Triathlon legend Scott Tinley and journalist Mike Plant have launched a new collaborative website devoted to the history and culture of triathlon (trihistory.com). Tinley, who won the Ironman World Championship twice (1982, 1985) and the Ironman World Series three times, was inducted into both the Triathlon and Ironman Hall of Fame upon when he retired from competition in 1999. The recent PhD (and artistic photographer) has been lecturing on the sociology and culture of sports at San Diego State University for years.
Tinley has multiple and far-reaching connections to the sport of triathlon beyond his own athletic accomplishments. helped found and develop the sport of off-road triathlon and continues to co-own and manage the longest running off-road triathlon in the world, Scott Tinley’s Adventures in San Luis Obispo, California.
The website launch features articles, photos and narratives from the founders’ own personal archives, although Tinley and Plant hope that readers will add to the project with their own stories.
“Mike and I feel the same about our disparate but connected pasts in the sport,” said Tinley. “We could not have been more fortunate to be cast into those early cauldrons, to be standing on the swampy sands of Fiesta Island looking at each other and just laughing at how much damn fun this really hard new sport could be. There was something about triathlon and perhaps it’s only now that we can all step back and ask WTF was that all about?”
Tinley made his name in triathlon competing against the likes of Dave Scott, Mark Allen and Scott Molina, and Plant is a photojournalist and author of the book Iron Will, which covers the history of the Hawaii Ironman.
“Scott and I personally own volumes of historically significant information – and have access to a lot more” said Plant. “Most of it was seen originally by a relatively small audience; some of it was never published at all. I see this site as kind of a big scrapbook, personally narrated by the people who were there at the time.”
Not meant to be an exhaustive database for stats, the website aims to collect and feature the narratives of the sport. “With the help of you, our readers, we will tell the stories behind the stories – tales that for one reason or another never made it into the published record,” they add.