He's both History and Historian. Meet Bob Babbitt and come with us to Babbittville
Posted: Jul 31 2014
Let us tell you about a place. No, wait, it’s a person. Well, it’s sort of a person and a place. It/He is part historian and part endurance sports history. If we talk about “Him”, we’d say that we think he is simultaneously, the nicest, funniest and most well respected individual in all of triathlon.
If we talk about “It” as a place, we’d say it is will be the go to place for triathlon & endurance sports information, interviews and stories.
So are we talking about the Most Interesting Man in the World and his house? Perhaps we are. For we are talking about…drum roll…Mr. Bob Babbitt and his new house aka media empire known as the Babbitt Media Group/Babbittville!
Triathlon Hall of Fame Inductee
From time to time we write blog posts about people we like and we start off by saying something to the effect of “For those of you who don’t know him or her….”
Well, we can forget about using that phrase here. Everyone knows Bob. He has Olympic caliber storytelling skills and he has interviewed practically everybody who is anybody in Triathlon. But perhaps you didn’t know that Bob is quite the athlete himself. When he interviewed Coeur Athlete Katie Hursey, we went out to lunch with him. During our lunch session Bob shared a bit of his background.
You have to be fit to finish Ironman Hawaii on a bike with solid rubber tires!
He told us that his roommate way back when (I think it was the very early 80’s) was a guy named Ned Overend who later became a Mountain Bike champ. Bob and Ned read the Sports Illustrated story about the second Ironman and they decided to give it a shot themselves. Since this was pre-Internet, they just looked up the winner of the Ironman (a guy named Tom Warren) in the phone book and dialed him up. By the way, it kinda saddens me to think that some of you might not know what it means to “dial” a phone. In any event, after connecting, they convinced Tom to let them come visit. He invited them to his office which turned out to be an old motorhome. They met him at the office and then walked over to a nearby bar where Tom agreed to provide some mentoring.
The coaching combined with Bob’s natural ability worked and the next year Bob lined up and completed Ironman Hawaii. Bob shared another hilarious story with us about his bike but we’ll save it for another day. Well, we will share this part. We think it might be the only Hawaii Ironman finishing bike that was (1) bought at a police auction, (2) had literally been on fire and (3) had (if I recall correctly) solid rubber wheels!
Now, in addition to his athletic exploits, we hope you know that Bob was also instrumental in starting one of the most amazing organizations on the planet period! It is the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation or “CAF”. The CAF’s mission is to provide support to individuals with physical disabilities so that they can live an active lifestyle. The idea came to Bob and team after a friend named Jim MacLaren was hit by a vehicle during a triathlon. They wanted to buy Jim a Van and they started a fund raising effort that continues to this day in the form of Challenged Athletes Foundation. We are avid supporters of CAF and were lucky enough to get a tour when we dropped off our last donation check. Trust me, there were Zero dry eyes after the tour!
Now we’ve talked about some of this before, so you may be wondering why we’re writing about Bob. Well, the reason is that he is publicizing his new venture called the Babbitt Media Group and we (along with everyone else in endurance sports) want it to be a huge success. Why is that you ask? Well, it is partly because we know it will help grow the sport of Triathlon (that’s good for all of us) and mainly because if there is one guy that we’d like to succeed in a huge way, it is Bob.
We’re working with Bob to set up some video interviews for us at Kona, so we wanted to get you acquainted with his YouTube Channel . Here’s the link and we’d encourage you to take a look
Here’s the URL for the Babbitt Media Group
It’s still evolving but given the fact that Bob has written countless articles, half a dozen books and conducted over 700 interviews, we know it will be worth bookmarking. Bob notes that he’s excited about what is to come and so are we!