W IRONMAN’S GIRL NEXT DOOR HEATHER FUHR’S HALL OF FAME CAREER
e’ve just finished our Ironmanlive interview with Heather Fuhr as she prepares for the 2006 Ironman World Championship. There’s a new media intern from Ironman who has been listening in as I talk to the various pros about their preparation for the biggest race of the year. The athletes are all fitter than ever – rippling muscles can be seen under skin that seems almost translucent because of their insanely low body fat percentages. Some seem to be brimming with confidence. Others, like Fuhr, are much more understated. Having raced in Kona every year since 1990, she knows that there’s nothing to be confident about when it comes to racing on the Big Island. She provides a typically Canadian outlook: she’s done the work and is ready to go. She’ll take what the day, and the island, gives her.
As Fuhr walks away, the intern looks at me and shakes her head. “I can’t believe how beautiful Heather is,” she says. “Especially for a triathlete.”
I’ve never let that intern, who continues to work in the industry, live that one down – the shock that a triathlete could somehow also be attractive has provided me lots of ammo to tease her with over the years. And, while I certainly agree with her, she only got it half right when it comes to Fuhr.
Looks have always played a part any time anyone has talked about Heather Fuhr. Almost any time her name appeared in print, the words “the girl next door” seemed to be included.
“In her quiet, likable, girl-next-door persona…” Matthew Dale wrote in 2007.
“Heather has always looked like the girl next door,” Lynn Bermel wrote in 2005.
“Heather Fuhr, the girl next door, became the first Queen of Kona from the sport’s next generation,” wrote Bob Babbitt in the early 2000s.