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.
Formerly The Running News, the publication had evolved from The San Diego Track Club News, which I had edited on a volunteer basis starting in late 1979. By 1984, when we added the word "Triathlon" to the title, we had been covering multisport since 1981. Our free circulation had grown to around 100,000, with editions on San Diego, Los Angeles and Arizona. Bob Babbitt was our Los Angeles editor at the time.
The Running News was arguably the first widely circulated publication in the world to cover triathlon regularly, as a bona fide sport.
I have mentioned to folks on a number of occasions that Track Club members back then were not pleased with our swing in the direction of multisport. Triathlon was considered a bastard sport, more of a diversion than an activity worthy of serious editorial attention. That view is categorically denied now. And without a doubt, the San Diego Track Club deservedly shares a spot on the Founders podium. But the original scepticism was real; it was fun to read again my editorial on the topic in that October, '84 edition. You can see the original cover of that issue, and read the editorial in its entirety by clicking on the PDF link below.
I threw in the entire article about the World's Toughest for good measure. There's even an interview with Scott Molina at the end. Old timers will recognize some familiar names and faces. Click, enlarge to suit, and read away. (It's a multi-page PDF). As always, we invite your comments, and encourage you to spread the word.