Babbittville Radio

Chrissie Wellington retired from the sport of triathlon after going undefeated at the Ironman distance while recording the fastest time ever for 140.6 miles for women at Challenge Roth -8:18 with a 2:44 marathon- while also winning four Ironman World Championship titles. It was just announced that Chrissie will be in Kona in October to be inducted into the Ironman Triathlon Hall of fame! Her new book To The Finish Line, is being released in the U.S. soon and Chrissie will be doing a book tour before and after the Ironman World Championship.

 

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Dr. Cory Foulk lives on the Big Island, and a number of years ago he thought that the Ironman was getting a tad too expensive and people were losing site of the fact that it’s not about the cost of the bike you ride, it’s about the toughness of the person riding that bike. So what did he do? He qualified for the race and then rolled in his 61-pound Schwinn Typhoon that he had bought for $15. When he got to the transition area, he was told he couldn’t bring a bike in that had a kickstand on it. He took the kickstand off, but then had to put it back on when the officials realized his tires were too thick to fit into the bike rack. He came out of the swim, put on his Hawaiian shirt, and rode 112 miles barefoot on his cruiser bike that had only one gear. He made all of the cut off times that day and proved that it’s the athlete that matters at the Ironman, not what that athlete spends on equipment.

 

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2017 has been a breakout year for 24 year old Ironman 70.3 World Championship Silver Medalist Ben Kanute. Coach Jim Vance joined me for a chat about working with Ben Kanute, and helping him make the jump up to the 70.3 distance from ITU racing. We also chatted about Jim's run data observations at Chattanooga and in Kona.

 

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Steve Tomboni has been putting on races for 25 years. For the past six, he has been growing the Viking Dash Trail Run Series throughout the U.S. and Canada. The next one coming up is October 28 in Tejon Ranch.

 

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Phil Keoghan is best known for the Amazing Race, but he is also a huge cycling fan, and accomplished cyclist. Phil joined me to chat about LE RIDE. The documentary follows Phil and his friend Ben Cornell as they attempt to recreate the original route of the 1928 Tour de France. Averaging 240 kilometres a day for 26 days, Phil and Ben traverse both the unforgiving mountains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, on original vintage steel racing bikes with no gears and marginal brakes. The documentary takes inspiration from the remarkable true story of Australians Sir Hubert Opperman, Ernie Bainbridge and Percy Osborne, and New Zealander Harry Watson as the first English speaking team to compete in the Tour de France. They arrived after six weeks at sea, under-trained and under-resourced, untested and completely written off by the French media. The 1928 Tour was the toughest in history – a hell on wheels race of attrition. Only 41 finished out of 161 starters yet remarkably three were from the Australasian team. This extraordinary story of achievement against the odds has never been told on film – until now. More info and showings can be found here

 

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From our Classics Interview Series: A short, but memorable interview with Pat Tillman.

Pat Tillman gave up a lucrative career in the NFL to fight and die for his country in Afghanistan. During every off-season of his pro football career, Tillman would set a goal outside of football and go for it. One year he trained for and ran a marathon. The next year he set his sights on the Blackwater Eagleman Triathlon and came on air with Bob Babbitt and Paul Huddle to chat about his plans for race day. You can hear his zest for life in his voice during this interview. Pat Tillman was a very special man who will never be forgotten.

 

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He raced for the U.S. in the 2016 Olympic Triathlon and is still competing on the ITU circuit. This year the 24 year old has jumped into longer distances and took third at Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico, fifth at the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship in St. George and then an impressive second at the 70.3 World Championship to Javier Gomez.

 

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Kaisa Sali had watched the Ironman World Championship on TV in the early 1990s and, at the age of 12, told her dad she wanted to ride the length of the Ironman bike course, 180k, on her tiny pink mountain bike. They finished at grandma's house and, when little Kaisa found out they had only ridden 172k, Kaisa insisted they get back out there and ride another 8k. She tried for years to become the first Finnish triathlete to make it to the Olympics but came up empty. But starting in 2014 she moved up to the Ironman 70.3 and eventually to the full Ironman. In her first Ironman World Championship in 2016, she finished fifth. What does 2017 hold? The podium sure would be nice!

 

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It's B-A-C-K! After a one year vacation while Lake San Antonio became a lake again, the legendary Wildflower Triathlon will be back in 2018 over the May 4th weekend to celebrate it's 35th anniversary. Registration opens up at wildflowertriathlon.com on September 19th. Wildflower's founder Terry Davis came on to chat about one of the world's greatest events!

READ the official race announcement here.

 

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Semper Tri is one of the coolest triathlons around. You get to race on Camp Pendleton and finish on a hovercraft. How awesome  is that? Jill Prichard from camppendletonraces.com came on to chat about one of my all-time favorite events, coming up on September 23rd. Thinking of racing? Use code BOB17 and get 15% off registration.

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Rocky Harris is the new CEO at USA Triathlon and, after a great conversation, I feel the sport is in great hands!

 

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Race director JT Lyons joined me to chat about the San Diego Triathlon Classic coming up on Saturday, September 9th at Liberty Station. To register go to sandiegotriathlonclassic.com

 

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Australia's Sarah Crowley is having an epic season with wins at the Australian Long Course Championship, the Asia Pacific Ironman Championship, the European Ironman Championship in Frankfurt, and the ITU Long Course World Championship in Penticton. Next up? Her second attempt at the Ironman World Championship.

 

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Lucy Charles from the UK was dealing with a shoulder injury from years of elite level swimming when she jumped into the sport of triathlon. As an age group athlete in 2015 she won the 18-24 age division at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and the Ironman World Championship. In 2017 she won her first Ironman as a pro in Lanzarote, took second at Ironman Frankfurt and is now gearing up for her first Ironman World Championship as a pro.

 

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Willie Stewart just might be the greatest endurance athlete you've never heard of. Who else with only one arm has kayaked the Grand Canyon, run the HURT 100, taken home a Paralympic Medal in Cross Country skiing, won the Catalina Marathon overall, completed numerous Ironman Triathlon, Escape from Alcatraz, and XTERRA events, plus motivated thousands of challenged athletes all over the world? You can now add finishing the Leadman to his long list of accomplishments.

 

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It's not often that I am left speechless during an interview. In this interview, Jorge Mendoza takes us through his night of horror when he woke up in a pool of blood from a vascular issue in one leg and nearly bled to death. His journey from that night forward proves once again the far-reaching impact of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and the power of sport.

READ more about Jorge here.

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Nicole Ver Kuilen is a University of Michigan grad who lost her leg to cancer when she was ten years old. On September 1st she is leaving Seattle and the plan is to swim, ride, and run 1,500 miles to San Diego for The Challenged Athletes Foundation San Diego Triathlon Challenge on October 22nd. Nicole came on a few days before heading out on her journey to chat about her background and her plans. To find out more, visit forreststump.org

 

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Heather Jackson finished fifth in Kona at the Ironman World Championship in 2015 and third in 2016. She came on to chat about her career, her love of the sport, and her goal of winning triathlon’s most important event.

 

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Classics Interview Series: Jim MacLaren, June 2005

Jim MacLaren has had an amazing life. A 300 pound football player at Yale, in 1985 he was hit by a New York City bus while on his motorcycle and became a lower leg amputee. Eight years later, MacLaren was hit again, this time by a van while on his bike during a race, and became a quadriplegic. Believe it or not, that is just the beginning of the Jim MacLaren story.

 

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From our Breakfast with Bob interviews at Ironman Mont Tremblant: enjoy the audio from our pre-race interview with Rachel Joyce

It had been a while since Rachel and I chatted, so it was great to catch up. Rachel talked about what it is like to be a parent, as well as what it has been like to get back in the training and racing mode after becoming a mom. Rachel discussed some of the important take aways she gained as an observer of the Ironman World Championships in 2016 that she hopes to apply in October!

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From our Breakfast with Bob interviews at Ironman Mont Tremblant: enjoy the audio from our pre-race interview with Marino Vanhoenacker.

It was a real treat to get to sit down with the great Marino Vanhoenacker. We talked about how Marino first got into the sport of triathlon, his incredible record of 15 Ironman wins (now 16!), and he shared his thoughts on the Lionel Sanders – Sebastian Kienle rivalry, and how it's shaking up racing and raising the bar.

 

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Mary Beth Ellis won 11 Ironman titles in her awesome career including three at Ironman Mont Tremblant. Since we will be doing Breakfast with Bob from Ironman Mont Tremblant, we reached out to MBE to get her insights into one of her favorite events.

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Canadian Lionel Sanders just won the Challenge World Championship after a classic one-on-one battle with 2014 Ironman World Champion Sebastian Kienle. Speaking of classics, this interview with Lionel is one of my all-time favorites!

 

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Lars Finanger is a firm believer in the future of the swimrun two person team events that started out in Sweden. The second annual sold out Casco Bay Islands SwimRun in Maine is coming up on August 13th and people are loving the concept.

 

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She just took third at Ironman Canada after a great swim and a course record bike ride. Rachel McBride joined us to chat about her great race and her plans for the rest of 2017.

 

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Aussie Lauren Parker had finished tenth and second in her age group at the Ironman World Championship. In April of this year she was training for Ironman Australia when both bike tires flatted at the same time and she ended up paralyzed. Three months after her accident we chatted about what she has been through and her goal to get back to Kona.

 

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Liz McTernan from the UK was paralyzed in a scuba diving accident on June 19, 2005. She found paracycling seven years ago, became one of the world's best handcyclists, and just punched her ticket to Kona for her first ever Ironman this October.

 

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One of Joe De Sena's early races had a total of eight participants. How things have changed! There are now over 200 Spartan Races around the world drawing over one million participants, plus a top ranked TV show on NBC.

 

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Gven Sariol is a long-time cyclist, triathlete, and attorney who focuses on bicycle safety and educating cyclists on their rights and what to do in case of an accident.

 

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Classics Interview Series:  Tom Warren

From the archives, enjoy this classic interview from 2013: Tom Warren is the 1979 Ironman World Champion and one of our all-time favorite people. The guy always comes up with a story we never heard before!

 

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