Rob Barel with the tools of his off-season trade: Speedgolf & surfing.
Rob Barel - From the Green to the Green RoomIt's a bird, it's a plane, it's Rob Barel! Last weekend, a true triathlon legend blew into town. Normally, when you mention the phrase "triathlon legend", you think of names like Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Scott Molina, or someone who's career is pretty much over. At the ripe old age of 42, Rob Barel is still kicking butt. Who was 4th at the '84 Hawaiian Ironman? Yup, Rob Barel? Ok, who was 4th at the '90 Hawaiian Ironman? Right again, Rob Barel. Ok, who won the '94 Nice Triathlon? You got it, Rob Barel. Now on the ITU World Cup train, Rob is looking to make the Olympic team for Holland in 2000. If he does (and U.S. cyclist Kent Bostick doesn't come out of the woodwork again), Rob could well be the oldest competitor at the 2000 Games in Sydney (though I don't know what the ages of the skeet shooters and archers are). Anyone interested in making a bet that he'll be there?
So, what do you do on the rare occasion when Rob Barel comes to town and is in rest mode? You invite him for a morning of off-season training - California style. At 5:50am we teed-off for 30 holes of speedgolf and were in the water by 7:30am at 15th Street in Del Mar for and two hours of "surfing". Rob's comment at the end of it all was, "Well, it's a good thing I don't have to make a living on the golf course or on a surfboard." Indeed. The morning ended listening to two legends (read: dionsaurs) talking about the good old days over strong coffee. It's true, the older you get, the better you are.