When will a scene like this next happen. Paula Newby-Fraser and Dave Scott get on the block to be numbered.
What? More Photos From Hawaii?!!Paula has done a phenomenal job with the reporting on the 2001 Hawaii Ironman but there are still some photos that I think are worth getting up and "in the news".
Question: Who's Jan Sibbersen? Well, if you don't know, watch the NBC broadcast. Jan was at our Boulder Ironman Camp this year and I was surprised to find a bunch of photos of him before and during the race. How would you like to enter your first Hawaiian Ironman (he qualified in his first ½-ironman in St. Croix) and be in the LEAD on the bike. Not leading your age-group, mind you, but leading the whole race. Jan is a former Olympic swimmer from Germany (Jan is pronounced "yawn" which is appropriate for a ya-ya) and was first out of the water and, from what I witnessed, the first person to ride the new first part of the Hawaii Ironman Bike course. Jan was also one of the fortunate ones. Working in finance, Jan was transferred from his job at the World Trade Center to Germany only a month before the Sep. 11 attack. Talk about a blessed man!
What about Mark Allen? Mark had a constant presence around Kona during the week leading up to the race as he promoted his E-Grip coaching and establishing a more formal relationship with WTC. The real reason he came to Kona, however, was to serve me breakfast on my birthday. It war really unnecessary but that's the kind of guy he is. I guess you spend 5-years getting your butt kicked from the coast of Southern California clear out to the Eastern plains of Colorado and there is some pay back at the end. Thanks Cleo (Mark)!
What about Paula and Dave. Will these two ever toe the line in Hawaii again? Between these two living legends there are 14 Ironman Hawaii victories. Astounding. There are a lot of athletes who raced this year and can say, "Yeah, I remember racing Paula and Dave . . ." How 'bout Wing Nut? Wendy Ingraham has been a fixture at Ironman races all over the world and says 2001 is her last time coming to Hawaii. Why should one of the sport's most popular women beat her head in at a race that she admits "I'll probably never win when I can do some of the international races, win, and make a decent pay check." This is one of the realities facing the WTC. Yes, Hawaii is the biggest stage but what's to keep some of the top professionals from skipping the most expensive race in the sport to concentrate on the watered down fields of Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Lanzarote, Brazil, France, etc., etc. I hope the professionals of this era can get their act together and somehow leverage some help with their expenses from an event that provides a great television show largely on their backs.
While I'm on the professional topic . . . when are all races that have mass starts give the professional women a break and create a separate lane line (if not separate start) that runs the entire distance from the start to the first turn. That would give the women clear (or clearer) water before getting the tar beaten out of them by stronger age-group men. The bottom line is that age-group men are having a big impact on the women's race. Don't believe, ask any of the top-5 women. All want a separated start. All complain that the age-group men do and have in the past, impacted the women's professional race.
Can you think of a better last name for a racer of any kind than "DeBoom"? It's been a long time coming but the younger of the DeBoom brothers showed that there was real TNT in that name. Obviously a tight family, it was good to see middle America get back on top of the Ironman podium. It couldn't have come at a more symbolic time.
More to come . . .