What a memorable week this has been. At times it is hard for me to be fully appreciative because I feel like I underperformed here on the island but the truth is that this first time, it was a reward. A reward and a learning experience that I hope to build upon next time.
All in all there were so many amazing experiences here. Many included meeting and chatting with my idols in the sport like Chris Lieto, Craig Alexander, Chrissie Wellington and Dirk Bockel just to name a few. Check out all my photos on Facebook here to see all the people I met, places I went and how I was looking during the race. Additionally Craig Alexander deserves a tremendous shout out for stepping up and helping Mary Eggers with her Teens Living with Cancer initiative. Craig just two days post Ironman took time out of his busy day to stop by the Kona Aquatic Center to “kick off” versus Mary. In just one hour Craig and Mary were able to generate over $1,500 dollars to the cause (as of this morning it is up past $2k). My hat goes off to you Craig. To donate to the cause click the following link –> http://www.imathlete.com/donate/Campaign.aspx?fCID=1600
In keeping with the charitable theme I am also proud to say that I helped out another true professional in every sense of the word, Chris Lieto, in donating to his Do More Than Sport campaign which had a Kona focus of raising enough money to put 141 children (the miles covered in an ironman are 140.6) through a mentoring program. I was able to meet and speak with Chris about his initiative and what the program was all about. It was a pretty amazing experience to be able chat with Chris here on the big island as he was the first “big triathlon guy” I ever followed when I found the sport and also the first professional I ever met and talked to way back in 2010 at the Texas 70.3 A picture of Chris and I has hung on my wall ever since. And this one will go next to it now.
So those were a couple awesome experiences I wanted to share with you all. In addition there have been countless other encounters that I could talk at length about but I won’t bore you all, you’ll just have to ask me in person. Well alright I’ll just give you some bullet points:
-Meeting Dirk Bockel and talking shop with him and the TorHans guys, who actually set up my front aero 20 bottle for me..just like Dirk’s (we have the same bikes…) Check out the TorHans product line, they have some great stuff. Especially when you need both hands on your bike because of the wind, makes it so you can still be drinking while ensuring you aren’t falling over from the wind (LIKE GOING UP AND DOWN HAWI)
-Seeing “star sightings” (the pro’s) everywhere I turned
-Seeing my family on Ali’i during the run portion of the race
-Experiencing what all the hype about Lava Java was
-Experiencing what all the hype about the Race Course was like (hahaha…thats a bit of humor there)
-Pre-riding the Hawi ascent and descent on Wednesday morning before the race in the early morning when it was just me and the course and nobody else
…and I could go on for a long time.
This post is already long enough so I am going to save an in-depth race report for later if I can work myself up for it. In the mean time here is a brief summary:
Swim – truly like none other. Arms flying, feet kicking….every man/woman for themselves. I came out in 1:03 and was super pleased with my effort. I now know that I can put together a respectable swim here in Kona. Other than leaving my swim skin pulled down to my knees everything went great. I figured out the swim skin was still on me right as I got to my bike, luckily I ripped it off and didn’t leave it on..that would have been bad.
Bike – First half was awesome. Then about a quarter of the way up the Hawi climb the winds kicked up and it made for a much harder day. My strength and power never wavered but the force of the wind made everything slower and probably used up more energy than I felt I was actually using. None the less I am satisfied with my effort, riding on that day a 5:07 (yes, I had a 4 min drafting penalty..kinda BS in my opinion, I can explain further if you would like but not here). So going forward with more training and the experience of having ridden the course I am confident my time will keep decreasing. Good experience on the bike to build on.
Run – started the first couple of miles bloated, got it together on Ali’i and ran well through about mile 12. Was still at a 7:26 pace at mile 17 but the decline had already begun around mile 12 and it was already to late. Ended up struggling over the last ~14 miles with a lack of energy..just couldn’t seem to get the engine going. The section of the course that goes on the Queen K and turns around in the Energy Lab truly humbled me. I thought I was going to go out there and conquer it the first time but it got the best of me…like I am sure it does to a lot of worthy competitors. But it taught me a lot and I hope to use that education to my advantage next time!
-Click here for the Official Ironman Results Page (Swim – 1:03, Bike – 5:11 & Run – 3:29 – Total Time of 9:51)