Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ironman World Championships - Kona

This is a CRAZY event. I've never been able to see it before, but decided to take my Mom on a really nice vacation. To Hawaii. Since I like to come here in October, why not plan it around the Ironman?

We woke up early this morning to drive down the road, park the rental car, then walk to Kailua Harbor, where we saw thousands of people swimming! The scene was insane. We found a spot on the wall to sit and watch and proceeded to wait till the first 3 Pro men finishers came in. The groups all had escorts and the helicopter was hovering over the top 3 (who were a few minutes ahead of the next group!). Camera phone isn't the best action shot - as it was much more impressive than it looks:
We waited for some more to come in, including the first few pro women (I knew when I heard Gina Kehr's name (she's from Redwood City!!! And she placed 9th overall, which is soooo cool)), and then we moved to the first corner to watch them come flying out of the transition area on their TT bikes. Saw some near accidents with people still trying to get shoes fastened, and veering all over and whatnot. We saw a guy get a flat tire about 1/4 mile into the 112 miles! He took a long time to change it, then we all cheered him on. Apparently, he went up the hill, around the corner, had another mechanical - and called it a day. We saw young (20-something) and old (78!!!), and everything in between. Really inspirational. Then we wandered off to find food and chill out for a few hours till they came back from their 112 mile bike race (jeeeesus), so they could transition to do a full marathon. I just can't imagine...

Several hours passed, then the first guys came in, and then out they went to do the marathon. By this time, we'd been outside and in the heat and humidity for SEVEN hours. I shouldn't be whining, because I wasn't swimming, riding forever and then doing a full marathon. It's my OFF SEASON for crying out loud! I'm shot tonight though... It's only 6:30 here in Hawaii, but I swear that I'm going to bed in about an hour.

Today was an impressive showing of athletic endurance, and I'm humbled... In fact, to call it impressive is an injustice. There are no words...


clm said...

Hey--the guy who double-flatted, was he on an orange Trek in an orange/white kit? If so, that's my pal Sergio and he continued on and then crashed somewhere out in the lava fields. But got back on the bike and finished the bike and then did the run and finished the entire race.

Come on back from 11:00 - midnight for a big party and lots of inspiration.


Holly Roberts said...

Cathy! I can't remember what the guy was wearing! Or the color of his bike (I was sweating profusely just watching!!).
Do you know that I was in bed at 7:40 Saturday night? I don't know how all those athletes did it... I was so tired just watching them in the heat!