Monday, October 13, 2014

Kona Weekend Coverage

This past weekend was the biggest weekend of the year for long distance triathlon racing.  Ironman Kona has dominated the hearts and minds of triathletes for years with its epic backdrop and historic performances.  This year's race did not disappoint as two very deserving champions won the day with phenomenal performances and heroic story arcs of doubt and uncertainty.  Selfishly, I was beyond excited to see two American boys that I have raced with finish 2nd and 4th.  It may seem pretty sappy, but the race made me proud to be called a 'professional triathlete'.

Here's a great run down of the race and some fantastic photos:

There is plenty of great coverage of the event online and I'm always happy to see the sport promoted outside of its very small niche.  I look to the sport as a way to make a living and any time we break out and reach a wider audience, I see it as a positive.  However, I tweeted earlier today that I was confused as to why Slowtwitch would publish and promote a 10+ minute video of an event that I feel takes away from the positive opportunity we have with the Kona weekend.  The 'Beer Mile' video on the site could be promoting the local community college fraternity if I didn't know better, not the pinnacle weekend of our sport.  To see a video with middle fingers, profanity, and vomiting on the front page two days after our 'Superbowl' just struck me as poor judgement.

Slowtwitch does not owe me anything, in fact I feel I owe the site for covering my sport and my racing.  I have learned a lot from the site (both good and bad... the forum is a dangerously fun place) and respect all of the men involved.  When reaching out to potential sponsors not familiar with the sport, I often point them to Slowtwitch to show them the quality of what I do and the community that comes with it.  I believe the site does a great job of blending the amazing athletic achievements with the fun and light-hearted camaraderie that come with the sport of triathlon.  The Cupcakes videos are fantastic and perhaps the Beer Mile is a way of continuing to expand the scope of our sport even further.  Now that I'm a new dad and getting grey hairs I may just be getting old and cranky.

I am definitely not offended by the video and honestly think the event was probably a lot of fun.  I have nothing against those involved and I am by no means throwing stones in a glass house. Anyone with pictures/stories from my college days could probably vouch for that.  I am simply saying that some things are not meant to be promoted or celebrated.  Ever see a "Beer Mile" with NFL athletes on the ESPN website?  I'd venture to guess there would be more likely fines involved as opposed to applause in a sport isn't exactly full of admirable characters...

The Bud Light Triathlon Series back in the day was great for the sport because it brought in money and attention.  There are a few athletes like Linsey Corbin who have beer sponsors and I'd love to connect with Stone Brewery as they are coming to Richmond (YES!).  I enjoy a good beer now and again and think that it may make a better recovery drink than Chocolate (or White) milk... But in my opinion the Beer Mile coverage was in poor taste.

Perhaps there was nothing else to cover on the island this weekend, but anyone heard about this guy?

Alex Zanardi

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