Ironman Hawaii PRE-Race Report
Every morning, the ritual is to get up and go down
to "Dig Me" beach for the obligatory checking each other
out. As if I hadn't seen enough speedos at the mall, in the
post office and grocery store! Since I'm staying at Uncle Billy's
on Alii Drive I get to see everyone wearing them all day long,
cruising up and down the street. The great thing about the morning swim
is the free sweats check-in and free sun-block. And of course the
kayaks out on the course. When you swim alone, it's reassuring
to have someone with a boat out there 1 1\2 miles from shore.
The PATH Safety Lane Run held on Sunday was very well
organized and they had a great breakfast afterwards.
It was nice to run in the Hawaii heat and I got to
meet Larry Little and his two adorable 4 year old twins. Larry lost his wife just months before due to
a very unfortunate bike accident.
We ran the 10k and the kids ran walked their first
5k. I had to go snorkeling but managed to get back in time for
some fresh fruit and pancakes. I got a nice singlet and JTL timing
had my results pronto on a nice postcard sized paper with all the stats on it. They did the
same for Ironman and it's quite impressive. I also get to see
Bill Van Horn, a fellow Northern Cal in the 60 year age group.
A real nice man and sorry to hear he didn't finish Ironman, I called him later and found
out is shoulder was still not healed from a recent accident.
The parade is real exciting and I realize that USA
is in the back and I've missed the whole procession.
Luckily I *AM* an Ironman and can run all the way
down to the beginning and back before it's too late.
All the super-stars get their own cars and there are
some cool floats and such. Then comes the different countries
of which I think there were 35 or so. Germany had 218, Australia
had 95 and US had 650.
I met a fellow named Mike after I heard his girlfriend shout out
"Maine" my home state. He was the only Mainer and it
was nice to make new friends. I got to make many in the two weeks
The Kokua Music Fest was an interesting combination
of beer guzzling chain smoking bikers and trying to avoid the
smoke triathletes. It seems this is the only concert the island
gets and it seems to sell more to the locals than the triathletes.
Fun was had by all it seemed though and I actually sat right next
to an old drinking buddy from a bar way back when and she sure
has progressed in her party-hood. It took her awhile to remember
who I was and showed me where I'd be if I'd kept drinking. I
sure was grateful I had turned my life around by training and
The local bands were very good but the crowd didn't
really get going until "The Guess Who" had played for
an hour or so. Then everyone was moving at least one foot but
by then it was almost over. Attempts at an encore were fruitless.
It seems there was a curfew. It was about 10:30 or 11:00. The
trick with this concert is to stay on that side of the King Kam
hotel and sit on the Lanai (balcony).
The Passport Club Party was kind of a joke. It had
free beer and soda, lots of meat and cheese and little else.
Mark Allen spoke for two seconds and his Dad a little
more. There was another IronGent that was funny as he related
what it's like for a guy from the old school to learn how to
pee on the bike. Soon we were dismissed.
I did get to meet some nice people who also had made
the lottery. Seems most people who were there were lottery winners.
The carbo party was very well run and lots of food.
I had Mahi-Mahi and pierogies and salad and lots of great home
baked cookies. I had made an RST sign and was met by Mike Valleriano
and Augie Calabrese and their families. We disbanded after dinner.
Ironman had some inspirational talking and videos
to psyche up everyone and for me it worked.
I got to meet Cowman and chat and he's such a nice
guy. He insisted
I wear my hula skirt for the race. I spoke of San Francisco and he told me Walt Stack
was his inspiration. He's writing a book and trying to do a video.
The pre-race meeting was a waste of time except
if you planned on drafting, then you were forewarned. They showed
the ten meter rule and stressed they would enforce a 15 seconds
to pass rule with it. And you had to stay right or get called
The awards ceremony was the best, more on that later...