Hawaii Part IV

There is nothing like spectating an Ironman. This was my first time ALL day spectating an Ironman, and what better time than to spectate the Ironman World Championships in Kona?!?! I was so pumped I cannot even explain it. I woke up excited to head down to Kailua pier and watch the start. I fortunately secured a spot on the seawall so I could watch all three starts. The Pro Men, the Pro Women (first time ever having their own start), and the age groupers. Already, I could feel the emotions building up inside me…I could practically cry for each one of those people out there for what they have already accomplished, and what they were about to endure that day. There is something that is overwhelming about watching Ironman triathletes take to the start line.

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Pro Men’s Start

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Age Groupers Start

The cannon’s went off – well except for the age grouper one – who knows what happened, but suddenly Mike Reilly was saying “GO GO GO”! Well, after the start, we made our way to the bike out chute, so that we could watch the pros come through and get started on the bike. I was having a blast, and just wanted to keep moving. I wanted to see it all! I got a few shots but none were blog worthy – because you really couldn’t see anything. We watched most of the pro men, and the top 10 pro women take off on the bike – and then headed up to the “hot corner” where everyone comes through twice. After we saw the pro women go through, it was time to get some food! We headed to “Bongo Ben’s” for some breaky and mimosas. During our brunch, we had a visitor! I literally came back from the bathroom and found this…

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It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! I couldn’t believe it! Just sittin’ there licking up syrup. 

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Well he was getting after it…it got even better….

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To say I was fascinated is an understatement. This gecko was getting after it. My friend goes, “Apparently car insurance agents need a lunch break too;)” haha! After brunch…I headed back to the house to get a little nap in…and a run…as there isn’t much to see on the bike. After that, our house was right on the run course, and because of the turn around, I got to see everyone twice on the run course. I was having soooo much fun cheering everyone on! And seeing who was in the lead, and getting splits, and figuring out how far behind pros were from the leader. I got some good shots of some of the lady pros.

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Ironman World Champion – Leanda Cave – side note: pretty impressed with what the iphone camera and instagram can do with a photo nowadays! Not bad!

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Mirinda Carfrae! My fave :) Who ended up getting 3rd this year!

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Linsey Corbin – another fave! – Placed Top 10!

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Caitlin Snow – fast ass runner

It was then time to shower up – and bike cruise down to the finish line!

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Stopped by the Rouse’s Sea Village condo – to grab some appetizers and watch the sunset:) Seriously…it was a special day…one I will never forget.

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I was having fun cheering people on in the finish shoot! Again…I had to hold back tears because I was so proud and excited for everyone coming down the shoot! I know the feeling of coming through that shoot, and it’s nothing but pride. You did it, and it was ALL you! The dedication, the spirit, the passion, sacrifice, were just exuding from each and every person. I didn’t make it to the “midnight” finishers at Ironman Wisconsin in 2011, but this is something that I hope to never miss again. Pure inspiration.

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I made my way to the bleachers to watch finishers come through the finish line. The energy is awesome! Everyone is pumped for each person coming across the line. And two of my favorites, that I couldn’t wait to come through…Lew Hollander and Harriet Anderson. The two oldest male and female ironman triathletes to come through the line, who do this race, year after year. I hope to be doing Ironman until I die :)

The best part about the day was being a part of something I love, and seeing the other side. I loved cheering on my friends and competitors, and watching my idols work their butts off to get to that finish line. It was not an easy day, it’s never an easy day, and to watch everyone believe in themselves, and stay mentally tough, is quite a site to see. I’m so excited to race next year, and compete in Ironman #2 and #3! I hope to be at the start line in Kona someday…hopefully 2014:) What made this extra special for me was to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and meeting all the amazing people who have been touched by triathlon, just like I have. I know triathlon, especially Ironman, is a selfish sport, but it also gives too. We do things in life, that make us feel good, and this is what I have chosen to be the main source of good in my life, that makes me feel good. It teaches lessons that you can’t learn anywhere else. You learn how to push yourself, how to work through struggles mentally by yourself, there is no one that can get you to the finish line but you. Yes, most of us have amazing support crews, and cheerleaders, but when you cross that line, you know that it took everything you had mentally and physically to get yourself there. It teaches discipline, dedication, sacrifice, respect, the list goes on. And as I continue to get more involved in the sport, I am meeting people who will be my friends for life. Thank you everyone for making KONA a truly special experience for me! Can’t wait to spectate again next year!

 

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