Aloha!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dear Reader...

 My apologies for the giant slacking of posting, Ironman came to town.  As you know, it takes up the entire Queen K, all the grocery stores, and a lot of time with it's week long activities/expo.  It full on helped the economy of Hawaii by a giant 4% (thank you Ironman athletes and supporters!). As with every year, it makes me proud to be a triathlete.  Seeing the floods people who spend countless hours chasing a goal all here to live out what they accomplished, not to mention so many fit people running round!  Very encouraging to say the least.  I played my role in the very important underwear run by of course, running in tighty whitey's.  Ali'i Drive was filled for a mile in nearly naked people and a banana being chased by a gorilla.  You had to be here...
 ...And then came race day.  Saturday was incredible. It began by racing down the street because, "Andy Potts was coming!!"  From there it just got better and better, more exciting, and more fun than I've ever had watching.  If I couldn't be in the race my job was to get as close to it as possible...learn, watch, enjoy. As with all long races, there is always a bit of drama thrown in.  Round one was a flat tire. 

Just after the last "Tech Support" vehicle went by a man got a flat.  He tried, spectators tried, we all tried to get his bike back in the race. All the way from Kentucky he traveled and there was no way we wanted him to miss out on his Ironman at mile 12 of the bike.  SO....up the hill I drove to grab my race wheel.

I know what you might be thinking, hopefully you aren't one of those.  Some rules are meant to be broken, in this case, "outside help" is one of them.  He was behind the last tech support car, (that counts as far enough back in my opinion to not be taking another mans race up front), nobody would be coming back for him, we couldn't call tech support because the radios they were given were broken (honest!), and in some small way I considered myself "tech support".  You know why, the tech support vehicle was at my house all night long, I could have jumped in it at 3:45 in the morning with the boys and actually been "official", but I didn't.  So I gave the man my wheel and he was back on the road like a half hour later from his flat.  AND he finished the race!  That's what I think Ironman is about in some small way, to have trained and worked hard to be here, then to fly all the way over from Kentucky, to have a mechanical that needs a new wheel, to wait a LONG time, then not give up...let me repeat that, to not give up...

Speaking of not giving up, look at Sarah at mile 12 of the bike!  It was pretty cool to see a studly pro girl like her barfing her brains out while flying down the highway and NOT GIVE UP.  Of course it did not make holding nutrition in very easy or staying hydrated, but we all found a lot of respect for her and it did make a little fun dramatic display of gross for us spectators...
 ...and then my pick for the women's win, Caroline.  I knew without a doubt it would be her or Leanda, I have admired them both from a distance since getting into this sport, and I follow my favorite girls and boys, so I had a feeling it was their day to shine. I got to know Caroline a lot better this season at the races and she surpassed everything I ever thought about her as an athlete and person.  Her and Leanda's battle had me in tears throughout the day.  I was up close in the race and could see a fight to stay in the lead and a fight to be in the lead.  Up so close, any of us cheering, couldn't help but feel Caroline giving it everything to hold off Leanda.  You could hear her pain as she breathed, you could see in her eyes a desire to be the champion and embrace the hurt to make that reality.  Leanda was just absolute focus, fearless, it was so incredible how patient she looked and confident too as she ran her race and made her move.  I cried when they passed on the way to the energy lab. I cried when they were 4 miles from the finish line and the move was unfolding, it took 2 miles to happen, but when it did, you could almost hear tears.  It was an incredible race they gave us and my applaud is loud for them both, it truly was a blast to watch.  Congratulations to both Leanda and Pete for giving all of us spectating a very good day to remember...

 As for the hometown, I had my favorites too...all of them!  It was so much fun seeing training partners and friends all part of such a big deal in our little town.  The best was running a mile with my first ever training partner.  I was a paddler then, skipping practice, out of the canoe and wanting to ride a bike.  He caught me and we became swim-bike-run friends in that instant!  He took me on my first few rides, swam me out very far into the ocean, and of course smashed me in running..till one day he didn't.  But that's another story.  I cried with him that entire mile, just talking about old memories, laughing at how far we have come, and then just enjoying a moment of his Ironman.  I'm really thankful for everyone that let me share a little of their Ironmans with me...
Finally, the yard.  Ironman weekend took a big tole on everyone...it is EXHAUSTING cheering! I landed in a hammock, did a lot of garden work, and harvested bananas. Masuda was the best company ever, keeping my chin up and my heart focused forward not on a day I missed.  Then I found the greatest Filipino slippers from his cousin in his garage, no ka oi!! 

 Kainoa of course basked in the Ironman fun too, however as of this moment is words are still, "No, I do not want to do that".  And that is okay with me.  Life is back to normal on the island, most the crowd has gone home, and the grocery has eggs again....

Bree




4 Comments:

Blogger Lucy Francis said...

Bree you have my blessing for playing tech support to that man. So glad he finished the race. I hope he bought you a great big MAI TAI afterwards :-)
Thanks so much for the first person account of the race. I was on my laptop following it on ironman live but there's nothing better than a behind the scenes commentary, so cool. I'm so chuffed for Leanda Cave, another brit girl wins in your lovely island. Madam Pele must like the english.
Glad to know that all is getting back to normal the shops probably run out of coffee too, no?

October 16, 2012 at 10:48 PM

 
Blogger Kacie Darden said...

Hello! Love your blog!

I was sitting at Lava Java waiting for my husband, when the woman at the table next to me got a call from her husband saying that Bree Wee saved the day, but that he was running late and not to worry!

I know that you not only made his day, but you made his entire support group (family and friends) day too.

Seriously classy.

October 17, 2012 at 3:45 AM

 
Blogger Dawn said...

Sounds like an amazing day! As I watched the pros on the live feed online, I was wondering what you'd be up to over there? ;) How exciting with helping out that fellow Ironman from Kentucky!! Omg, love that story,just awesome!! :) It was another great finish by the leaders, wow!... esp those ladies!! My favorite is seeing those age-groupers start coming in too. They are all amazing! Thx for sharing your behind the scenes this time... looking forward to cheering you on next time! :)

October 18, 2012 at 4:53 PM

 
Blogger Kathy said...

What a GREAT race recap! Glad you had such a good time out there.

October 19, 2012 at 3:51 PM

 

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