Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kona......Take 6

2012 was my 6th time in a row going to Kona to cheer, spectate and support AZ and numerous other TBC athletes or friends at the IM World Championships. Every year has been different yet very much the same. Each year there is a different group of friends, TBC athletes that are either racing and or specating, we have stayed close to the start and far away, we have swum at the pier every day, or we have avoided it entirely. Some years I have trained a lot, some years I have done nothing but sit on the beach and avoided the whole Ironman scene.
This year was no exception.
From my view as a non racing athlete/wife/coach/spectator….it was the same as the past 5 years, but different.


Thanks to our awesome friends Mark and Sue D. we stayed in an incredible house on the other side of the start. We were close, yet “away” from the scene which trust me after 6 years and a few days starts to get old. I didn’t even make it to Lava Java this year, but still found great coffee (lots!) but didn’t have to wait in line for 30 min. This year I had more of my fun WattieInk friends to meet and even ran in the underpants run for the first time which had me laughing the whole time. Thanks to WattieInk and KSWISS for my race gear for the UPR! While it wasn't a PR, it was a lot of fun!
I met these 2 Watties for the first time in their undies!
 I didn’t make it SUP this year :(. But I did attend more VIP parties and happy hours. I also got to be a part of a fun project with Skinfit the day after the race (more on this later), and chilled doing nothing with friends at the Sheraton on Sunday.

Never fails there are always  athletes panic training, stressing and wearing compression, athletes getting super nervous snappy and intense, athletes looking extremely fit and ready to race,  AND....amazing sunsets that got me out of my chair more than once to take pictures,

sunset pre race

sunset post race

beautiful flowers that smell really good unlike the corn being chopped down back in the Midwest..

I attended the very fun TGNIR party as I have for the past 3 -4 years, ...but with different friends this year.

my TGNIR dates: Danny Tina and Mustafa

But.....what never changes is the intensity and emotion at the start of this race. It is like no other. As that person who is an athlete not racing/ wife/coach and spectator you have your own set of intense emotions. As an athlete you know what they are in for, some pain some highs and lows, heat wind and serious competition. As a coach you love seeing your athlete toe the line in one piece healthy and ready to race, making it Kona is a goal many never achieve. You know what it takes to get there and not everyone is willing to do what it takes. Huge congrats to my athlete Cori who finished her first Kona and did all her training while going to massage therapy school and working full time!
a start like no other

But as I wife, of someone who puts everything into preparing for this race, I can get nervous too, and after  5 years of watching this race,  it never changes.  All year you are there to see the days of low motivation (yes it happens once in a while) that turn out with incredible performances, or the days of being revved up to kill it, but come home to a pile of shred on the floor (only once in a while) and all the days good, bad in between that add up to race day. So when its finally time to sit on the pier in the dark, with the sun coming up, helicopters flying, Mike Reilly getting everyone into the water , Hawaiian drums beating and the cannon finally goes off you can’t help but feel butterflies in your stomach and a frog in your throat because you just want it all to come together race day.

I have a strong feeling we will see Kona again a 7th time.

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