Mark Allen at Nice
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Life at the front of the sport began with Bill Phillips -- A TriHistory Interview
All oral history is lost. Those cataclysmic moments when a parent or a preacher, a crook or cop pulled us aside and spoke to us of better times, of worse periods, of something or somebody or some idea that came before us, before Snapdoodle was our source of historical inspiration, are...Read More
In the history of triathlon there is perhaps no more significant race than the first U.S. Triathlon Series event on June 12, 1982 at Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego, California. It was, in retrospect, a rudimentary production, little more than a somewhat tentative proof of a wild-eyed...Read More
Before triathlon existed in Northern California, I raced triathlon Hall of Famer, Dave Scott, in a run-swim event. It was August of 1976 and the race was held at Pacific Shores in Redwood City, California. I’d known Dave from collegiate swimming and water polo but failed to ask him why he...Read More
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...Read More
Dale Basescu out of the water at the inaugural Bud Light USTS National Champonship in 1984. Mike Plant photo
Kiuru’s competitive fire produced seven international Ironman victories, including four wins in a row (1991-1994) in Australia. In the photo above he is leading Mark Allen at the 1991 Ironman in Kona. (Click on the photo for the full shot)
Carl Thomas on the Queen K Highway in 1985. At the time Bud Light was the sponsor of Thomas' U.S. Triathlon Series, and the Ironman in Kona.
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,...Read More
In 1998 France won the World Cup and snowboarding made its debut in the Winter Olympics at Nagano, Japan. Microsoft was the most valuable company in the world, the Dow dipped below five hundred, and President Clinton denied having sex with Monica Lewinsky. Alistair and Jonathon Brownlee were 10...Read More
To mark the recent 40th Anniversary of the IIonman World Triathlon Championship in Kona, Hawaii, I wanted to offer a survey of ideas and thoughts about the event I’ve penned over the past decades. But when I went through old files, most of the what I’d written was about the...Read More
"When the will and the imagination are in conflict, it is always the imagination that wins" -- Emile Coue'
The short history of triathlon might be written in the long search for style. How the sports’ participants sought a certain look, a feel, and a coveted approach to...
In my home office closest, gathering dust and the fur of my support staff, sits 23 years’ worth of Triathlete Magazines, 1987 to 2009. Recent life events had me staring at the carefully dated boxes. What made me start keeping the magazines and why are they still in my house?...Read More
My recent return to Xterra, and in some strange way, competition itself, was thwarted by the weather. But that sounds lame. Shit happens. After four days of near constant rain, the great majority of the bike and run course were mired in two or three inches of icy clay; that sticky earth of which...Read More
It sits like a time machine in a corner of my office: a large file drawer stuffed to overflowing with images from the original Bud Light US Triathlon Series, transferred several years ago from cardboard file boxes but never fully catalogued. The collection of unpublished negatives and proof...View Gallery
It was a grand idea by an early multisport impressario, Dave Horning: a point-to-point triathlon from the lower end of Manhattan, with a view of the Satue of Liberty, with a finish at the Liberty Bell in downtown Philadelphia. Easier said than done, but somehow most of the 140 starters made it...View Gallery
Over the past several years, I've been back at the Ironman World Championship in Kona with a different perspective than in the old days. I go now to see clients and pitch new business for my company, but I have no official role at the race itself. No credential, no passes, no access. This...View Gallery
“Most photographers seem to operate with a pane of glass between themselves and their subjects. They just can’t get inside and know the subject.” – W. Eugene Smith
It was sad to hear that running great Tom Fleming died last month of a heart attack at the still-young age of 65. Fittingly, he died while coaching a track meet. If he’d had a choice, I’m sure...Read More
William R. Katovsky didn’t like very many triathletes. And in a pathetic indictment of the sport, many of the self-anointed movers-and-shakers didn’t like him.
In the 1970s there was only Mike Plant, the Vietnam vet lurking in recycled fatigues, hiding in the rents and seams of an embryonic multisport world. Plant loved to hide behind his Nikon FT3, just beyond the edges of the race registration tent, the early transition zone, and the place that allowed him to re-integrate into The World. His photos represent a sentiment of hope and struggle; that the 70s weren’t just one big 60s hangover.
And then came color and disco and the rock and roll emergent sport of triathlon.