Kona Report 2016

You never really know what race day will bring and I am the first to admit I did not deliver at Kona this year. One thing is for sure, I savored every damn moment and had the experience of a lifetime.

Many of you know that Kona is a hard and unrelenting course, actually that’s seems like an understatement. Kona will gobble you up and spit you out. I was gobbled up, spit out and managed to finish with a smile on my face. Throughout the day I stayed positive and never EVER gave up. As far as I’m concerned that counts for something.

Here’s a quick race recap. My swim was not all that great. I felt like a tiny fish being pushed around in a magnificent ocean. For the bike, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The winds in Hawi were not scary dangerous – a miracle that I was truly grateful for. (My training ride a week earlier had me shitting in my bike shorts due to the wind gusts.) Although, no matter what direction I was riding there always seemed to be a head wind. One really cool thing that helped me was that my Mom and TG drove out to Kawaihae to cheer me on which was a great boost! When I ran out of T2 I wondered how the fuck I was going to ‘run’ a marathon, but somehow some way I got through it. I was absolutely convinced on the Queen K that they moved the energy lab out further. I realize the above info sounds like a Kona race report broken record. It’s always hot, windy and hard. You have to dig so deep and ask so much of your body. My body is still a bit pissed off, but I am recovering.

Daniella Ryf and Jan Frodeno are in the background - this is right before midnight...
Daniella Ryf and Jan Frodeno are in the background – this is right before midnight…
TG, me and Craig Alexander!
TG, me and Craig Alexander!

There are some cool things that I got to experience that I want to share. Being good friends with TG has some mega perks! Karen made her way to the big island to make some appearances and do some work. She let me tag along to all the cool stuff with her. Seeing Kona from a VIP perspective is EPIC!. Here are some fun random things that happened during the week:

  1. Getting to meet Craig Alexander and get my picture taken with him and TG.
  2. My mom and I going to Hualiai’ Palace to honor Jan Frodeno and Daniella Ryf and induct the Hall of Fame honorees Lew Friedland and Peter Reid.
  3. Trying to get the courage to talk to Jan Frodeno, but totally chickening out.
  4. Begging Karen to do the underwear run with me because I had an obligation to represent HOTSHOT. Then running to the underwear run with her and not seeing anyone in their underwear! (We both were worried that we had the wrong morning… we didn’t thank goodness).
  5. Meeting Mike Reilly, Greg & Sian Welch, Wendy Ingraham and so many other people associated with Ironman.
  6. Staying until midnight to watch the final finishers.
  7. Julie Moss and I talking about how our Moms and her 1982 crawl to the finish line that inspired so many.
  8. Going to Huggos after the awards banquet and partying with all the pros and sponsors. (I may have gotten a little drunk).
  9. Congratulating Heather Jackson on her 3rd place finish and her being polite enough to ask about my race – which I was a little embarrassed to talk about.
  10. Driving the saddle road to Hilo and checking out caves, waterfalls and beaches.
  11. Stopping at Mauna Kea observation area at night and seeing Saturn through a telescope – like I even saw the ring that goes around Saturn – how cool is that!!!
  12. Attempting to body surf after the race but being chicken. TG was way more brave than me.

I know there’s more I could tell you but I don’t want to bore you to death. I love this sport so much and the adventures it brings me. The journey getting to Kona is great and being able to participate at the Ironman World Championship is truly awesome. I hope to get back there and do it all over again!


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