The History of the Ironman World Championships

The inaugural Ironman race, held in 1978, contained a handwritten note on the final page of the rules and regulations. “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!” A phrase that is now trademarked.

The Ironman Triathlon is a series of long-distance triathlon races established by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), which are comprised of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.22-mile run. The events are executed in that order and without rest. The Ironman Triathlon is one of the most difficult one-day sporting challenges.

The idea for the triathlon race came into existence at the awards ceremony for the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. The Mid-Pacific Road Runners and the Waikiki Swim Club got into a debate concerning who was more fit. Navy Commander John Collins suggested a race combining the courses of the Waikiki Rough Water Swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (112 miles), and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles) to iron out their differences. “Whoever finishes first, we’ll call the Ironman,” said Collins, in honor of a local running legend famous for his vigorous workouts.

On the premier race, held on February 18, 1978, 15 men answered the call at the starting line; twelve finished. Of the twelve, all of whom were required to supply their own nutrition and hydration, Gordon Halle was the first individual to rock the title Ironman, completing the course in 11 hours, 46 minutes, 58 seconds. John Dunbar, the runner-up, had led after the second transition, but he ran out of water on the marathon course, which caused his support crew to resort to improvising with beer.

The next year, fifty athletes showed. When severe weather postponed the event, fifteen competitors raced. Tom Warren of San Diego came in first; Lyn Lemaire of Boston crossed the line in sixth place, becoming the first “Ironwoman.” A “Sports Illustrated” journalist chanced upon the event and marketing took off.

In 1982 a mantra was born when Julie Moss, who was in first place, was felled by dehydration and fatigue just yards from the finish line. Although Kathleen McCartney placed first, Moss crawled to the finish line, and the philosophy that just finishing is a victory was made flesh.

Today the annual event on Kailua-Kona is known as The Ironman World Championship.

from Holly Balogh’s Sports Blog


How to Save on Rent When Looking to Buy a Home


When you decide you’re ready to buy a house, it’s a time of looking for ways to save on your expenses. Even if you have saved what you’ll need for a down payment and closing costs, setting aside as much money as possible will prepare you for paying unexpected expenses. By looking for ways to save on your rent, you may be able to save a significant nest egg.

Can You Get a Roommate?

Bringing in a roommate may be one possibility, especially if you have the extra space. Even if there isn’t a spare bedroom, a home office or den can easily be converted into an extra bedroom. This can help you save half of what you would normally pay in rent.

Move into a Cheaper Place

If your lease is up, it may be time to think about seeking out more temporary housing. If your ultimate goal is to buy a home of your own, consider finding a place that boasts fewer amenities and maybe in a less desirable location. This can help you save money, while you look for your ideal home.

Negotiate for a Lower Rent

If you know it’s going to take some time to get through the home buying process, use that time to your advantage. When you’re looking for a new place to rent, try negotiating for a lower monthly rent. If you’re willing to sign a two-year lease instead of the standard one year lease, point out that to your prospective landlord that you’re giving him two years of not having to worry about a vacant unit. This may be worth a rent decrease or a guarantee that the rent won’t increase during your stay.

Make Sure You’re Actually Saving That Extra Money

However you choose to save money on your rent, it’s equally important to deliberately set that money aside. The best way to do this is to set up a savings account especially designated for this purpose. Whatever money you save on rent each month should be deposited directly into this account. You can also add spare change and any other funds you manage to save, so this account will grow that much faster.

In addition to saving on your rent, looking for other ways to curb your spending can help you grow your savings. When you do find your dream home, you’ll have the savings to help you get through the transaction successfully. If you start saving early enough, you may even have a little left over to help you rebuild a nest egg.

from Holly Balogh | Real Estate

The Most Important Things For Triathletes

If an individual participates in triathlons, it’s highly likely that they will have a training schedule that helps them endure the struggle of swimming, biking and running long distances. However, this isn’t the only factor that will make sure that a triathlete succeeds over the long term. Triathletes also need to make sure that they get plenty of sleep, fuel, and hydration. It’s also important to strengthen and stretch their muscles to avoid suffering from injuries.

Getting Enough Sleep

The number one recovery tool for triathletes is sleep. After participating in an event that makes the body work so hard, it’s important to take a break. Sleep provides growth hormones that help restore muscles. The brain of a triathlete and their immune system will also be refreshed and repaired by going into a deep sleep. Typically, seven hours of deep sleep is enough to help relieve stress levels and let the muscles repair.

Fueling And Nutrition Provides Glycogen

Proper fueling begins when a triathlete wakes up and ends when they go to sleep. It’s important to eat a small portion of protein and carbohydrate to help the body store glycogen before a morning workout. Fueling is also important when a triathlete is doing a workout. It helps the body get used to ingesting nutrients, which will occur on race day. This helps keep the balance between intake and use of carbohydrates.

Hydration Is Crucial For Cells

Hydration is a key factor that helps the cells of a triathlete function properly. It also helps minimize energy fluctuations. Their first step to hydrating properly each day is to ingest a full glass of water upon awakening. This will help replenish fluids in the system after drinking nothing for the last seven to nine hours. It’s ideal to drink enough fluids to create urine output every two hours. In addition, carrying a water bottle and having water during each meal will also help with hydration.

Bodywork Helps Stretch And Strengthen Muscles

A triathlete should strengthen and stretch their four core muscles, which include their glutes, hips, abdominals and low back. This should be done for about 15 minutes each day. Stretching and foam rolling should be done a few days a week and strengthening each specific core area should be practiced during the other days. By doing exercises such as plank, clamshells, bridge, back extensions, and single leg lifts, it will help increase strength in these key muscles.

from Holly Balogh’s Sports Blog

Shopping Around For Your Mortgage Can Be A Good Thing

Mortgage Agreement

Most people shop around for the best deal when making a major purchase, right? This is not the case for more than half of today’s home buyers when mortgage shopping. Because of the paperwork involved in acquiring a mortgage, the idea of shopping around for a mortgage can be off-putting. It’s a complicated task that often leads prospective borrowers to use a bank they’ve built a relationship with or a referral from friends or a real estate agent. What they don’t realize is that mortgage shopping can save a significant amount of money over the life of the loan. The following guidelines can help homebuyers be more judicious when mortgage shopping.

Rate Shopping

As home prices continue to rise, it becomes even more important to shop around for rates. Like stocks, mortgage rates vary from day to day. Much depends on the current state of the economy. In a strong economy, more people will be in a position to make large purchases. This drives up the cost of borrowing for both the bank and the consumer. In a weaker economy, lower rates serve as an incentive to purchase a home at that time.

Rate shopping can result in as much as three-quarters of a percent difference. Buyers who get an extra quote may save as much as $2,000 over the life of the loan. Once a house is under contract, buyers should check with each lender to make sure the terms are still the same and then lock in the one that is best for them.

Don’t Worry About Credit Scores

Buyers shouldn’t worry about rate shopping negatively impacting their credit scores. Today, major credit bureaus consider all mortgage inquiries as one. Rate shoppers just need to make sure all inquiries are within the same period of time, around 30 to 45 days.

Consider Fees

Buyers will most likely deal with origination fees and points with their mortgages. Origination fees cover the cost of closing the loan and compensating the loan officer. Points are an additional fee that can be paid in exchange for a lower rate. Different Lenders have their own fee structure. Buyers should try negotiating to have certain fees discounted or waived and shop for the fee structure that suits them best.

from Holly Balogh | Real Estate

Tips For Setting And Achieving Ambitious Goals

Whether it’s for personal use or business, goal setting is a key element of planning for the future. Without some type of detailed destination, a person or business won’t go anywhere. Here are five tips that will help a person set and achieve ambitious goals:

Keep Goals Front And Center

Once a goal and purpose are set, it’s important to keep it front and center. It should be the number one focus of each day. Many individuals worry about minute details. Those will sort themselves out. Of course, there will be some bumps along the way. Knowing where that path leads is the most important factor.

Setting Lofty But Achievable Goals

In order to grow, a person needs to set achievable goals that may seem just out of reach. A huge goal can be broken down into small building blocks that a person accomplishes every day. With methodical, smart progression, an unthinkable goal can be accomplished. This is done by formulating a strategy and following it.

Focus On And Relish The Process

There may be times when a person wants to cut corners and not follow a strategy. Baby steps will make this easier. It’s best to follow the process and not think about anything else but achieving the main goal. It will also help to become aware of how the process is changing a person. It shouldn’t be a struggle each day. They should enjoy and appreciate moments when they accomplish small tasks.

Failure Is Inevitable

There may be times when failure will occur, this is inevitable. It shouldn’t sink a person down or deflate their progress. When failure does occur, it will help with an individual takes time to accept and recognize the failure and process any emotions. As goals become bigger, failures will likely become more disappointing. It’s best if a person can strive to come back from these disappointments as fast as possible and continue their process.

Having A Healthy Schedule

Finding a sustainable, healthy schedule is key. Everyone has their own lifestyle and different tasks that they must tend with. When a person maximizes their efficiency and keeps balance in their life, it helps them avoid burnout. This can be done by taking a walk, grabbing a healthy beverage or just sitting and meditating for 15 minutes.

from Holly Balogh’s Sports Blog

What is a Use and Occupancy Agreement?



Buying a new home is a complicated process, especially if you have to vacate your previous home before the transaction is finalized. In that situation, you may be able to work out a use and occupancy agreement with the seller of your new home. This will allow you to stay in your future home, while the real estate transaction is completed. However, before you enter into such an agreement, it’s important to understand how it works.

You Are Not a Tenant

This is an important point to remember. Many people equate a use and occupancy agreement with a lease, but the two are very different documents. One thing to bear in mind is that the owner of the property isn’t held to the same obligations as a landlord as far as maintaining the property in livable conditions. Essentially, you agree to use the property “as is,” until the transaction is complete.

Each Use and Occupancy Agreement is Unique

The reasons you might need a use and occupancy or U&O agreement vary. A change in the settlement date or a need to vacate your previous home might be just a couple reasons this can come in handy. Additionally, it’s up to the seller to approve a U&O. The seller may just permit the U&O without any contingencies, or he might require that you pay rent for the time you’ll be using the property under his ownership. Either way, it’s within his right to approve or deny the U&O request.

Get it in Writing

When the buyer and seller do agree to a U&O, the first thing they will want to do is put it in writing. This means drafting a document that outlines the details of the agreement, such as the length of time the individual will be permitted to use and occupy the property. If rental fees are to be paid, this should be detailed in the document as well. You may want to have your attorney look the document over to ensure everything has been addressed.

Obtaining a use and occupancy agreement can help you out of a tight spot. It can provide you with a place to live, while your real estate transaction is finalized. However, you should be prepared to pay a rental fee for this opportunity, depending on the specific circumstances of the arrangement. As long as you understand and abide by the terms, a U&O can help ease your transition into your new home.


from Holly Balogh | Real Estate

Common Home Selling Myths


Selling a home can be difficult if a person hasn’t gone through the process before, and the situation hasn’t helped by all of the myths that are floating around the web. It’s time to set the record straight. Here are four myths that should be ignored when a person is in the process of selling their home.

Online Home Valuations Are Always Correct

Many different websites that offer information about homes that are being sold will include valuations. These should be used with a grain of salt as pricing a home involves a number of factors that can’t be programmed into an algorithm. Without an actual home appraisal, which includes renovations, the actual condition of a home and valuations of comparable homes in the same area, the exact valuation won’t be known.

Overpricing Leads To Better Offers

Buyers have become savvy when they are looking for a new home to purchase. Attempting to overprice a home will not lead to better offers. In fact, a home will probably just sit on the market if the selling price is over-inflated. It’s best to try and accurately price a home so that it sells. Of course, a number of factors should be analyzed when a price is set. When it’s offered at a fair price, buyers should make offers.

Use The Realtor With The Lowest Commission Rate

No one likes paying the fees that realtors take, especially when a home is worth mid or high six figures. While it may be tempting to use a real estate agent that has a low commission, they may be getting that commission for a reason. Typically, flat fee agencies will offer less to counteract any discounts. The services offered by a traditional realtor may not be available with this type of agency. This can include creating professional images and giving a property adequate market exposure. If a person chooses this route, they should definitely do their research.

Kitchen And Bathroom Renovations Should Be Completed

A number of television shows will highlight people who are selling their home. Often, advice will be given that states it’s best to totally renovate a bathroom and kitchen before selling. While it’s true that bathrooms and beautiful kitchens help sell homes, making these type of improvements can be tricky. There’s always a risk of spending too much money or choosing designs that people don’t like.

from Holly Balogh | Real Estate