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Ironman World Championship NBC Show
Dec 7, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm PSTFree
Ironman World Championship Viewing
with Special Guests Mike Levine and Kathleen McCartney presented by Babbittville Radio
Location: Qualcomm Auditorium Building Q (Map)
5:15– 6:15 Food/Social
6:15 – 6:30 Announcements
6:30 – 7:00 Q&A by Bob Babbitt with Mike and Kathleen
7:00 – 8:15 Ironman Kona viewing
8:15 – 8:45 Bonus Q&A with Bob, Mike and Kathleen
Introduction by Bob Babbitt
Mike Levine was watching the ABC coverage of the February 1982 Ironman Triathlon and was mesmerized by the battle between Kathleen McCartney and Julie Moss. After seeing Kathleen win one of the closest Ironman races of all time, he got the bug and signed up for the October 1982 and 1983 Ironman World Championship races. Over the next 30 years Mike would complete over 100 races.
In July of 2015 Mike was diagnosed with stage four Pancreatic Cancer and given six to nine months to live. He was told to get his affairs in order and his wife Jan was making plans to move to the northwest so Mike could be with family while undergoing hospice care.
I had met Mike over the years and Jan reached out to me last November about putting together a going away party for Mike. Jan asked if I could invite some of our Ironman athletes from back in the day to say goodbye to Mike. The party was last December and Mike certainly did not look good. John Howard, Julie Moss, Ken Souza and a number of other triathletes from our era joined us that evening. One person who couldn’t make it was Kathleen McCartney, the woman who motivated Mike to get into triathlon and the Ironman back in the day.
Kathleen reached out a few days later and asked Mike if he’d like to go for a bike ride. Mike was on the couch totally worn out from a chemotherapy session and told Kathleen he didn’t think he could ride.
Kathleen wouldn’t take no for an answer and what started out as a few mile ride with frequent stops turned into long rides together up the coast of San Diego a few times a week plus a few swim and run sessions.
Kathleen gave me a call. “Bob,” she said. “I think Mike can do Kona. We’re riding 150 miles a week, his lungs are clear and he’s getting stronger every day.”
We surprised Mike with a slot in the Ironman World Championship at our 30th Anniversary Competitor Magazine party on June 29th and on October 14th, Kathleen and Mike were in Kailua Bay attempting the impossible.
Even though he was still going through chemo, Mike and Kathleen finished the 2.4 mile swim and got through 53 miles of the bike ride before Mike, who was getting dizzy and feeling unstable, realized this was not going to be his year.
Mike and Kathleen are going to be a big part of the NBC coverage of the Ironman that we’ll be premiering on Thursday evening December 7th. We’ll have a Q&A with Mike and Kathleen leading into the show and a follow up chat after the viewing as well.
The story of Mike and Kathleen and the Ironman is a great one. Come join us for what should be an unforgettable evening!
Triathlon fans around the world are captivated every October as they follow the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The attention shifts from triathlon fans to sports enthusiasts a month later when the coverage of the KONA™ race appears on NBC.
Television coverage has been a key component of IRONMAN’s growth over the last 36 years. The KONA™ event first gained mainstream media attention in 1979 when an article about the event appeared in Sports Illustrated. The story caught the eye of an ABC Sports producer, and in 1980, IRONMAN became a regular feature on “Wide World of Sports.”
IRONMAN’s crowning moment came in 1982 when ABC’s cameras captured a scene that would be etched in the minds of millions for years to come as a young college student named Julie Moss crawled towards the finish line. Those images of courage and determination launched IRONMAN into an international sensation and have kept television viewers riveted to their sets ever since.
The KONA™ NBC show has struck a chord with viewers and critics alike—over the years it has received over 40 Emmy nominations and won 16 Emmy Awards, for such categories as Outstanding Edited Sports Event Coverage and Outstanding Camera Work.
From the pre-race build-up to the finish line celebrations, the IRONMAN World Championship showcases some of the most awe-inspiring stories of courage and determination as age-group athletes race alongside the top endurance athletes in the world. The KONA™ show unveils the intensity, emotion, physical demands and dramatic competition of the day. The work of IRONMAN’s long-standing production team at Texas Crew helps to bring the remarkable stories alive.