Friday, November 8, 2013

2013 Kona World Championship

What A Great Day!!

Mirinda Carfrae winning Kona 2013
What a great day it was.  My wife and I flew to Kona for a 2 week stay.  I wanted to watch the World Championship this year and it gave me the chance to continue my training for IM Arizona in a nice and WARM place.  Our day started at 3:00 am.  We arose and headed the back way to Kona from Wiamea.  We found a spot to park at Walmart and walked down to the sea wall from there.  Found a great spot and waited for the race to start. Before the cannon went off for the pros, there was a lot of activity both in the crowd and all the volunteers going through their briefings and heading out on their paddle boards, outriggers, etc.

Swim start from Sea Wall on Ali'i Drive

Outrigger blowing Conk Shell 

Volunteers getting ready and heading out

Age Groupers prepare to enter the water

Early morning crowd waiting in anticipation of the swim start

The cannon goes off and the pro men take off.  The crowd cheers with excitement as the women prepare to start.  Moments later, the second cannon goes off and startled everyone around us.  The announcer calls for the age groupers to start making their way to the starting line.  Some hold back until the last possible moment while others took advantage and got a little warm-up swim in.  Some age groupers headed toward the seawall to look for family and get a last glimpse of their smiles before heading out on a very long day of racing.  The cannon sounds and they are off.

Age Grouper and one last "Good Luck" from the family before heading to the starting line

Thumbs Up!!!!  We're good to go.

Happy to be here

Gathering thoughts.

And they're off............

Pro Men Lead Pack.  Pretty Tight!

A little sunscreen please.

One down, two to go.

Palani Loop

A little "Down Under" support

Mini Pace Car.

We took a bit of a break and headed to Walmart where we parked. After a bite to eat and something to drink we headed back down to the event where I managed to find a great spot to watch the runners coming up from T2 and heading out.  It was really great to see the leaders heading out on their run.

3 Time World Champion and course record holder Craig "Crowie" Alexander

Meredith Kessler.  You Go Girl!!!!!

Rinny on the run

Time to start making our way to the finish line.  Won't be long until we see these folks again for the last time of the day.  How exciting!!

Finish Line Prep

The infamous Mike Reilly

Frederik Van Lierde - 2013 Ironman World Champion

Victory is sweet!


Probably the last one for Crowie.

The Blazerman Roll.  What a way to end the day............

It was quite the day for everyone.  We started at 3:00 am, heading toward the town of Kona.  Made our way around the course in town throughout the day to get a good look at the athletes in different stages of their event.  It was quite the site.  The air was full of excitement and energy.  We couldn't have asked for a better day during our stay, at least for me.  Being able to spend time, over the course of the 2 weeks we were their, training with and watching some of the greatest Triathletes in the world was an experience I will never forget.  And to be able to share the experience with Robin, priceless.

The 2013 Ironman World Championship has come to an end, but the memories will last a lifetime.  I fell lucky and blessed to have been able to share the experience with so many people.  This trip was another milestone for me in my journey to my first Ironman in Arizona.  What an inspiration all of these great athletes have been for me.  I may never cross the finish line at a World Championship,but being there, watching these great athletes cross the finish line, made me feel like anything is possible.  In their own way, they have made a dream of mine become a reality.  

As I head to Arizona next week, I will be thinking about this day and everything that has lead up to it.  The fun, the hard work, all the many hours of training, the pain and suffering and sacrifices made along the way.  The journey has been great, however, it isn't over yet.  The best part is yet to come.  I am both excited and nervous about next weeks race.  The best thing of all, Robin will be there, as she has been at all my races.  And when I start to feel like I may not be able to go on, I look up, and see her in the crowd.  My spirits are lifted, my batteries recharge.  The best part of all, her smile, it breathes fire and life back into my tired body giving me the energy to keep moving.  Making my dreams become reality.  

I could have never accomplished what I have so far on this journey without her.  Her love and support has been more than I could have ever asked for.  

Next stop, Tempe...........


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