The Ironman Vibe: Bring it On!

Wow, I’ve done a lot of races, but this race is unreal. It isn’t a race. It’s a happening. Part of the awesome experience is our base camp. We are staying at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Our room overlooks the famous pier and we can just see the finish line through the branches of a giant Banyan Tree. We have watched the race operations team transform the pier from the regular version on Monday, into the world’s most amazing transition area, today.

The buildup during race week has been intense, with all kinds of logistics to take care of. The whole experience is a process. Earlier in the week, it was a bit unsettling, but now that the race is less than 15 hours away, things are looking good. Bike and gear check-in is happening right outside our balcony. They are jamming tunes over the finish line sound system. Right now, it is AC/DC. The vibe is electric.

We have soaked up this experience. From our Tuesday breakfast at the Island Lava Java, to the Parade of Nations, to our time spent touring the Ironman Village this morning, this has been a lot of fun. The village is the best race expo that I have ever seen. It has the high-end of the high-end in terms of bicycle components, running shoes, wetsuits, and other triathlon gear. I’ve tested the latest running shoe technology, handled the next generation carbon wheels, borrowed pedal cleat lubricant, tightened my wheel hub bearings, and checked out some awesome pro bikes on display. I even tested out an Endless Pool this morning. Our four-year old joined me for a swim after I gave it a solo try.

The sponsors and vendors are using the hype of Ironman week to launch new stuff. Even Ironman’s parent company, the World Triathlon Corporation, has made several major announcements this week, including the launch of 5150, the new Olympic Distance series and a change in venue (Florida to Las Vegas) for the 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

On Wednesday, I participated in the Ironman XC Breakfast & Strategy Session. We were joined by several Ironman dignitaries. We got some advice from Australian pro, Chris McDonald, USA pro, Linsey Corbin, coach Troy Jacobson; and 8-time champion, “Queen of Kona,” Paula Newby-Fraser. We also had the pleasure of meeting two of the original competitors from the 1978 Ironman. Tom Knoll was 6th place and Dave Orlowski was 3rd place. They had an original trophy and also the original race results.

We participated in the very cool Aloha Reception  at the historic Hulihee Palace. We took our shoes off to tour the building, which had some of the most amazing woodworking and craft furniture that we have ever seen.

Yesterday started out with a bang. The Underpants Run came right out onto the pier and we had a great view of the antics in this annual fun run.

I got away from some of the hype by previewing the courses. I swam, ran, and rode on sections of the course each of the past three days. Yesterday, Debbie and I drove the Queen K highway, which is a big part of the bike course,  all the way to the Hawi turnaround. We purposely took a different route back that sent us over Kohala Mountain. The road went from nearly sea level to a crest of more than 3,500 feet in less than 10 miles. It was a great drive. We returned via Waimea. We know that we have to come back here for some great trail running in those hills…but not this week!

Last night, the opening E Komo Mai Banquet kicked off things with awesome traditional Hawaiian entertainment, complete with fire eaters and hula dancers. The meal was followed by the mandatory athlete meeting.

So back to today. It has been about setting up the gear, staying hydrated, stretching, and mentally planning for tomorrow and the main event. I just checked in my bike, which elevated my heart rate and anxiety level ever so slightly. Bring it on.

2 Responses to “The Ironman Vibe: Bring it On!”

  1. 1 waghormley 10 October 2010 at 12:29 am

    CONGRATULATIONS, Scott!!!!!!

    Glad to see that Bib# 1958 finish so well!!!!!

    Enjoy Hawaii and have a safe trip home — C U soon!

    Best from the Ghormley household to you and yours!

    Bill, Ann, Biz, Dave & Courtney

  2. 2 endlesspools 28 October 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Kids LOVE the Endless Pool. We’re glad you had a chance to try it out.

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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