If We Were Riding’ is a weekly triathlon-ish newsletter written by Kelly O’Mara and produced by Live Feisty Media. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every Wednesday morning. You can also read past issues. This episode is from Jan. 16, 2019.
OK, I’ve been training for a week, am I fit yet?
It turns out no, I’m not, and also I’m not signed up for any races. A perk of racing pro is we don’t have to sign up for things a year in advance. (Props to all the new girls who have upgraded this year, and there are quite a few. Get ready for fun in the elite field.) So I’m weighing options: Challenge Baja in March, maybe Peru 70.3 in April, Wildflower in May. That’s the plan right now, but who knows. Gotta go with your gut on these things and sometimes your gut changes…
Everyone’s been sharing those Facebook photo challenges this week—here’s what my first profile pic looked like, here’s what it looks like now, how have I changed. Which is definitely not a massive conspiracy. And the thing is some of us joined Facebook in spring 2004 and the profile pictures from then don’t even exist anymore. So instead let me share a photo from my second triathlon ever, the Bearathlon in the spring of 2006.
How have I changed since then? Well, I know how to ride a bike now. (Literally didn’t then, yo. Had to practice at the park a lot.) Also I quit triathlon for awhile after graduation and then I came back a little bit ago. Oh, and also, ideally, I’m much much faster now.
In that vein: Tommy Zaferes, husband of Katie, has been sharing his “#triathmeets” on Instagram. With each photo he shares the story of how he first met the individual famous triathlete: Flora Duffy, Rachel Klamer, Vincent Luis. As a former ITU racer and now pro photographer, Tommy knows a lot of famous triathletes. It’s a fun idea and they’re mostly fun stories.
Let’s get nostalgic this week and on the podcast we’ll talk about when I first met Sara. And maybe I’ll add a story about how I met Alyssa for those Ironwomen podcast fans.
Quick sum up: Wanda Group owns Ironman/World Triathlon Corporation, which itself owns a whole bunch of other running races & stuff. (Cliffs notes here.) Wanda, however, has been struggling with some internal Chinese bureaucracy and financial issues. It’s an open secret the company’s been exploring possibilities for Ironman and the rest of its sports holdings. Wanda now appears to be looking for $500 million from its IPO.
What does this IPO mean for us, as triathletes? Honestly, I’m not 100% sure. Usually this kind of move means the company’s looking for a cash influx. It also generally means there’ll be more of a drive to maximize profit and serve shareholders (which is really only a relatively recent financial standard—the shareholder above all else—on a total side point). However, as someone joked to me, what even would it look like if Ironman was more profit-driven? Guess we’ll see.
Who are the fittest 50?
Sports Illustrated published its list of 50 Fittest Athletes in the World. Obviously, this a highly objective and very scientific listing with no room for error or debate. And in that non-subjective listing we’ve got Daniela Ryf at #8 and Gwen Jorgensen at #5 (though I’m not sure if that’s Gwen as triathlete or Gwen as marathoner) on the women’s list, and Patrick Lange at #14 on the men’s list. SI now splits up the list into top 25 men and top 25 women, which I don’t think they always did. It’s also worth noting Jesse Diggins at #23, Mary Keitany at #14, Caster Semenya in #13, Courtney Dauwalter at #12, Emma Coburn in #9, Katie Ledecky at #6, Kipchoge at #21 and Jim Walmsley at #23, even though IMO Jim’s the most nuts of them all. And the Crossfit champs, Mat Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey, who literally have the title of fittest person in the world, came in at #6 and #3—not sure what that means about the list objectivity. Though Simone Biles is #1, so.
Name as many non-ball sports as you can
This weekend I was at an NBA game, as you do, and one of the crowd participation activities faced off two players trying to name as many non-ball sports as they could. They did NOT get very many. Literally, one player could only name: swimming and, uh, track.
Here’s what Steve and I came up with, what did we miss:
Also the field events from track and field
Snowboarding (all the disciplines)
Skiing (XC & downhill)
Bobsled, skeleton, luge
Is yoga a sport?
- #JavierIsBack 🏆🏆🏆Reports are the five-time ITU world champ is leaving Ironman distance racing after his one Kona go to make another Olympic team. Because he is the greatest.
- The Vatican will also have a track team trying to make the Olympics, because apparently we still act like it’s its own country?
- A 90-year-old cyclist got a doping violation, but even the USADA believes it was from tainted meat. Which is just, ugh.
- In other bizarre cycling news: Astana made a rap video. And it’s super fucking weird.
- The video *actually* blowing up the internet this week: UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi is fire. And the energy we need now. Of note, she opened up last year about being broken and feeling overweight.
- Someone in Rio tried to rob an MMA fighter. She didn’t take it well.
- Thanks Bernice Sandler, godmother of Title IX, for all you did.
- A group of youth volunteers helped clean up the closed down parks. Though a good question is: WHY THE FUCK ARE THE PARKS STILL OPEN ANYWAY AND BEING DESTROYED?
- The thing I’m thinking about the most this week: What if everything about sunscreen and eliminating our sun exposure is wrong? All the research suggests, on the aggregate, we screwed this one up.
Comments & thoughts
Some thoughts, emails, messages and notes from listeners and readers this week.
– Caroline says the best training location is Mallorca. So get over there.
– “Thank goodness we aren’t riding, because I’d probably fall off my bike in fits of laughter, debate,” says Steph. “I can’t get enough of you two! The dynamic is really wonderful – the content is so useful, practical, honest.” She also thinks my mom should be getting royalties, which is basically free Krave jerky.
– And a couple of people sent in their goals, per Sara’s request on the podcast. You’ll have to listen on Friday to hear them.