The Lavaman Triathlon

Every March there is an exodus of Alaskans to the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s not during spring break as you might expect, rather it is the annual journey to the Lavaman Triathlon in Waikoloa Resort, about 30 miles north of Kailua-Kona. The Lavaman is an Olympic distance triathlon: a 1500 meter swim in A-Bay, a 40 kilometer bike on the Queen K, and a 10 kilometer run through the Waikoloa Resort. The making of Lavaman into one of the most popular triathlons with Alaskans began in 2003 with only one triathlete from Alaska, the late Arlene Gerety. She was joined by Kris Abegg in 2005. In 2007 there were 9 Alaskans and then in 2008 there were 17. In 2009 there were 27 Alaskans and the race quickly exploded after that with 72 Alaskans in 2010. Since then, there has been steady growth in the number of Alaskans participating in Lavaman; a record 383 Alaskans signed up for the 2019 race. Alaskan women substantially outnumber Alaskan men, certainly a legacy of the Gold Nugget Triathlon. We’ll hear from organizers and participants in this next episode of Outdoor Explorer.

HOST: Lisa Keller


Segment 1: Rebecca McKee, the early influencer
Segment 2: Gerry Rott, the race director
Segment 3: Don Ives, Ciana Dragano, Kim Verreydt, and Jodi McLaughlin, the racers
Segment 4: Annalee Taylor, the water safety volunteer
Segment 5: Trent Taylor and Mark Rowley, the party guys
Segment 6: Jason Lamoreaux, the perennial contender
Segment 7: Andy Duenow, the guy with FOMO


Lavaman Triathlon
Website: , with a registration link

Alaska Triathlon Club

Peak Center Alaska

BROADCAST: Thursday, July 25th, 2019. 2:00 pm – 3:00 p.m. AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Thursday, July 25th, 2019. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

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Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs.

After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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