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The Lava Report

Dave Ruby

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IMG 0080The town of Mooloolaba was absolutely buzzing and lit up with athletes running, cycling, swimming everywhere for the two days prior I arrived. I was little blown away at all of the activity. A tad aggro already and the race was still ahead. With such a huge foreign contingency I knew more kangaroos than competitors. Was great to bump into Craig Zelent and his wife Laurie. Seen here as Craig is departing transition after race. And then again later that eve in town. Craig and I became friends in 1995  after Ironman Japan where he had no place to lay his head after the race and I snuck him into the 100.00 a night hostel (hostel, not hotel)! I was hanging out in in Tokyo. I gave him my wrist entry band for place and it worked. Just doing what we had to do: We were starving/traveling athletes on shoestring budget. And hell he had no place to stay. And I remind him that everytime I see him : )


Other mate is Vincent Fournier seen here dropping me off in Brisbane for my 20 hour venture home. Vince is from Montreal, lives in British Virgin Islands, may soon be moving to Cabo San Lucas with his girlfriend, and is just a straight up great guy. Athlete as well. And a breath of fresh air to triathlon. Good on ya Vince. Hope to surf Shipwrecks in Cabo with you one day.IMG 0138IMG 0124IMG 0122

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Nope have not blogged lately. I am going to make more effort regarding so. My true mission for website from the beginning is and always will be to expose our worth as a sponsored athlete(s). I am trying to be more of a social media participant but I am still old school and prefer upfront and personable. Nothing IMO beats a good old solid reputation.

  Jodi races Ironman World Championships in Kona less than one month away. She qualified last month @ Ironman Vineman.  I believe this will be her 6th or 7th qualified appearance. After not taking my spot with a win Ironman Panama 70.3, I did so somewhat impulsively at awards in May the night of racing Ironman St. Croix. Then did not commit and purchase airline ticket to Australia for World Championships until into the 2nd week of August. So yep pretty much winged another one. Seems to work for me that anyway.

  Having unloaded my TT bike built for Panama (and after Panama) I recently built an old 650c steel framed Merlin. I resurrected from my bone yard of used parts. Tested it once riding through Camp Pendleton. Felt good. Could have used a 55t chainring over the 54 but no big deal. As typical 90% training on my mtn. bike via awesome Safariland/Kona carbon 29er with the 1X. I have no problem transferring over training from one bike to another. Heck been doing it a very long time now.

        The swim in Mooloolaba Beach was spectacular. My swim training here consists of a few times a week @ LA Fitness pool with a nice long once a week jaunt around Oceanside pier to the harbor. Cool two miles. Can not see the ocean bottom once outside a few hundred yards. But seen it the entire 1.2 miles in Oz. The bike course was epic as well.  Although I could feel the rear tubular getting soft at around mile 45ish or thought so. But was not 100%. Convinced myself at the time: Nah....... but confirmed it after the race (run) upon retrieving bike.......yep maybe 40lbs at most left in the sew up. Brand new tubular too. Just like the old days that's an expensive flat. And cost a little time on the course as well. No worries. Could have been worse.

I will share much about the trip with some great race and non race pics from my "walkabout" after the competition. I would  like to express how wonderful the Aussie's were/are and how beautiful their country is. I expected good and experienced great. As for my race, finished smack about middle of the pack. Going into it I did not expect or anticipate that good of an outcome at the time so am very stoked with all of it.
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RAAM start is this weekend. Start line is the precious Oceanside Pier. Finish is Annapolis, Maryland. I personally cheer/pull/root for all. But just a little more for those missing a limb. Or paralyzed. Or any personal challenge that makes this grueling race all the even more: Grueling. It is not only physically but mentally, emotionally and possibly spiritually.

    We will again volunteer wherever needed. Last year it was pre race massage/stretch. Each and every athlete were so nice and genuinely grateful. It is a breath of fresh air. May all the riders have fresh air and the winds at their backs. Wishing a safe journey to all.IMG 1754IMG 1752IMG 1732IMG 1745

Brian Longs 3k rough water swim was just that last weekend: With a nice south swell rolling in it was ..........Rough water!!   Would like to commend the few dozen+ young Oceanside Lifeguards whom all suited up for swimmers safety spread out in the surf and along the buoy markers. They are young yet so mature. But it is obvious they are trained and effcient. You can see it in their display. Several swimmers required attention in the big surf. These kids answered it. It is an honor to be invited to the Oceanside Swim and Lifeguard Charity yearly and I will continue to bid and donate on things I do not need(this year I won the So Cal RAAM entry then only to fly out to St. Croix for Ironman the weekend it was held) But it is all about the cause anyway. And there are homemade desserts to choose which no doubt if won would get used quick. By me.

  Jodi chose to paddle around the beautiful O'Side Harbor on her SUP. She is too......a true waterman. Or I mean water wahine. Oceanside has so many wonderful activities to go along with this cool and fun town this season. And we will taste all of it again: World Body Surfing Contest. The Tiki 2.4mile swim. Oceanside Longboard Surf Contest. Labor day Pier Swim. And then of course some of the awesome Camp Pendleton events. Like a kid out for summer: We will play.

And pick up trash with our newly bought 99cent store  trash grabbers combing the beach. And hope the influence is followed by others on the sand. Here's to a fun and safe summer all!!  : )
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2 m-100718610-DIGITAL HIGHRES-1281 000170-953439St. Croix as expected was brutal hot and humid. Beautiful too. Athletes got hit by Man of Wars during the swim and I had no idea the damage and pain they can inflict. I was not one of them but a few rooming near us and @ the dinner/awards were. Looked like acid was tossed on them. Some off to the emergency room and race over. Do not like hearing that. We had to swim to the island seen here for the start of the race. Different, cool and refreshing. My experience was great. Long open, out and back swim. I wish those that got hit could have only had the same.

    With no ages marked on our calves I could only guess as I spun out on the descents and false flats that a few were around mine. My rented bike had a 50/39 chainrings. Fine for climbing. Not so otherwise. For me anyway. But the race was what it was supposed to be: Challenging. That is was.


But Jodi just experienced in Ironman St. George this past weekend a much more challenging element: The freezing cold. Your body and organs react completely different than the opposite of heat (overheating is seriously dangerous as well). Body core drops below a certain level and it all (mainly coordination) goes in the wrong direction. Not to mention horrific uncomfortable. Head aches likeit is in a vise. Fingers, toes, most all extremities slow down to a  molasses like dexterity. Some more than others. Read any reports on the race and most suffered. I have over the years really acclimated to hot and humid races. Myself though and many others there is never acclimating to the cold. If your body core drops and you are at or near's no bueno. In any respect. Big difference between a nice cool temp. And freezing. Jodi will be sharing her experience soon right here so stay tuned!  And congrats to Jodi and all whom had to endure what may one of coldest conditions in a race to date. Sorry no pics yet but she will post some here soon10 m-100718610-DIGITAL HIGHRES-1281 001889-9534475 m-100718610-DIGITAL HIGHRES-1281 000557-9534427 m-100718610-DIGITAL HIGHRES-1281 001068-953444

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Just got in late last night from Ironman 70.3 St. Croix. Great trip. Exhausting travel. Exhausting race. Always surprises and always interesting experiences. I dug deep on the run and came out 2nd in division. Results and splits have me 5th off the bike. I knew there were at least a handful in front of me as our racks were division separated. Entering transition on my rented aluminum Giant Defy road bike there a handful of  very fast looking aero TT looking bikes already on my rack. My thoughts (other than damn that bike course was hard) were I ain't standing on no awards podium tonight. Nuh uh. Not a freakin chance. And all my doing. I chose not to travel with my personal bike (which by no means guarantees anything different) So I racked bike and ran. And ran.  And ran. And cramped. And  ran.  Into 2nd place by the finish. which I did not know until results were up. They did not body mark our ages on our calves and everyone I passed (and I got passed as well) pretty much looked fit and young(er). But obviously a few old salts as myself were in that mix.    This race is now one of my most treasured races ever. And I've got 30 years of racing in this sport.


It is now Jodi's weekend and she is headed for St. George 70.3 tomorrow for her race. It is also mothers day Sunday. After an absolute heroic performance on Jodi's part (her mother as well) as she dealt with her moms slow and life taking f'ing cancer, a few short  months after her passing, while sitting on the beach after Xterra World's this last October on Maui, Jodi shared with me she had brought her moms ashes along. She was not sure where to spread them. We had been seeing one particular Honu  while swimming near shore right out front of our room on a daily basis and it just felt so aloha. And right. Decision made.

I ran up and rented a surfboard, grabbed my 35mm and off Jodi paddled. It could not have been any more beautiful. She has tried to surf in the past and you best stay out of her way as the board seems to usually take control. Yet at this time she looked and paddled as though she grew up on one. When Jodi came to shore with tears in her eyes, it was not from just the spreading of her moms ashes, but that AND  seeing our friend the Honu (sea turtle) swimming along with her as she did so. Could not get any more special than that. We then seen the beautiful Loggerhead many x's after. Seemingly swimming right along with us at times.

Happy Mothers Day to our wonderful two moms. Missing them and loving them is something that just does not and most likely ever totally disappear. And similar to triathlon for myself: Been nearly 30 years.IMG 1081IMG 1074IMG 1082IMG 1067IMG 1071