*** many thanks to Matt Warnock for this post ***
Guess what… triathlon is cool!!!
Why’s that, you ask? Because it encourages a healthy lifestyle? Because it increases self-confidence? Because it increases productivity and overall happiness among those that participate? Because there are lots of cool gadgets you can buy?
Hell no! Coz the dude from Saved By The Bell does it, dumbass!
That’s right, AC Slater – he of the Soul-glo hairdo that was so Afro-licious that even Simon Kelly would envy him – now does triathlon.
And he’s not the only ‘schelebridee’ to get in on the triathlon act, either. Super-jock and regional wrestling champ AC Slater – sorry, I mean actor Mario Lopez – took part in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon back in 2009 and this is the epicentre of celeb tri. In fact, there’s a whole category just for famous folk.
Any young man in his early 30s out there will have fond memories of Teri Hatcher when she used to go out with superman. Although Superman dumped her long ago coz she has a face like a scary witch, Hatcher keeps her bod looking pretty darn good with a bit of tri – raising money for charity while she does it.
When JLo isn’t busy making up weird new names, she loves a bit of swim, bike, run too. She completed the sprint distance at Malibu in 2.23, which is longer but considerably less painful than most her films.
Professional leaner and wooden actor, Matthew Mahogany, is big mates with Lance Armstrong and shares his love of endurance sports. Mahogany did the sprint in 1.30 which, let’s face it, is a bit rubbish for someone who has loads of money and no real job.
The best Malibu triathletes, however, (best as in people I like most, not fastest) surely must be David Duchovny (climbs well over Twin Peaks), Jeremy Piven and Will Ferrell – who hopefully took part as research for a Blades of Glory/Talladega Nights/Semi-Pro style movie set in the world of Ironman!
There’s even an awesome celebrity triathlon couple in the form of Felicity Huffman and William H Macy.
The UK equivalent of the Nautica Malibu Triathlon would be the London Triathlon, which the ‘always thought he seems like a decent bloke’ DJ and TV presenter Vernon Kaye completed in 2010. Aside from him, the London Triathlon tends to attract some lamo Z-listers or rubbish relayers, like Dickie Branson, who did the swim in a tri relay a few years ago. P-Middy also took part in a tri relay, looking considerably better than Branson when she did the run at Blenheim a couple of years ago.
The best celebrity triathletes (as in the fastest, not necessarily people I like the most) tend to come from the world of sport. The fact that they leave their own sport behind in order to challenge themselves in triathlon tells us one thing: triathletes are hard as nails.
F1 drivers, it seems, are fast around all courses. Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg can not only go close to 2hrs for Olympic distance triathlon (having access to a wind tunnel must help nail that aero bike position!) but both run around 35 minute 10kms, which is really impressive. Button won his AG at the Hawaiian Lavaman race recently and has even set up his own annual charity triathlon.
Olympic rower and famous adventurer James Cracknell is a handy triathlete too, and has even represented the GB age groups team at the European Championships.
Rowers seem to do well. Rebecca Romero, who has Olympic medals for both rowing and track cycling, competed in Ironman UK earlier this year, qualifying for Kona with 11.10 on a notoriously challenging course.
Other athletes to take to triathlon include former 400m running supremo Iwan Thomas, ex England rugby international Nick Beal, plus a load of Americans I’ve, frankly, never heard of.
But you don’t have to be a former athlete, or even all that young, to be bitten by the triathlon bug.
Former journalist and political aide, Alastair Campbell, now 55, has been a keen triathlete for a number of years, as has the 67 year old Sir Rocco Forte, who has several GB age group appearances to his name, as well as an impressive sub-12 hour time at Ironman Austria back when he was a mere 60-year-old whippersnapper.
Have I missed anyone out? Any other A, B, C or D listers out there who like to try their hand at tri every now and then?