Friday, January 7, 2011

CES 2011 Day 1: The Long Version

Ever had a day where you didn't work out, but felt like you did? I walked over 10 miles today, and my feet feel like I ran twice that. There is just so much time spent standing at these shows often on hard surfaces, that by the end you feel like you've walked through your feet to your ankles. But let me tell you, every bit of the pain was worth it when this happened:
Like any good sandwich, the meat is in the middle
That's right, I met Mirinda Carfrae and Tim O'Donnell last night at Showstoppers, a small 4 hour mini-convention that happens each year at CES. It's basically for the companies who can't afford big floor space, or feel they're better suited to the more direct interaction with a select group of media and buyers. Showstoppers used to be the place to go to find weird items, stuff you wouldn't see at the show, but mostly for the food. While the food and booze is as good as ever, the show has really increased in quality the past two years.

Ok, so Mirinda and Tim were at the show because they're the faces of yurbuds, the official earphones of the Ironman Series. As much heat as I've given the WTC over their crazy price gouging of the every day triathlete, they're damn smart about their brand management and who they partner with (the one exception being the Ironman branded drink. Blech!). yurbuds (yes, all lower case) looks to be no different from the majority of WTC's partners in terms of the quality products they produce.

The yurbuds are an ergonomically designed earbud that has what they call "Ear lock technology" using a memory gel-like compound (I'll get the real name later) to fit the earphones to your ears. While not designed for swimming (and with no intention at present to take on that market segment according to Dan Deville of yurbuds Business Development), they are similar to the H2O Audio flex in that are designed to be waterproof under all but actual swimming conditions. Mr. Deville was kind enough to share with me a pair to review, which I'll get started on during the plane ride home.

As for Mirinda and Tim, they were super nice and classy folks, who were incredibly patient as I talked their ears off like a high school girl with a crush. I think I actually made the sound "Squee" when Mirinda tweeted a response to me letting me know she'd be there. I then gushed excessively when I finally got to meet them face to face. At least I was careful to warn them that I was a triathlon nerd before I proceeded to make them feel at least slightly stalked asking about their 2011 plans and their thoughts on the new IM Pro qualifier system. They signed a few autos aside from posing with the picture so that was pretty nice as well. My only disappointment is that Rach couldn't get into this show so she wasn't able to meet either of them.

While that was the big finish for the day, I did have two other great Tri-related finds. First of course was the Finis Swimsense, which I'll start working on the review as soon as we get back from the show. Finally, National Electronics & Watch Co., has come out with a competitor to the Garmin 410XT. They said they'd be glad to have me take a look at one, so I may be doing that as well. I might even hand that review off to Rachelle, as she hasn't yet had a chance to use one of these devices.


- It's amazing how much you go through at a show like this; running from building to building, walking endless hours across much of the Las Vegas strip, with little time to eat, and less than normal inclination to drink because you're just to tired to tie one on. Somehow, someway, I'm going to train while I'm out here; I just don't know when or how yet.

- Tomorrow will be less about triathlon than today was, but I always manage to find something cool, so I'm sure I'll have at least one thing to talk about.


  1. very cool Ben! looks like a great trip

    Mary from NC

  2. I would totally squeal like a little girl if I met Rinny in person too!!!