A friend lent me “30 Years of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship“, a book by Bob Babbit. The extract below from the forward.
“They run a full marathon, 26 miles (42.2km)?”
“They run a full marathon after they swim and they bike?”
“How far do they swim and bike?”
“The swim is about two and a half miles (3.8km) – in the ocean. And the bike is 112 miles (180km).”
“One hundred and twelve miles? That’s crazy!! How did they come up with those distances?”
“It’s what’s available. They do the swim right in front of the Outrigger Canoe Club, out and back. Then they ride around the perimeter of the island.
Then they run the route of the Honolulu Marathon.”
“Are they sure someone can actually do this?”
It seemed like a logical question.
“Believe it or not, it’s already been done. I’m sending you an article from Sports Illustrated. We’re just going to do a report of some kind, because the event takes the whole day.”
Jim Lampley’s phone conversation with his boss Dennis Lewis Coordinating Producer of ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1980. Jim wasn’t sure he had heard Dennis correctly.