165 Days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga
As I journey down the road to IM703Chatty, I soak up a lot of ideas and inspiration from other people. And most of those people are promoters of the triathlon lifestyle: people passionate about our sport. In a previous post I already mentioned Bob Babbitt and his show, Babbittville Radio. But there are three others I want to recognize in this post.
A lot of people know this name. He’s the one who famously announces each IRONMAN finisher with his signature line, “… YOU. ARE. AN IRONMAN.” He published a book last year with many stories of professional, age group, challenged and special interest athletes that he’s known over the years. It’s a good read and very inspirational. As of this post I believe he’s still holding book signings around the world. In 2016 I sat down and visited with him about his past, his future, and his thoughts on endurance sport.
A couple of years ago I found Taren Gessel’s YouTube Channel and within 15 seconds I knew I had to subscribe. His passion and excitement are contagious, but to say he’s passionate about triathlon does not begin to capture his enthusiasm. Since I first saw his videos, he’s come out with training plans, kit, gadget reviews and just a whole lot more love for the sport and introducing it to the uninitiated. His podcasts with his wife, No Triathlon Kim (NTK), are full of good interviews, information and fun banter. You would think Taren asks the heavy questions while NTK keeps things simple, but she’s in there too with some great heavy hitters. The two work well together to create a fun, informative and accessible format. For an example, listen to their recent interview with Sebastian Kienle. Kienle reveals good thoughts on fellow professionals, overtraining, strategies, football and dogs.
CAF is not a who. It’s a what. It is the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Co-founded by Bob Babbitt, the CAF provides opportunities for challenged individuals to compete in sports. I admit that I don’t know a lot about their events, but I do know that they provide grants to help bring sport to a very deserving sector of the population.
I also know that when I saw Rudy Garcia-Tolson on the bike at IRONMAN Arizona in 2009, I was so inspired that the whole race faded away and I saw no one but him: the first double above the knee amputee to complete an IRONMAN.
Another athlete that came up through CAF is Roderick Sewell. Like Rudy, Roderick is double above the knee amputee. In 2019 he was the first such athlete to finish the IRONMAN World Championship.
Many Many Others
There are so many other people who love and promote the triathlon lifestyle and inspire me to be not just a better triathlete, but a better person. Chrissie Wellington, Melissa Stockwell, Scott Tinley, Julie Moss, Kathleen McCartney just to name a few. And there are thousands more out there. Some we know and most we don’t. In an upcoming post I’ll talk about one such person who is in the process of developing a line of high end casual wear for triathletes. His company is called brfl Triathlon and I think you’ll like what he has to offer.