Monday, December 11, 2006

Student of the Sport

A Triathlon.


One day, a few people who were training together, thought that it'd be a good idea to spur a little friendly competition by creating a race where you have to swim, bike and run. So, on 9/25/74, the San Diego Track Club gave birth to the modern day triathlon right here in Mission Bay. They created this event for FUN! 46 athletes competed, and little did anyone know, that San Diego would become a hot bed for triathlon, and that the world was soon to become our race course!

We as humans have this amazing tendency to grow things. To take something and run with it. To dream larger than thought possible. To push the envelope. To put logic and reality out the window in the face of competition.

Enter the Ironman Triathlon.

Swim 2.4 miles
Bike 112 miles
Run 26.2 miles

All in one day. Back to Back to Back.

Why on earth would anyone want to do this?

Enter debate and competition.

Some people on Oahu one day were arguing whether long distance swimmers or long distance runners are more athletically fit. Little did they know that a US Navy Commander was listening and quickly pointed out that cyclists are probably more fit since a Belgium cyclist recently recorded the highest maximum oxygen uptake of any athlete ever measured.

What better way to settle this debate, than create a really long race that includes all 3?!

Waikiki Rough Water Swim: 2.4 miles
Around Oahu Bike Race: 115 miles*
Honolulu Marathon: 26.2 miles
* (later reduced to 112 miles so that the start/finish of the bike was at the start finish for the swim and traditional start of honolulu marathon)

1st year: 15 participants
Winning Time: 11:46:58

2nd year: 50 participants
Winning Time: 11:15:56

Now, we have IM races that sell out (2000 participants) in less than an hour! We have professional triathletes (only a few) that have broke the 8 hour mark.

The word amazing can really be interpreted a number of ways, but there is no doubel that we as humans really are amazing. Can we ever really find "the limit"?

I guess our bike and gear have to progres with us humans!

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