This is The Mug, of which I was a very proud recipient today.
This is how The Mug began - at the finish line of the incredible efforts of Hurricane Bob Mina at the Eagleman Half Ironman in 2001. "Mina has since made peace with The Mug, reportedly allowing fellow Tri-DRS members to drink from The Mug and now offering it up as a traveling exhibition."
According to one-time Mugholder Rick Smith, "The value of The Mug stems from the story of valor and courage shown by Mina that day in June 2001. Once you have seen The Mug it defies logic that anyone would suffer such a difficult combination of swimming, biking and running for such a cheap and pathetic reward. Personally, if I had been in Mina's sweat-soaked shoes, I would have quit. The Mug captures the essence of the finisher's prize: a pitiful return on a priceless emotional investment, but a testament to the true joy that drives the majority of the athletes of this sport."
The mug came to me from Ironman Cathy Taylor (whom I was privileged to meet at Ironman Florida, where she finished in 16:33). Thanks, Cathy!
I'll do my best to do The Mug justice in the coming year and pass it along to a worthy recipient at the end of 2007.
Update: Hurricane Bob Mina posted his conclusion to the story here. But the Legend of The Mug lives on.