It was with great disappointment that we recently learned of your decision not to race the Ironman Hawaii World Championships. Our little triathlon hearts twittered when you recently tweeted:
"no Kona for me. Unless hangin out, riding bikes, and swimming w/ whales over the holidays count"
So in a desperate, last-ditch effort to try to convince you to come and race at the greatest triathlon event on the planet, here are 10 reasons we think you should come race Ironman Hawaii.
#10: The Chamois Is Thinner. Let's face it, Lance - that thick, bulky chamois lining the underside of your bike shorts may make the daily Tour de France long haul a bit more comfortable, but it ultimately looks like a chunky diaper when you're not on the bike, and us triathletes are all about sexiness over function. So we have a nice, thin, quick-drying chamois you can wear - and as a bonus, it won't leave hemorrhoid-sized cheek chafing after the marathon.
#9: Better Time Trial Warm-Up. We've all seen you on Versus, churning away on the boring stationary trainer prior to your big time trial. Well guess what? We have a better time trial warm-up: a 2.4 mile swim. No more blank staring at the side of a truck while you spin in silence - instead, you get to look at fishes, coral and even girls in swimsuits! You'll arrive at your time trial bike refreshed, wet, and laughing wildly.
#8: Fewer Cars. Forget that bumper-to-bumper traffic you experience on the Tour, Lance! Not only does the lonely Queen K highway have far fewer vehicles, but our sanctioning organization has actually banned much of the media from even being out there on the course! Just imagine: miles and miles of untrafficked wilderness to ride, with just you, the silent and beautiful lava fields, and a few hundred panting, rabid pro triathletes killing themselves in a futile effort to keep up with you.
#7: Lower IQ Requirements. You can turn off your brain, Lance, because you don't have to ride in a pack at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. You don't have to respond with cat-like reflexes to a back tire just centimeters from your front tire, or elbow other competitors as their handle bars brush against your thighs. You don't have to hold the intense mental focus of a pack-riding roadie. As a matter of fact, you can pretty much just point your bike in one direction, pedal for 56 miles, then turn around and go the other way. That's it. No cycling IQ required, Lance. With your clout, they may even let you listen to your favorite Sheryl Crow tunes as you churn along.
#6: Hawaii Has Better Coffee Than France. Dark, rich, Kona coffee, Lance. Mmm. Are you licking your chops? Forget foie gras, baguettes, steak frites and endives. You can get a freshly brewed island coffee, and even a huge cinnamon roll at Lava Java. They even have a Bubba Gump's in Kailua, Lance. Did you ever seen one of those in Paris?
#5: Safety. When was the last time you watched the Ironman Hawaii coverage on NBC and saw a huge pile-up of cyclists, with grown men crying and broken bones protruding from skin as confused, spandex-clad athletes wandered aimlessly in a futile attempt to locate their destroyed bicycles? The worst injury you'll sustain at Ironman is a jellyfish sting, which you pee on and forget about. Frankly, you're in a big, beautiful safety bubble when you're racing Ironman. Compared to the gladiator-fest that is Tour de France, Ironman is like a moving buffet that starts with a dip in the pool and ends with a light stroll down the highway.
#4: Look Good Next to Fat Triathletes. We'll admit it Lance. Compared to you uber-cyclists, triathletes are freaking fat. The average pant leg size of a typical triathlete is probably big enough to squeeze an entire male cyclist into, along with a couple of his buddies. Imagine how good you'll look parading your chiseled quads, tiny waist, and skinny arms next to a bunch of porky Ironman triathletes. By your calorie counting cyclist standards, we'll look like swimsuit models from the 1940's.
#3: Ice Sponges. They come in many colors, these ice sponges. Pink, blue, green and yellow portals of icy, refreshing goodness. You can stuff them under your shoulder straps, into your armpits, down your crotch, or even make them into little spongy sculptures to wear under your spandex when you triumphantly cross the finish line. They're even free. Do they have ice sponges at the Tour, Lance? Huh, do they?
#2: Huge Prize Money. I hope you're sitting down Lance. Let's just say you come to compete at Ironman Hawaii, and let's just say that you win. Do you know how much money you'll win. Five figures? Ha! Guess again. HIGH five figures? Nope, that's still not high enough. SIX FIGURES. HIGH six figures? Slow down, champ. But either way, this means that with your winnings at Ironman World Championships, you could buy close to three Ford Flexes, possibly even four.
#1: More Twitter Followers. At last count, @lancearmstrong had 2,791,520 Twitter followers. Nobody will deny that one of the defining characteristics of success for a pro triathlete is the number of Twitter followers you have. Imagine an entire NBC audience, as well as anybody that can squeeze onto IronmanLive.com, watching you race Ironman Hawaii, and then following you on twitter. With just the USA's population of triathletes, you could potentially grow your Twitter following by 10% with a single race. And no amount of champagne can replace that feeling.v Need we say more, Lance?
What ever madness inspired you to forego your dreams of competing this year in the Ironman World Championships, we hope we've returned you to sanity. Seven Tour de France wins would merely be the icing on the cake of your ultimate victory - an Ironman title. We know you can swim like a fish, bike like a rocket, and even run a marathon wearing basketball shorts.
See you there, Lance.
Ben Greenfield has been coaching athletes for over a decade from the website http://www.pacificfit.net, and is author of the modern triathlon coaching manual, "How To Be A Triathlon Coach," at http://www.triathloncoachguide.com.