In just over 24 hours I will be heading to Ohare to board a plane that will take across the Pacific to beautiful Hawaii. This will be the 4th I've gone to Hawaii, and the 4th time to Kona as a spectator and supporter. Lets just say I am getting good at this!
If you are a triathlete, being in Kona the week of Ironman is a little like being a small fish in a big pond. The fittest and fastest (Ironman) athletes are on the island walking around, training a little enjoying coffee and preparing to race. When race day arrives it is really quite amazing to see the fittest and the best show up to compete. Kind of like the Olympics. I LOVE the Olympics and seeing the athletes compete at the highest level. (although truth be known I'm not too sad Chicago didn't get the Olympics) On this day these athletes will be competeing against the best in the best in the sport (at Ironman). For some, they have done Kona over and over and over again. For others, it will be their first ....experience with it. As the week progresses, it is interesting to watch the tension and faces on the athletes increase. You can usually tell by their face, actions, level of quietness, no Ironman wristband needed.
My goal for this year is to be the best supporter of my Ironman and spectator for the many other athletes we know racing, all while having a great time Hawaiian style. I hope to see a little more of the island and see a little more of the beach this year. I want to go find those dolphins I saw last year, try stand up paddling, take some surfing lessons, go for lots of runs and maybe even a big bike ride. Then come race day I will be out there cheering and spectating like in zone 5 to the best of my ability. I have mastered the art of Ironman cheering and spectating. After the IM WI on 3 hrs of sleep I have rested, regrouped and am re-charged for IM World Champs.