triathlon training

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 there.

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 racing.

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 on blocking.

The awards ceremony was the best, more on that later...

The Swim

GOOD LUCK and Keep It Fun!!!
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