During the week leading up to the 1994 Hawaiian Ironman, I scheduled a meeting of prominent race directors who were in Kona. We met in a hotel conference room and discussed the idea of combining mountain biking and trail running near a mountain lake. Some of the problems facing future growth of the sport at the time, included drafting, road closures, traffic, and un-exciting courses. An off-road triathlon, a few of us argued, would address all of those.
There was interest by the race directors but none of them had experience in the alpine sports. And they wanted a lot of seed money. Folks, I suggested, we can’t wait for the mythical 7-figure sponsor. Let’s find a local mud hole, a bike path, and see how this goes.