Spacemen and Kona Hills

So, now, let me back track a little bit to recount yesterday’s activities.  The day started with a somewhat, ok, no, totally weird request from Mike’s coach (who, I should mention, is also a friend of ours) to take a picture of Mike’s backside in a speedo….yeah…..I decided the best place for this rear end photo shoot was probably at the beach and perhaps underwater for that matter.  So we headed to the beach for our morning swim/photoshoot.

Euro photo shoot pic #1

Euro photo shoot pic #2

After our risque photo shoot (I should mention, I did not play a part it–rather it was an awesomely European bonding moment between BDubbs and Ironman Danish offshore a ways….I am not even jealous) we headed back to the condo for some eats and some down time before heading out on our respecitve bike rides for the day.  Rae and I decided to snap some sweet shots of the space men before heading out.

Spacemen prepare for flight

BDubbs putting out the vibe

Ironman Danish….yeah

Ironman Danish and BDubbs had some specific workouts to do, luckily Rae and I did not.  So we headed out on a three hour ride in the Kona hills.  We rode up to 2000ft in pretty much 2 miles (the road, which had a name that sounds like someone saying aloha like 20 times, kicked up to 20% at the end).  The final 20% kick at the top almost killed me as I was rocking a sweet time trailing cassette on Fergie’s loaner wheel–an 11 x 23.  Yeah–that sucked and I almost died of an asthma attack.  Luckily, crisis averted by the trusty inhaler.

We then were in some beautiful rolling hills that overlooked miles and miles of lava fields that run all the way down to the Ocean.

Goats chillin in the lava fields

Regina and Fergie taking in the views

We turned around on our out and back course and had an awesome cruise back towards the Alohaalohaalohamahalo Road for a fun filled descent that began with negative 20% (we were going about 45 mph–way more than 30).  The only thing that made it not that awesome was the shakey front wheel I had going down it.  Turns out Ironman Danish was trying to kill me, when we built our bikes at 2am East Coast time the night we arrived apparently my front break cable got a little frisky and decided to get closed into the stem….yeah, turns out my wobble wasn’t a speed wobble but rather a “your break cable is attached to your stem” wobble.

My “yay I didn’t die” photo op….

After not dying, we headed away from home a little longer on the Queen K to get in some extra time to make our ride a full three hours.  On the way home we collected some serious giveaways and had two opportunities to refill our bottles at a Gu roadside stop and a Island Bike Works roadside stop.  Not bad.  We swung into the Energy Lab for some shots before heading home.

Fergie loading up on some energy at the lab

Rae posing at the Energy Lab next to a sign that we are clearly past that commands no cyclists beyond that sign….oops…

Upon returning home, we stopped in and thanked Planet Sun for their amazing sun protection they provided us with on our ride (and everyday of the year).  I then headed out on my mission to get Fergie leid….she shall have more glam lei shots today.

Fergie leid on lava beach

IM WC=not easy…neither is spectating

So, while Ironman Danish may have his case of the crazies from time to time and consistently misplace wallet, keys, and cell phone (yup, he even lost it in the airport on flight here) I have to give him “props” for a jaerb well done here in Kona.

Not even the pros can make this course look easy.  Having swam the swim course and ridden the bike course (granted, never went above zone 2 on the heart rate), I know exactly what they were up against–and it wasn’t pretty.  The swim course reportedly had a lot of current still left over from the rains/swell that had happened during the week, since the fastest pro swim was “slow” at 49 minutes…(yeah, their slow is my awesomest swim of my life assuming I trained ONLY swimming for the next 40-50 years).  Before we even got to the swim course, I was poised and ready to document the day…snipped many morning shots:

who's up and at 'em....yup--this guy!

4:45 breakfast....yup, isn't that what you were doing at 4:45 on a Saturday?

Also before the start, the cheering squad planned to all be under a large banyan tree across from the swim in which Nelson climbed to get better pics….

the cheering squad

Nelson in the tree...

Good one Nelson...don't you teach kids to read?

Unfortunately, it turns out several hundred parrots also planned to be IN that tree…yeah–I got pooped on…TWICE!!!  (and the ol’ adage that this is “good luck”, is, I believe, in fact crap–its just because people feel bad for you that they say this)…

yeah, poop #1

Anyway, the race got underway and we headed off to get a quick cup of coffees of hawaii awesomeness before heading back to see the pros head out on the bike (and shortly thereafter, Ironmen Danish and BDubbs).  We positioned ourselves at “the HOT corner” (appropriately named as it is a “hot turn” in every direction and hot in temperature–thanks to our Planet Sun sunscreen, none of us were burned!).  We actually managed to film some vids and pics of Danish and BDubbs at the hot corner:

After seeing them head out of town, we knew we had approximately 5 hours before we had to be on station again to see them run.  This time, Rayray and I had to be in full kits and ready to roll on our road bikes to provide ample cheering during the run:

Lucky for us, they were always within 7-12 minutes of each other.  They actually came off the bike within 2 minutes of each other!!  Ironman Danish, however, had to serve a small penalty in the transition area, putting him 4 min slow on transition…

Danish bombing down hill to the transition to serve penalty and feel shame

BDubbs aka pink sleeves coming into transition 2

no biggie, just Chrissie almost running me down....

We were spectating machines, and speaking for us, we were AS tired as the Ironmen at the end of the day–spectating can be grueling.  We rode from mile 1 to mile 8, from mile 8 to mile 14, from mile 14 to the energy lab (so as to see them coming in AND out), and from there we would leap from them in small increments up the course towards home.

BDubbs mile ocho

Danish at mile 18...smiling

Heading out on the run both were looking fresh and running strong.  We knew they were both in a (relatively) happy place.  Around mile 20, we had to split ways though as Ironman BDubbs was ahead of Ironman Danish by enough that Rayray had to get on station ASAP for pics and general finisher support system.  I hung around mile 22 to cheer Ironman Danish home and then wound my way through a VERY thick crowd.  Upon arriving at the finish line, I realized that I was going to have a hard time elbowing into the front row for a good pic with Rizzo by my side.  Luckily, I ran into another member of our cheering squad (who was not lucky enough to have a bike to ride around the course), A1, who took my bike for me so I could snap some shots….however, turns out Rayray was in the BEST spot and snapped awesome finish photos:

Ironman World Championship Danish 9:41!!

Ironman Danish finished in an amazing 9:41 and Ironman BDubbs a blazing fast 9:28!!!!  Unbelievable!!  We all rendezvoused with other “Pac Velo” peeps after the finish and ate some pizza (Danish and BDubbs took advantage of the free massage) before we headed back to the condo for showers, more food, beers (finally!), and a nap before heading back to the finish line to cheer home midnight finishers….more to follow!!

together again...sunburned and pooped!

the view from where we were on the lawn

Riz relaxing alongside Ironmen