Babbittville Radio

Gwen Jorgensen left her job as a CPA to become the best female triathlete on the ITU circuit and win the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in triathlon. After becoming a mom, she shocked the endurance world by deciding to move to the marathon in order to get Olympic gold number two. Gwen joined me a few days after making her announcement to talk about her decision and the road ahead of her.

 

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Cam Wurf rowed in the 2004 Olympics for Australia, still cycles professionally, trains on a regular basis with the 2017 Tour de France and Vuelta Espana champion Chris Froome, broke the bike course record in Kona on October 14th, and is training for his EIGHTH Ironman of the year. On top of all that….the guy is simply a total blast to chat with. Enjoy!

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Renowned chef Richard Blais came in studio to chat about his career, his books, his restaurants, winning Top Chef All-Stars, and how he lost 60 pounds and is getting ready for his fifth TCS New York City Marathon. He is running New York to raise funds for roomtoread.org.

 

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This was Lucy's first time racing the Ironman World Championship as a professional, and she told herself to go for it from the start, because she had nothing to lose. Lucy talked about how the conditions in Kona are relentless and it was a gamble to ride as hard as she did. But it paid off.

Watch the interview with Lucy here.

 

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We went through Lionel's race at the Ironman World Championship, and talked about some of the decisions he made, and what he learned for next time. Asked about his journey from dark days to yesterday's performance: “It took me 8 years of dreaming, failing, and adversity, but you keep working hard. I told myself yesterday: ‘You dreamed it, so go and achieve it.'”

Watch the interview with Lionel here

 

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The 2017 Ironman World Champion joined us on the morning after his victory to talk about his race.

Watch the interview with Patrick here.

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The 3-time Ironman World Champion shared insight into her incredible victory the morning after her race.

Watch the interview with Daniela here.

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Heather Jackson was the top American woman at the 2017 Ironman World Championship, finishing in 4th place, and we went through her day, and the great battles during the race that she had with the other leaders. Heather shared her take aways from the experience, and what she loves so much about racing in Kona.

Watch the interview with Heather here.

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Andy Potts was the top American finisher at the 2017 Ironman World Championship, finishing in 7th place. He joined us the morning after his race to talk about his training leading into the race and how his day went.

Watch the interview with Andy here.

 

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James Cunnama is on a major roll this year, winning three times in a row, including Ironman Hamburg. He’s finished as high as 4th here in Kona, and is ready to keep things rolling at this year’s Ironman World Championship with a great performance. James talked with us about what working with coach Brett Sutton brings to the table for him. He also shared with us that it has been his goal to win the Ironman World Championship since 2008. Could this be the year he reaches that goal?

Watch the interview with James here.

 

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Daniela Ryf is on the brink of joining the rarefied air of winning the Ironman World Championship three years in a row. She comes in to Kona after a training block on Maui, and after a huge win at the 70.3 World Championship in September. The “Angry Bird” seems ready to fly on Saturday!

Watch the interview with Daniela here.

 

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Timothy O'Donnell has finished third, fifth and sixth in Kona. Is this the year the new dad becomes the first American male to win the most important event in the sport since Tim DeBoom in 2002?

Watch the interview with Timothy here.

 

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Michelle Vesterby is simply one of the most fun people to interview….ever. Enjoy our pre-race conversation from our 2017 edition of Breakfast with Bob from Kona.

Watch the interview with Michelle here.

 

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Lionel Sanders has one goal for Saturday: Get out of the water with fellow top cyclist Sebastian Kienle. If that happens, the fireworks at the front will be fun to watch!

Watch the inteview with Lionel here.

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Lucy Charles is racing the Ironman World Championship for the first time as a pro, after winning her age group here last year, as well as the 70.3 World Championship. Lucy comes in to Kona on the heels of a 2nd place at Ironman Frankfurt and a win at Ironman Lanzarote. The former elite swimmer, with a PR of just over two hours for an open water 10K, will be definitely be shaking things up on Saturday morning!

Watch the interview with Lucy here.

 

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The two-time defending Ironman World Champion Jan Frodeno talked with us about what he learned from last year's race, and what it's like to balance life as a professional athlete and a dad.

Watch the interview with Jan here.

 

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We kicked off our 2017 edition of Breakfast with Bob from Kona with Sebastian Kienle. The 2014 Ironman World Champion shared insight into how he approaches racing here in Kona. Sebastian also talked about his charity initiative this year with More Than Sport, giving back to the island. Info can be found here: https://www.morethansport.org/pages/sebi

Watch the interview with Sebastian here.

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Thiago Vinhal from Brazil is getting ready for his first Ironman World Championship after taking fifth at the 2017 Ironman Brazil and second at the 2016 Ironman Malaysia. As you might imagine, he's pretty excited to go head to head with the best in the world on October 14th.

 

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Matt Dixon is a top triathlon coach and the founder of Purple Patch Fitness. His new book, Fast-Track Triathlete, comes out on October 14th. He came on the show with one of his age-group athletes, amputee Alan Shanken, to talk about how to successfully compete at all distances while keeping training hours to a minimum.

 

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Regas Woods is a double above-knee amputee track star who took home a gold medal in the long jump and a silver medal at 100 meters at the 2015 Pan Am Games and ran the 200 and long jumped in Rio at the 2016 Paralympic Games. He is also disappointed that single above-knee amputees have been pushing successfully to keep double above-knee amputees from participating against them. For years, paralympic sport was all about inclusion. Now, according to Regas, it is not.

 

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From our Classics Interview Series: Enjoy this interview with Steve Larsen from the summer of 2008

Steve Larsen did it all as an athlete. He grew up in Davis, California where local boy Dave Scott was his hero. Greg LeMond set him up on his bike, and he began bike racing at the age of 13. Lance Armstrong, Bobby Julich and George Hincapie were guys he raced with and against. He competed in the Giro d’Italia twice, moved to mountain biking and won two NORBA National titles, won XTERRA events, and blew everyone away when he won his first ever Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid. So when, at the age of 38, the owner of his own business and the father of five decided to give Ironman another fling, the guy proved once again that he is simply an athletic freak.

In this interview, Paul Huddle and I chatted with Steve after he finished 5th at Ironman Coeur d'Alene. Steve was simply an awesome interview who never hesitated to tell it like it was.

 

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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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