Sunday, February 3, 2008

Endurance Sports Awards

On Saturday night I had the opportunity to attend the Endurance Sports Awards at Sea World San Diego as a guest of GenR8. The Endurance Sports Awards honor the year's most outstanding triathlete, runner, cyclist, and physically challenged athlete. Additionally, inductees of the Ironman Hall of Fame are announced at the ESAs. The Sea World venue keeps the ambiance fun and irreverent. After passing through the checkpoint/entry you are given a type of debit card that allows you to play some of the carnival type games. After failing in the ring toss, I was able to redeem myself by completely DOMINATING the hedgehog bopping game, winning an exquisite purple stuffed animal!
Some Orange County training partners in attendance were Mark Matyazic, iMichelle Barton, Scott White of Fleet Feet Laguna Niguel and Art Sosa.

From the ESA site:

..."It started small. A few hundred people gathered at a local San Diego Hotel to give awards to a few athletes and to honor Dave Scott as the first inductee into the Ironman Hall of Fame. Fifteen years later, the Competitor Magazine Endurance Sports Awards Gala has become something much, much more. Labeled "The Academy Awards of Endurance Sports" by Entertainment Tonight, the evening sells out with 600 attendees at spectacular Sea World. Those in attendance get to see the world's greatest endurance athletes up close and personal. Greg LeMond, Ron Kiefel, Davis Phinney, Alexi Grewal and Rebecca Twigg from cycling. Steve Scott, Rod Dixon, Alberto Salazar, Deena Kastor, Henry Rono, Billy Mills, Meb Keflezighi and Eamonn Coghlan from running. Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser, Mark Allen, Scott Tinley, Peter Reid, Heather Fuhr, Greg Welch and Natascha Badmann from triathlon.

Plus special awards to Sports Illustrated, Dateline and MTV for showcasing our sports to the world and to celebrities like Will Ferrell and David James Elliott for embracing the endurance sports lifestyle.There is a bond between the runner, the triathlete and the cyclist. While their equipment might be different, the dedication and effort it takes to succeed are exactly the same.The Competitor Magazine Endurance Sports Awards Gala was created to celebrate the accomplishments of these amazing athletes. It is an evening that is guaranteed to motivate and inspire. It is an evening you do not want to miss. "...

This year's honorees included:

Chris McCormack - Male Triathlete of the Year
Sam McGlone - Female Triathlete of the Year
Ryan Hall - Runner of the Year,
Conrad Stoltz - Xterra athlete of the Year,
Taylor Phinney-Cyclist of the Year.
Saul Raisin - Engines of Change Award
Triathlon Legend - Heather Fuhr
Thrive Award - (double amputee) Scott Riggsby

In attendance were names like Mark Allen, Paula Newby Frasier, Heather Fuhr, Scott Tinley, Kenny Souza, Paul Thomas, Navy SEAL, ultramarathoner and ultradistance triathlete David Goggins, and many others. During his speech, Chris McCormack mentioned that in high school he had a Mark Allen poster over his bed. I found this interesting because I had the same poster in my bedroom in high school! Unfortunately that's where the similarities end between "Macca" and yours truly. If you ever have the chance to attend the ESAs, do it!

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