This weekend I recieved my Ironman DVD collection! I'm going to give a review of each year's DVD (17 years worth!) for anyone who is interested.
First off, it's funny to see what television was like nearly 20 years ago. Everything about it is hilarious! The graphics, music, and generally everything else is really hokey. This was also a time when everything was "cutting edge" (as described by the commentators). Whether it's the mix of Gatorade to achieve the correct amount of electrolytes and carbohyrates, the bikes, or the heartrate monitors, everything is "state of the art." I guess that hasn't really changed that much but it's funny to see how far the sport, and technology in general, has advanced since then. One thing that I never realized before is that John Tesh is the narrator. I recognize the voice now that I know it's him but I thought that was pretty funny. Not exactly the guy you think of when you picture hardcore athletes. Anyway, moving on...
The DVD focuses primarily on the elite athletes. The more recent IM coverage I've seen has a really strong emphasis on those "human interest," type stories. I'm not sure when this started happening but I assume that it was probably close to the end of the 90's. Anyway, the race was basically between Mark Allen (USA) and Greg Welch (Australia). I found myself rooting for Greg Welch and I'm not really sure why but in the end Mark Allen broke away and whipped everyone! What amazes me is that despite the advances since then in technology the finishing times are extremely close. Allen finished with a time of 8:18:32. In 2008, champion Craig Alexander finished with a time of 8:17:45. To me this is a indicator of just how fit the athletes in the 80's and 90's were. Despite all the advances in aerodynamics, equipment, etc. there hasn't been a huge jump in performance. Mark Allen's bike sponsor? Huffy. How many triathletes are riding Huffy's now-a-days?
Alright, stay tuned for the next review. It'll probably be awhile since I'm trying to space these DVD's out. If I let myself I could spend an entire day and watch them all back to back but I'm trying to save them. I'm sure by the time I hit IMKY I'll have watched these things multiple times apiece but I'm trying to savor them.