it right, there are more and bigger things to come. (Photo: Mike Plant/Tri-History)

By all accounts, the performance of 35-year-old American triathlete Tim O’Donnell at the 2015 Ironman World Championships in Kona was a breakthrough – especially so on the bike. There was a discernable note of surprise in the race-day coverage when O’Donnell went strongly to the front on the way down from the turnaround at Hawi. And in interviews after the race, O’Donnell admitted to sharing in that surprise – at least a little. Suddenly, there he was in front. What now?

Way Back Then, In October

Thursday, October 22, 2015
Scott Molina at 1984 World's Toughest

Scott Molina was at the peak of his career (it was a long-lasting peak, to say the least) when he graced the cover of the October 1984 Running & Triathlon News. His win at the World Toughest Triathlon in September was the lead story in the publication that month. 

I was poking around the archives to see what happened in triathlon history around this time of year, and came across the October 1984 issue of Running & Triathlon News. Scott Molina was on the cover for having won in dominating fashion the World's Toughest Triathlon on September 8. Molina won the race by 40 minutes, over a mountainous course that suited his competitive strengths and relentless style to a T.

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