Friday, July 16, 2010

Getting to the Fiery Hot Center of LAVA Magazine

Just call it a volcanic eruption among the magazine world, specifically the endurance sports sector. Its name comes from the volcanic islands that hosted the first Ironman race back in 1978. Its content is all triathlon with an Ironman and half-Ironman distance focus--it is, after all, owned by the World Triathlon Corporation, who owns and organizes the Iron-labeled events (Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Iron Girl and IronKids). Its tagline includes the phrase "serious triathlon." And it specializes in all the latest and greatest gear, news, athletes and more for triathletes. Triathletes--and anyone looking to get into the sport--meet LAVA.

The latest magazine sporting triathlon talk officially debuted on July 15. But if you were poking around online, you'd notice that LAVA has been on Twitter a while--although only now starting to tweet more frequently--and has a website that went live before the hard copy landed in the mail (and domain space reserved since March, if not earlier). But while some of the online presence is easy to gain access to, you won't be able to find this magazine's three 2010 issues at the newsstand. LAVA is available via subscription only, with a friendly athlete twist. Any domestic athlete registering for a North America Ironman or Ironman 70.3 this year and next will receive a one-year subscription to the magazine. And here I am getting all excited about answering a trivia question correctly to gain a subscription--I'm signed up for both a full and a half Ironman this year, and know I'll be adding one of the distances to next year's schedule, so I didn't need to worry about missing out on the pub.

I'm a sucker for magazines. Yes, I write for them--that was my concentration in college with my journalism major in an effort to avoid the hard-news reporting that several of my classmates preferred--and yes, I edit them day in and day out.  I read a ton of them and subscribe to almost as many--one look next to my bed and you'll see what I mean. I have a backlog to go through right now but that doesn't keep me from finding more to add to the collection, especially when they pertain to sports that interest me. And already I'm intrigued by LAVA. It probably helps that the website's latest news includes an interview with Tyler Stewart--2009 winner of Ironman Coeur d'Alene and a pro member of Team LUNA Chix who I met in San Francisco this April (I almost sat in her seat while she was on stage for a presentation) and a dinner to die for--seared red snapper with Thai citrus sauce. I'm already looking forward to whatever comes next, but I'm hoping that my initial excitement doesn't fall by the wayside as what tends to happen with me. As in, I hope LAVA doesn't end up in the pile of waiting-to-be-read magazines. Nah, with triathlon season in full swing and my interests more in tri's three sports over one focus, I think I'm set. Are you in? Photo grabbed from

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