In the beginning there was running, cycling and swimming. Don’t I mean swimming, cycling and running? Nope. That’s how it started. We really are a bunch of athletes doing things all backwards. If you haven’t read the History of Triathlon, you should and like a good little blogger I’ve added this handy link http://www.triathlonhistory.com/ “On race day 46 eager contenders toed the line” at the first triathlon in Mission Bay, California and a sport was born.
Aside: It’s pretty funny how things just become sports all of a sudden. Like these participation sports of running through mud and climbing walls and getting electrocuted. Who knows, maybe one day that will be an Olympic event too.
Ironman started a bit differently however. Four years after the first running of the race in San Diego a swimmer, cyclist and runner were all sitting around Hawaii with apparently no surfing, snorkeling or fishing to do so they thought they’d see who was the toughest athlete. With no tape measure or ruler nearby they had to settle it based on a race of all three sports around the island. The guy that could swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a full marathon the fastest was deemed the Ironman. I still wonder if that title is some inside joke between those three.
It must have been interesting in those days. I’m pretty sure goggles were invented by then, so the swim might have been relatively similar. Running shoes are basically back to what they were in the late 70s, so I’m sure running must be similar too. Those bikes though, now those have changed just a bit.
Looking through the all the crap gear I have acquired to do this sport, I wonder what life would have been like as a triathlete in the 80s. Roll in with your steel bike with state-of-the-art biopace cranks and set up your revolutionary Nike Airs in transition. Your nutrition was dialed by SOLO the Original thirst crusher:
Nothing much to worry about right? One major problem: how are they going to see your race number if it’s attached to the back of your biking jersey? Sure, they’ve Jiffy-tattooed your number all over your body, but the rules state that your race number must be visible on the front for the run. Enter the revolutionary piece of triathlon equipment that is probably the most undervalued: the race belt. I seriously wonder what genius of a triathlete went to his local sewing shop to purchase a 10cent piece of elastic and a few safety pins to attach his number to. This guy should be in the triathlon hall of fame! What a game changer.
I bet it took many proto types and extensive R&D to come up with some of the modern models. Not only are they elastic waist belts, but they offer buckles and slide adjustments, toggles and snaps for bib application and this one utilizes the amazing power of magnets to make those pesky buckles that a two year old can operate easier for the mental capacity of a T2 transitioning athlete. Pure genius. I did a little research on what one of these amazing pieces of engineering will set back the average non-sponsored Age Group triathlete. Anywhere from $4.99 to $28.95 for that fancy magnetic one.
This guy has even dedicated an entire website to evaluating the performance of various race belts (or number belts as they are also known) to save you time in choosing your next bungee wonder. It’s devoted triathletes like these, with time to make sites about inanimate objects, who are really promoting the phenomenal athletic advances in our sport. Thanks for doing the leg work on this one Number Belt guy. I, for one, am glad I don’t have to fiddle with the dangers of safety pins.
This leaves me wondering where this technology will move next. Streamers off the sides? Bells? Diamond studs? Oh, I know! Race Belts with big ass belt buckles for personal style. Whatever happens next, I’m sure you’ll be thinking about me as you run out of T2 and adjust your race belt in your next race. So give’r.
Please note I was not offered any money or product to mention these products, not even for the SOLO drink.