I read the headline a few weeks ago but couldn't have cared any less about it; "Lady Gaga's web builder to attempt an Ironman". Yaaawn. The only thing that could be more misplaced among A-type, aggressive triathlon personalities than that headline is the cringe-worthy glitter-fingers stage show at the Mallorca 70.3 briefing earlier this year. So I didn't read the article, and, incidentally, I got up and walked out of the briefing. In my opinion there is too much cash and special priviledge in Ironman as it is and I've got no time for someone getting a mention because they're connected to someone well known. The thing that really inspires me is family people who work a heavy, full-time job, still find time and energy to train and qualify for a Kona slot so this guy wasn't cutting it.
Reading today that 50 Cent's 'final' album is delayed due to record company disputes, I scrolled down to notice that there was an informal $1 million bet between 50 Cent and Gaga's web guy. Now I'm interested. So I did some reading on this computer nerd. Matt Michelsen, as I will now call him, has had success in finance, retail and media and it sounds like he's not short of cash. I like big money bets going down on stupid sporting pursuits so I'll read on.
Here is where I'm torn: He has been given a media slot for Hawaii which means all the best equipment will be sent to him for free. Which also means NBC will take up valuable programming time on how he worked hard to lose 30kgs before he could run without his knees hurting. There will be no mention of the fact that he's forking out big cash for Roch Frey to write his programs nor the work he's been doing with the Sports Science Institute at Hermann Memorial Hospital in Houston to get him to the level most people work their tits off to get to. So basically, it's good for the sport that there's a 'high profile' name involved but it takes away from the people who genuinely sacrifice so much time, effort, and money.
I wish him the best of luck, and I hope he finishes it for the personal satisfaction, let alone the million bucks from 50 Cent. But nobody goes from never having done a triathlon to Hawaii in 5 months. There's a kind of respect for the race that he couldn't possibly have so while I would say ANYONE can finish an Ironman, 50's money is not necessarily lost just yet.