Is this blog going to turn into race stories? Perhaps! Stories of start lines and finish lines; stories of Saturday morning long rides and Thursday night speedy runs? Well, yes. Because these experiences are simply personified examples of how I live my life, how we run our business and how we chase goals beyond the bottom line. To me, those are worth sharing!
Hawaii 70.3 made the race calendar this year mostly because I wanted to practice feeling nervous on the big island before the big dance in October. My biggest goal of the year relates to running down Ali’i Drive and yet I didn’t want my whole year to wait for that one special finish line — I wanted to practice managing nervous butterflies; I wanted to embrace that Kona heat; I wanted to go for it! And that I did.
My race execution was rather uneventful, if I can say so myself. I had a rather mediocre swim, as I heard the announcer say “the top 5 women are out of the water”, which meant I wasn’t in the lead pack. I had a solid, steady bike – consistency for the win. And I was just waiting to put my running shoes on all day!
What made my day exceptional was the village along the way…
+ I saw Julia from Triathlete Magazine at the swim start! I saw Martina (one of Vancouver’s finest former pro’s) on the eve of her wedding, getting ready to race. I knew every girl at the front of our wave and that alone made me grateful to race such remarkable talent.
+ Only a few miles into the bike, I heard Roger scream my name. Despite not realizing it was him at first, we became fast riding buddies and ended up jockeying back and forth for most of the bike. #TeamVancouver
+ The highlight of the ride was when Hailey rode by and I felt like I was living Instagram in Real Life! I’ve watched Hailey online, cheered for her at IM Texas and in fact, remember her very vividly passing me along the Queen K last year at IM Hawaii. We exchanged words and I thought if I could simply keep her in sight, I’d have an amazing day. We too ended up riding back and forth for the remainder of the ride and if our conversation was any indication of our effort, let’s just say that we were conserving watts. (Note: if you are ever racing with Hailey, be sure to enter an aid station ahead of her because she will make sure the volunteers are ready with everything you need! And, don’t you dare slow down in front of this girl. Got it?) As luck or fate would have it, we ended up passing each other for the duration of the day. We entered T2 together and sat down on a chair to put our shoes on. She proceeded to be out of there in no time and I was squawking for a volunteer to help me untie my bag…oh boy! I actually asked for a new bag (because I was going to rip mine open of course) and Hailey laughed out loud, while running out of transition to say “I don’t think that is gonna happen sister!”. HA! She was right.
+ My good friend Nick from swimming/ Method Indoor Cycling was racing. I was on a mission to catch him! And it took until the run for me to do so. I ran by and said “come run with me” to which he replied “i think i’ve just been chicked”! What a guy! He had a great race.
+ My newest, raddest friend BPuds made the trek to Kona despite not being able to race due to a knee injury. This was his first Ironman experience. And a 12hr day it was indeed! We had spent the week prior to the race riding the island together. As soon as I got off of my bike, I couldn’t wait to see him to tell him about the only bike ride we didn’t do together! Sure enough, sitting on the hot grass, I spotted him from a mile away and ran with glee until I could say hello. The look of absolute shock on his face that I was running by, or perhaps able to chat, still makes my chuckle. He was the ultimate training/ racing sherpa. (And, is responsible for my latest obsession.) I’ll be at his first start line for sure!
+ Nick from Velofix is a Big Island staple and made the logistics of this trip with my special P3 so easy. Always always grateful Nick! I’ve already reserved the big red truck in September.
+ And last but absolutely not least, the overall winner: Lectie Altman! I’ve known of Lectie and her awesomeness from the internet. I had the pleasure of racing with her at IM Whistler last year, which could not have been more unfair to put a Hawaiian resident into the mountains of rain/snow/sleet. And of course, I knew she was the first, fastest cat out of the water. It wasn’t until we hit the run that I saw the dent her swim put on me. I was 4min down and while I ran my heart out to catch her, she crossed the line 58 solid seconds ahead of me. As it turns out, she put 47 of those precious seconds on me in transitions alone. This was indeed her race to win, on home Hawaiian turf. Congrats Lectie!
I’m grateful for my 2nd place OA finish because you bet your bottom dollar I will not dare take 58 seconds for granted from this day forward:).
Race recovery was brought to us by TeamHardy. Roger and his men had great races and listening to them regale their stories together was hilarious. Sitting at dinner on Sunday night, he has asked everyone, spectators included, for their “highlight and lowlight” of the day. Without fail, everyone who was with a lover said the highlight of the day was seeing their partner at the finish line. And THAT is what the Village is all about.
My brain coach tells me that we need to race for someone we love because it will pull us through. Last weekend, I raced with these 3 guys top of heart:
+ Mikey because he can always find another gear and a BIGGER SMILE.
+ Bro because he just NEVER EVER GIVES UP! (he won’t dare let you either. he is in fact my new spirit animal!)
+ and my Main Man Davey because he is PURE LOVE, personified. #lovewins
So from one island to another, let’s do this again — Victoria 70.3, I’ll see you Sunday morning.