Typically when one thinks of an infomercial they think of the Cham-Wow dude or Suzanne Somers rocking out her Thighmaster…
For triathletes, the infomercial takes on a different tone. Instead of some screaming dude hawking the latest and greatest can opener or cookware, triathlon’s version of an infomercial is the annual broadcast of the race in Kona.
And while Ironman and I have had a parting of ways (see here), I really enjoy the Kona show. Perhaps it’s the human drama that is an essential component of an iron distance race. Maybe it’s the stunning videography. It could be Al Trautwig’s compelling narration. Maybe it’s the seemless integration of RoadID commercials into the broadcast. Whatever it is, I typically enjoy the broadcast.
We all know the outcome of the race. That’s not why we watch the show, I don’t think. Many folks watch and dream. They picture the change that they can make in their life. They imagine themselves competing in triathlon, running an iron distance race….going the distance. For some, Saturday’s broadcast will be the virtual kick in the pants to get them off the couch. For others, the broadcast will reaffirm the lifestyle they have adopted. And yet, others will disregard the show completely as a result of the ownership of the Ironman brand.
My perspective is this….while I’ll likely never race an Ironman brand race again, I’m a fan of the TV show. I really believe that the stories done as part of the broadcast do a spectacular job humanizing our sport. As a result, more and more athletes discover triathlon. That, in and of itself, is a good thing.
And like many of you, I’ll be tuned in to NBC on Saturday afternoon to watch the show.
I might even break out a Thighmaster so I can make it a workout, too!