Friday, October 3, 2014

Kona 2014 Day 0

It happened! For the 7th year I'm back at the Hawaii World Championship- 3rd time not racing...except last year was a total catastrophe as I spent only a few days on the Island sick and counting down the minutes to return home. Needless to say, I didn't stay even to the race week and sort of left apathetically without looking back- more concerned about fixing my own work/life situation than playing around in the Hawaii sun.

However, this year the Kona plot began brewing early summer when the TriCabo races and events were being planned at full gear and I was set to come promote the camps and primarily our inaugural Cabo Whaleman. As well, I wanted to help some friends out at the Expo- LAVA Mag & SOAS.

The almost too-good-to-be-true fun of 2012 was begging to be repeated and 2014 had to be it. Then Hurricane Odile came through Cabo and did its little dance of destruction and there went Cozumel 70.3, and any concrete thoughts of promoting Cabo tourism through Ironman week.

Fast forward to a few days ago, sitting at home in Texas, regrouped and looking at everything through a "blessing in disguise"/"glass half full" lens and tick tick the dots connected and...well...ALOHA!

It's hard to succinctly describe the feeling of touching down in Kona. Wait, backup to getting on the triathlete-filled plane at LAX, and feeling a mix of butterflies as if I was going to race again, and an excitement of the week when this whole community of swim, bike, run lovers unites in paradise to celebrate the best of the best. I ran into a good friend, Pablo who was seated just across from me, and it was amazing to hear about all the endurance racing he packs on year after year! The baggage claim was full of people from all over the world, each with their unique story of how they got to be at this year's World Championship.

I got my suitcase, which was all I had since my bike is still cozy in Cabo, and another good friend and Kona local, Cody, picked me up and we went to grab lunch at the Kona Brewing Company. I'm not a beer person, but their Longboard is fantastic and after a whole morning of travel it went down like liquid gold.

From lunch he dropped me off to check in at Uncle Billy's where I'll be two nights before joining some girl friends at a condo for the remainder of the trip. At the lobby I met the cutest woman- in one of the elder categories- that was telling the receptionist she qualified in IM Sweden but had never swam without a wetsuit and was nervous and just hoping she'd make the swim cutoff. I couldn't resist, and asked her if she wouldn't mind me helping her out these next few days in the ocean to give her a few pointers and get her more comfortable so she makes that cut off no problem! So tomorrow we'll start bright and early :)!

Quicky, I unpacked and put on my bikini to head straight to the beach to get back some of the color I lost since Odile. I enjoyed a little swim in the ocean and was feeling surprisingly awake despite the 4am TX-time wake up, so also went for a run on Alii.

Now I'm starting to wind down and will just relax the rest of the evening.

Tomorrow after I swim with the woman I met, I think there's a group doing the whole course so why the heck not?!