Countdown To Kona: Gone With The Wind (1998)

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With the Ironman World Championship set to take place 11 days from today, we take a look at back at each race from the past three decades. Today, we go back to 1998. All of the following photos and text are taken from the book, “30 Years of The Ironman Triathlon World Championship” by Bob Babbitt.

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“Frankly Jurgen, I don’t give a damn.” Peter Reid.

Yep. That’s the quote. Short, sweet, to the point. As the mumuku winds played flip-me-over-into-the-lava-fields twister with the 1,500 Ironwannabes and dished out Sherman-marching-on-Atlanta-type havoc to egos and bike splits alike on Iron morning, Canadian Peter Red was the guy sitting pretty in the eye of the storm.

As Jurgen Zach cycled his way to the lead about an eon earlier than expected, Peter “albino boy” Reid kept his white hair, whit outfit and white skin way the hell away from the lead. If Zach wanted to put together a solo assault on Mt. Ironman, if he wanted to wear the funny hat, toot the whistle and engineer the Zach Express from Kona to Hawi and back solo – “Hey,” Reid must have been thinking, “Knock yourself out boy.”

“Jurgen was set on being the fastest one out there today, on being first into the bike-run transition,” says Reid in his best Mark Allen-ese. “I wanted to win this race… not be the first guy off of the bike.”

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