Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kona Spectathlete

Last year at Kona, I had the most amazing group of supporters (not all pictured) out there cheering me on, enjoying the day and days leading up to the race and being 100% supportive...this year it was my turn to be on the other side of things...
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed that I wasn't racing, but Kona isn't going anywhere and neither am I! 

There was huge group of people I knew that were racing Kona this year, which makes it so much more fun to be a super spectator!!! I've been at/watched this race for the past 4 years and this was by far my most fun experience! It's so much better when you have multiple friends racing and people to look for, makes the looooooooong day of running /biking around searching for people go by faster and is definitely much more enjoyable. Having raced last year, I was looking forward to watching the race with a different mindset, understanding a little bit more what this day is all about

The few days leading up to the race were typical pre-race days. There was a lot of reminiscing and relaxing. I got to see friends that I haven't seen in forever!!! Yay!

They were spent lounging (see picture), checking in, resting (see picture), doing tune up rides, runs and swims and staying hydrated and cool for everyone that was racing. I on the other hand did a little lounging and LOTS of running and swimming. I swam almost everyday in the crystal clear waters off the Kona pier with 1000 of my closest friends and ran 20+ miles, in very few days, all over Kona town/Ali'i Drive and more in the wee hours of the morning before the heat, there was even a little INSANITY (not sure how I feel about that) going on in the driveway of this girls' house (check out her race results Leslie DiMichele F 25-29. AMAZING! 4th AG, sub 10-hour Kona!).

Saturday is a long day for everyone involved in the process, volunteers, athletes, families, coaches, friends, significant others, EVERYONE. I signed up to be a volunteer this year and am so happy I did! I got to be in T1 and had an amazing spot on the pier to watch the swim start, no pushing and shoving and jockeying for's pretty much the same on land as it is in the water when you're the one racing...but not if you volunteer in T1! Having done my fair share of races, I can say that without the volunteers, races wouldn't happen, so it was nice to be able to give back while I was on the other side of things! My job was to hand out blue bike bags to a specific section of athletes as they exited the water and ran into the changing was a bit stressful!! But check out the unobstructed, not crowded spot us volunteers had on the pier to watch the best-of-the-best start their days!

you see that kayak? her sister was attached to the
kayak by a rope and she swam the whole course
pulling her sister in the boat!! AMAZING!
After handing out bags and re-racking them, I was off to become super spectator! What a day the athletes had out there, they couldn't have asked for better conditions. It was a bit warm on the bike, not hot, warm and it most definitely cooled off and the weather and temperature they got for the marathon couldn't have been more perfect. The bike had about as close to zero winds (I didn't say no winds, just very few, not the crazy cross winds and typical headwinds at times) as they could get which made for some somikin' fast bike splits. The bike portion of the race is pretty uneventful if you're a spectator, so we camped out in a hotel room and watched the live feed until the pros got back into town.

Seeing the pros come off the bike and start their marathons is beyond impressive, some of them make it look so effortless. The run is where it gets exciting as a spectator, you can track your friends and run all over the course trying to find them! I suggest bringing a bike or a beach cruiser if you want to cover more ground and see more people. I spent some time on Kuakini, Palani and out on the Queen K during the run and it was somuchfuN!

A few pictures from the run....
Run, Kimi, Run

Always a smile for Mariane! And she ran a sub 3:30

The women's champ

Got that monkey off your back now!!



These photos are not all inclusive...just the few I had on my phone, while at the computer.

What a great day out there!!! I loved being able to watch the best-of-the-best. Congrats to everyone that raced and finished...what an should all be very proud of yourselves.....until next time...