Elvis was at the Underpants Run - uh, Elvis is now in the Ironman Hall of Fame - strange days indeed.
And yet more photos from Kona . . .How 'bout Bob Babbitt. Thank goodness the WTC saw fit to bring Bob into the Ironman Hall of Fame. The guy is a one man driving force behind multisports (that is, all of the sports that are red-headed step children to the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB) and one of the least self-serving people in the sport. Who else would run down Alii Drive in an Elvis outfit . . . with underpants on. Who else would be a founding member of a foundation that helps athletes in need of wheelchairs, prosthetics, and any other kind of help? You just have to spend an hour with the guy to realize you're just not doing enough.
What about some more race shots? They're not great but we did manage to get some of the other "players". What about Ryan Bolton? The guy didn't have the best swim and ride but boy can he run!
Then there are all the personal friends (family, really) who mean something to me. Kenny Souza - who lit the duathlon world on fire (and almost drowned at Kona) and was in Kona this year as a representative from Clif Bar. Not a better guy around . . . well maybe one or two. Some friends from Japan who I hadn't seen in a long time. Mitsuhiro Yamamoto - one of the first professional Japanese triathletes who is now the race director / organizer for Ironman Japan. Shiromoto - the true masters ichiban who's been winning his age-group for the past 15-years. He truly is the Mark Montgomery of Japan . . . but he's out living Mark's career. What would Hawaii be without Mickey Morera? The human megaphone now works the event in a more official capacity as a spotter for Ironmanlive.com - I liked it better when he was standing on Palani shouting obscenities at the athletes. Mickey could get a smile out of you no matter how badly you were suffering. The list goes on and on.
By the way, where the heck was Tinley? Don't tell me he's gotten a job! No, no, don't worry, he was busy with his masters - or is it his Ph.D. - or is he just extending his life without a job back at SDSU. Yeah ST, you've got to teach some classes for your professors - where did you come up with that story? It's going to move on whether we're there or not. I just hope the Ironman in Hawaii can keep it's soul as it continues to watch the bottom line. There's a feeling at this event that is unlike any other. Yeah, it's trite and tired but if you've been there you know it's true. It probably has more to do with the Island that it does the event. Let's hope the powers that be realize it.
Until 2002, Aloha.