Rudy Project Celebrates 30 Years with Exclusive Party in Kona

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Kailua-Kona, HI- Rudy Project, Italian crafters of world-renowned helmets, sunglasses and prescription eyewear, welcomed more than 200 guests to an exclusive 30th Anniversary Party at the Hulihe’e Palace in Kailua-Kona just days before the 2015 IRONMAN® World Championships. Media and key triathlon business figures were at the event to welcome over 50 of the top pro athletes in the field, including the highly recognized Sarah Piampiano and Pedro Gomes. Unique to this year’s celebration, celebrity athletes Katherine Kelly Lang and Sean Astin were also in attendance and participated with Sarah and Pedro in a special Q&A session hosted by USA Triathlon’s Barry Siff.

“2015 is a huge year for Rudy Project. Not only does it mark our 30th anniversary after being founded in the heartland of Italy, but it also marks the 80th birthday of our founder himself, Rudy Barbazza,” said President and Co-Founder of Rudy Project North America, Paul Craig. “On this monumental occasion, I couldn’t have asked for a better cast to represent where our brand has come and the technical excellence that has gone into every product we’ve designed. With celebrities like Sean and Kelly helping to get the word out and to drive their charitable efforts, and pros like Sarah, Pedro and many more, we’re sure to keep growing over the next 30 years. Here’s to the future and another year of taking the spot of #1 most worn helmet at the IRONMAN World Championships!”

After the Parade of Nations along Ali’i Drive, the sun set over the Pacific casting a brilliant orange glow on the Hulihe’e Palace; one of only two places in the United States designated as ‘Royal Ground’ by the Queen of England. This set the stage for Rudy Project’s 30th Anniversary celebration, as they and host Barry Siff invited these legendary athletes on stage for a Q&A session about their training, this week in Kona, and their expectations for the 2015 IRONMAN® World Championships. Here are a few excerpts from their answers:

Sarah Piampiano: “I used to work in investment banking in New York City and I was leading a pretty unhealthy lifestyle when I was there. I was working 120 hour weeks, I wasn’t sleeping that much, I was partying a lot, and I was actually smoking sometimes upwards of two packs of cigarettes a day. One night I was out a bar with a friend and he told me he had signed up for his first triathlon. I grew up doing sports and I’m a little bit competitive; I have two older brothers so we were always challenging each other. I made a bet with my friend that I could beat him in a triathlon, so I went and did the race…I think I may have even smoked a cigarette beforehand. It was a life changing moment for me. I was so overwhelmed and so impressed and so inspired by the experience that I pretty much quit smoking on the spot.”

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Sean Astin: “Almost everybody here earned the right to be here. I was invited here, so that thought is always right with me. I didn’t realize that bioengineering, and you know, the look of these athletes when you get off the plane I’m like, ‘My gosh! The money I could make if I looked like that!’ I have so much appreciation for being included in this. When I say ‘race,’ it feels inaccurate because I’m very slow, but also because there’s people actually competing. For me it’s about getting in there and challenging myself.”

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In addition to his immense athletic endeavor, Astin is racing to raise awareness and funds for his inspirational campaign #Run3rd, which aims to motivate athletes by using the hashtag #Run3rd and dedicating any run. Read more and donate to afterschool running programs here.

Katherine Kelly Lang: “This will be my first full IRONMAN® so I’m petrified! I’m scared to death, but I’m going to have some fun and we’ll see what happens. I just want to finish and I want to enjoy it. I’m here for some great reasons; I’m racing for Women for Tri and Breakaway From Cancer, and also supporting the show that I’m on, The Bold and the Beautiful, so there’s a lot to do!”

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Pedro Gomes: “I’m still relatively new to the sport. Obviously there are a lot of important people racing here this Saturday. I guess no one trains to be second. Not me, not any professional or amateur racing out here. No one trains to be twentieth or fourth or whatever, everyone wants to win.”

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Watch the video recap of the whole evening including the athlete Q&A here:

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About Rudy Project

Performance Italian Sunglasses, Helmets, Goggles + Rx/Prescription Eyewear Solutions • Unbreakable ImpactX-2 Lenses • Designed + Crafted in Italy for over 30 years • Family Owned Since 1985 • Official Helmet of IRONMAN for North America • #1 Most-Worn Aero / TT Helmet at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii for the last four consecutive years • #1 Gold Medal Winner in Winter Olympics (Torino). • Over 100,000 sponsored athletes and ambassadors • Replacement Lens Guarantee, even against scratches • www.e-rudy.com

Media Contacts:

Devin Johnson - djohnson@gorace.pro

Riley Lantz – rlantz@gorace.pro

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