Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Kona Update

Busy day today in Kona at Ironman Hawaii.

I met with Jeff Keil, from Colorado, one of Nineteen's sponsored age-group athletes at the morning swim. Jeff has been one of the top age-group finishers here in Kona in the past and we are proud to be working with him this year. He's going to be wearing one of the new Nineteen Frequency SS( Speed Skins) in the race, and I needed to get him his suit.

Very busy down at the pier this morning. Bumped into all kinds of people that I know - endless list. I was planning on being there for about 30 minutes but this easily stretched into an hour and a half really easily. Chrissie Wellington, who won the women's race last year, and is the huge favourite to wins again this year, and possibly challenge some of the all time best course times, of the great Paula Newby-Fraser, was at the pier this morning and caused a bit of a frenzy with the media, other athletes and gawkers. This was as about as paparazzi as it gets in the sport of triathlon!

Paolina and I met up with my friend Joe Foster. The plan was for Paolina to ride with Joe out from Waikiloa out to part way up to Hawi and back. The ride went well and it gave me the opportunity to travel along in the car and pass up water bottles and encouragement. The ride went well and it let Paolina see some of the more technical parts of the course.

Lot's of other riders out on the bike course near town and also out on the section that we were on as well. We saw Torbjorn Sindballe, being motor-paced by someone on a scooter out near the look-out past the airport. He was moving along very fast.

It was the Parade of Nations tonight and Paolina took part with her Team Timex team- mates tossing out Timex Swag for the crowds on the parade route.

I bumped into three time Ironman Hawaii Champ Peter Reid this morning. It was good to see Pete again. He was back here in Kona doing some promo work for Specialized and leading a group ride this afternoon for people test riding Specialized bikes.

As some of you know I am working on a story on the changes in the Ironman Hawaii even in the last 15 years since I was last here 15 years ago. Below is a list of some of the things I know for a fact are very different based on what I have seen in the past few days:

- No underpants run – People actually did the whole race in a speedo! Seriously!

- No internet – you had to wait a month until Inside Triathlon and Triathlete came out with there November issues

- No Cervelo – Phil White & Gerard Vrooman were poor post Graduate Engineering Master’s students at McGill University

- No Slowtwitch – See no Internet!

- No Ford – The sponsor back then was Izusu, I think!

- No wind – ’93 set the standard for calm and cool by IMH Standards – it even rained in Hawi that year.


- No 70.3 races!

- No need to enter IM races a year ahead of time!
- No Compression socks, no powermeters, no super aero-frames, no salt pills

. . . . . and so on.

More photos on the day. Thanks for reading:

Testing the new Nineteen SS(Speed Skin) - it's fast!

View of the Queen K Hwy from the car - it's not that scenic!

Paolina and our friend Joe Foster on the recon ride past Waikiloa
This is were Nineteen wetsuits got it's name - Hwy 19 or the Queen K Hwy. Over 80% of the Ironman Hawaii bike and runs courses take place on Hwy 19, but most call it the Queen K.
Paolina's Timex team bike in race trim.

Scene from the Ironman Hawaii Parade of Nations.

Team Timex Pre-Parade strategy session

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