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The Lava Report

Dave Ruby

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Yes indeed been off the blog wagon for some time. But certainly not off the training/racing wagon...........................

    After a handful of out of country competitions in 2016, culminating with 2 World Championships,  busted out the door of 2017 with trip and race to Cuba. The Havana 1/2 Ironman held just a few weeks ago. The race, country, people: The total experience was off the hook. Their world is sooooo much different than ours. They have so very little. Yet so friendly, warm and engaging. I expected..... well I did not know what to expect honestly. But arrived and left there with only wonderful memories. From beginning to end. 

               The race was put on by The International Triathlon Union (or ITU) and was a legit good old challenging half Ironman. 1.2 miles swim in the Marina Hemingway. 56 miles on the bike. Which took through Havana, flipped it back through the city again and then on to 40+ miles in the open country. The half marathon run was totally up and down the beaches (on pavement) of the Malcedon. Spectacular. Simply put. Hot. Real hot. But spectacular.IMG 9537

I was stoked with another podium visit finishing a 5:09 race. 

Looking forward to next year unlike any other destination/race I have done. Some I do not need to return to. Some I would like to. Some I do. This one I will. The race is just the dessert with the even larger main course of the meal being the overall experience.

 That is my new friend Octavio's dog up on his roof looking down at me. A wiener dog named Robin Hood. Cool little bugger. And like Octavio and all the Cubans I befriended: Warm and friendly.


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As expected Ironman in Kona delivered some very tough conditions this past weekend. But even tougher were the two I was there to cheer loudest for: Jodi Ruby and Bill Carlson. Bill is known for being one of the best multi sport athletes in the country. And a diabetic. He wears his heart and his passion for sharing and assisting others he can help on his sleeve. Whether an athlete or not. He is going to share his knowledge and experience and the recipients are very blessed in that matter. Great job out there Billy C. You rocked it with your lovely "Momma Suzi" cheering so loud I swear I could hear her from California.

   Jodi pretty much did too what she typically does: Work up to about a half hour before departure time. Be the last athlete to arrive in Kona. Go through the nutty process of check in. Try to get some sleep. Arrive at swim start. Swim 2.4 miles in what now a days with 2500 aggro others more like an MMA cage fight. Cycle the 112 miles with a guarantee of not just heat and humidity. But brutal winds as well. And then: Well  "then" she will just run you down. Over the course of the marathon which is no dessert after the dish's just handed to you.

I was grateful to have been able to give back again on this day via working aid stations. I seen some beautiful stuff. In liu of volunteers. Many of them out all day like the athletes. For the athletes. I wish I could name everyone of them. 5000 is what it takes to put on this event. Watch the NBC airing in early December and just look at the aloha given with those wearing a "Kokua Crew" shirt. Impressive as well.


Great job Jodi and Bill. Simply amazing. You two rocked it. Now take some rest!   : )




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Okay I am not a big blogger and I even hear about it so some people are checking : )   I really don't like writing about myself. But recognition gets support. And without some support from sponsors I would not be racing around the globe. 

This Saturday Ironman World Championships is in Kona, Hawaii. Where EVERY triathlete would like to experience but only just over 1% in the world get to. Two of them this year (both qualified at an Ironman) are Jodi which I believe will be # 6, 7, maybe 8th time I don't know.

The other is very dear friend/absolute animal/and diabetic Bill Carlson. I will be there cheering louder than anyone for them. That and actually working the event. Here are some old shots from many moons ago: Billy C. and I somewhere in no mans land middle of the desert riding to Las Vegas from Upland California circa early 90's? We have done the 265 mile ride (2 days) quite alot but those bikes are look pre STI shifting, etc. Other is Jodi smiling as she busts out her tyoical 3:45 marathon there down famous Alli'i Drive running down tons in the process.

Other shot is yours truly mid 90's somewhere out on the Queen K. Yep this place they hold the Ironman World Championships is special. To say the least. Kona, Hawaii. The Big Island. For the Big Dance. Good luck you two. May Madam Pele' be at your sides and the Mumuku winds at your back. 

  Folks of course can follow it live on From the 2.4 mile swim. The 112 mile bike. The 26.2 marathon run. Dang that's long. almost forgot just how such........................
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 Here in the states when taking over or passing someone you let them know with a "on your left"

Opposite in Australia as you pass with an  "on the right". With my swim starting 3rd from last out of 15 waves that put lots ahead of me from the get go. Did not take long to realize when on bike my little recently (re) built 650c steed with disk wheel on rear and deep dish up front paired with brand new tubulars pumped up to 160 lbs was moving just fine. That's her on the very end of bike rack nestled amongst all the very fine and blingy carbon candy that lay endlessly on all the racks. She did stand out

  Caught and passed heaps though. Often throwing a thumbs up as moving up.  I was trying to be polite and many did not understand English (or did not want to) as I do not dig pulling others in a non drafting competition. Quite a train behind here in the one pic. Saw other packs through out the day too on some of the out and back portions of the course. Oh well. I did get reeled in by many somewhere 45-50 miles in. I knew I was not bonking. Now know the culprit was a rear tubie not holding air. Clinchers are the way IMO. But I don't even have clinchers for the 650c. And doubt I will invest. IMG 0116


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IMG 0080The town of Mooloolaba was absolutely buzzing and lit up with athletes running, cycling, swimming everywhere for the two days prior I arrived. I was little blown away at all of the activity. A tad aggro already and the race was still ahead. With such a huge foreign contingency I knew more kangaroos than competitors. Was great to bump into Craig Zelent and his wife Laurie. Seen here as Craig is departing transition after race. And then again later that eve in town. Craig and I became friends in 1995  after Ironman Japan where he had no place to lay his head after the race and I snuck him into the 100.00 a night hostel (hostel, not hotel)! I was hanging out in in Tokyo. I gave him my wrist entry band for place and it worked. Just doing what we had to do: We were starving/traveling athletes on shoestring budget. And hell he had no place to stay. And I remind him that everytime I see him : )


Other mate is Vincent Fournier seen here dropping me off in Brisbane for my 20 hour venture home. Vince is from Montreal, lives in British Virgin Islands, may soon be moving to Cabo San Lucas with his girlfriend, and is just a straight up great guy. Athlete as well. And a breath of fresh air to triathlon. Good on ya Vince. Hope to surf Shipwrecks in Cabo with you one day.IMG 0138IMG 0124IMG 0122

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Nope have not blogged lately. I am going to make more effort regarding so. My true mission for website from the beginning is and always will be to expose our worth as a sponsored athlete(s). I am trying to be more of a social media participant but I am still old school and prefer upfront and personable. Nothing IMO beats a good old solid reputation.

  Jodi races Ironman World Championships in Kona less than one month away. She qualified last month @ Ironman Vineman.  I believe this will be her 6th or 7th qualified appearance. After not taking my spot with a win Ironman Panama 70.3, I did so somewhat impulsively at awards in May the night of racing Ironman St. Croix. Then did not commit and purchase airline ticket to Australia for World Championships until into the 2nd week of August. So yep pretty much winged another one. Seems to work for me that anyway.

  Having unloaded my TT bike built for Panama (and after Panama) I recently built an old 650c steel framed Merlin. I resurrected from my bone yard of used parts. Tested it once riding through Camp Pendleton. Felt good. Could have used a 55t chainring over the 54 but no big deal. As typical 90% training on my mtn. bike via awesome Safariland/Kona carbon 29er with the 1X. I have no problem transferring over training from one bike to another. Heck been doing it a very long time now.

        The swim in Mooloolaba Beach was spectacular. My swim training here consists of a few times a week @ LA Fitness pool with a nice long once a week jaunt around Oceanside pier to the harbor. Cool two miles. Can not see the ocean bottom once outside a few hundred yards. But seen it the entire 1.2 miles in Oz. The bike course was epic as well.  Although I could feel the rear tubular getting soft at around mile 45ish or thought so. But was not 100%. Convinced myself at the time: Nah....... but confirmed it after the race (run) upon retrieving bike.......yep maybe 40lbs at most left in the sew up. Brand new tubular too. Just like the old days that's an expensive flat. And cost a little time on the course as well. No worries. Could have been worse.

I will share much about the trip with some great race and non race pics from my "walkabout" after the competition. I would  like to express how wonderful the Aussie's were/are and how beautiful their country is. I expected good and experienced great. As for my race, finished smack about middle of the pack. Going into it I did not expect or anticipate that good of an outcome at the time so am very stoked with all of it.
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