Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kona Race Report

The day started with tons of nerves as usual. I planned to meet my friend Don Bosch to do a good swim warm-up but we never made a meeting spot and there were athletes and spectators galore gathered all around the start. Prerace I spent most of my time after check in near the “ladies room”. I finally made my way to the pier at 6:20 in my new TYR Sayonara and to my delight Don was standing there with a smile. We got in and did a ten minute warm-up, gave each other a big good luck water hug and I was off to the professional start line. The minutes leading up to the start of the race are very nerve racking and exciting at the same time - but the last five minutes seem to go so long as you never know exactly when they will fire the cannon. Then suddenly BAM !! In the first 50 feet I got one side of my goggles kicked off and they were hanging by one eye, I was ticked that I missed the pack but thankful they actually stayed on my head. I made a quick adjustment and was back on track. I worked hard throughout the swim to keep a good line and stay in a draft when possible. I was satisfied with the swim although a faster time would have been nice !

Next up the 112 mile bike - Overall my bike ride was so much fun!! I got on the bike but within minutes my computer was lodged in the rear cog – I was screaming for help and a nice guy just tore it off my bike and I was back moving. In the short debacle I lost the athletes I was out of the water with, but about ten minutes later a group caught me which included Sandra Wallenhorst, Yvonne Van Vierken and Kate Major. It was a blessing in disguise because I was warmed up and ready to keep contact. The four of us stayed 10 meters apart for about fifteen miles, then shortly after Yvonne broke away.

I started to get sick on the bike about mile 95 and got passed by Linsey Corbin and a few others. I got off the bike and OUCH !! My legs were cramping from loss of fluid, had a long transition and the shuffle began. I must honestly admit I was feeling awful and getting worse. I was doing the walk, jog, shuffle thing trying to take in calories but I seemed to be getting worse. I wanted to quit – people were cheering like crazy and all I wanted to do was cry – I had imagined pushing my body and running fast and my stomach hurt so much that I couldn’t. I saw Todd, gave him a hug – had a few tears and said I was going to do the best I could as I thought of my daughter Jordan. Many people know the story but my daughter has cerebral palsy and has fought her entire life to overcome and in doing so has come so far. I know that she would give anything to be able to run someday so the thought of stopping a race because of the pain I am in is not an option in my mind. If nothing else I would walk the entire race and keep going for Jordan.

I saw coach Paul from Lifesport – my mind was saying stop but Paul encouraged me to “keep going – it will come back” I walked half way up Palani then started to run once again. I got salt from a competitor and fluid from the aid station and finally started to feel a little better. Each mile got better and better, it was an amazing turnaround. The last half of the race I felt great and pulled in almost all the women who passed me earlier. It is a great life lesson to never quit no matter what the circumstances as you never know what is around the corner. I finished this Ironman day with a smile on my face and a thankful heart.

I am thankful to all of those who helped me along the path to race day including my great sponsors: Trakkers, K-Swiss, Quintana Roo, First Endurance, Fuel Belt, Gu, Village Bikes, Zipp, Oakley, Lifesport, Marc Strickland and the Center 4Massage – you are the Best – your continued support means the world to me!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Kona Underwear Run

The Kona underpants run is a race-week tradition designed
to poke fun (and discourage) those athletes who insist on
wearing their training gear in unsuitable endeavors, such as
shopping, dining out or hitting the local coffee shop, Lava Java.

Below runners take the underpants oath before beginning
their one mile jog through town. The pictures below speak
for themselves - it is quite the site to behold, or participate in!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Kona

We have been having a busy but great time
here in Kona. Below Morgan Clark owner
of All3 Sports and I hooked up with Laura
Sophia and her friend for a little spin.

My Support crew from QR has been AWESOME !!
Brad and Mac followed me on my ride to make sure I
was having no problems with my CD01 after a few
quick adjustments. I cant thank these guys enough
for their support while we have been here - they are
simply the best. THANKS GUYS !!

Eric Bell (Pro Triathlete from Knokville Tennessee) and I
take a break after one of my many Rev3 Interviews for the
day. I had the opportunity to interview many of our great
Rev3 Sponsors throughout the day about our upcoming
2010 Series.

Check out for all the latest details on this
awesome new Series.

One of a very few quiet moments before my Lifesport
Press Conference began at the Expo.

Lance Watson leads a question and answer period
featuring Linsey Corbin, Haley Cooper and myself.

Each year a group of Pro's get selected by NBC Sports to
do pre race interviews. Below I am doing a Q & A with
one of the NBC guys for use during the one hour show.

I then did a quick photo shoot for NBC Sports. Every year
they try and capture a variety of images that once again
will be used for the one hour television production of the
World Championships.

A picture of Kevin Mackinnon and I after my
NBC duties wrapped up. Kevin has written
some terrific stories about our family over
the years - he is a great writer and an even
better guy !!

Here I am with good friend Scott Rigsby.
I am holding his new Book "Unthinkable"
The true story about the first double
amputee to complete the World famous
Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon.

Scott has a soft spot for my daughter Jordan
and personally signed this book with a special
note just for her.

Below are two photos from our K-Swiss Team Press
Conference. It was a blast to take the stage with fellow
teammates - Erik Vervloet has put together a super
group of athletes. I wish everyone the best of luck
this coming Saturday !!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


It’s getting close and I am so excited !! It’s so fun to be back on the Big Island – seeing friends and doing final race prep !

The Pictures say it all….

IM World Champion Chrissie Wellington, Catrina Morrison and I at the airport at LAX

Norman Stadler and baby on the Flight to Kona

Had fun training with a great friend from Spokane Sam – we rode the top half of Hawi on a real windy day and practiced the descent –
I want to be able to hammer down – NO FEAR !!

A seriously windy day - gusts up to 35 mph

Doing the Blue Water Swim Race at Kukio Bay with friends Kevin Moats and Laura Sophiea

We had some good friends over for dinner, here I am with Morgan Clark owner of All3Sports !!
One stop shopping for all your on-line Triathlon needs....

It was a great night that also included Don Bosch from Knoxville, Morgan, Holly from GU, myself and Eric Bell - pro triathlete also from Knoxville. The evening really was a blast - it is so fun to see friends throughout the week.

Myself, Morgan and Holly !!
It was so great to see Holly again - GU has been a great Sponsor of mine and Holly is a super friend !!