Saturday, August 8, 2009

In Search of My Hoku...

Getting the tires ready! Yes coach, I was taking this VERY serious!

Congrats to Rick! First time a Kauai boy won!!

Today was the very most beautiful race I have ever done in my entire life-ever! Sea To Stars has a reputation for being one of the most challenging bike races in the world and the very most challenging climb in the state of Hawaii. Mauna Kea is one BIG BEAUTIFUL volcano and today I got to experience it through a whole lotta grit and guts...


To sum up the race, we start at the sea (Hilo Bay), and we climb to the stars. We ride out of town then along Saddle Road. From there we get to the right hand turn that goes up to the observatory. It's about 36 miles of climbing. The first couple hours are pretty steady, a few climbs that make your legs burn and your heart pound. Somewhere in the middle of Saddle Road the sky opens up and you are just amazed at the views. I shouted to Steve (he was my pacer), that this was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced! It was surreal...like a little peace of heaven on Earth.

My mission for the race was of course to get up the volcano, somehow I forgot about that challenge and was just so caught up in everything beautiful in this life, on this island, and I could not stop smiling. I know my legs were suffering but for some reason they didn't hurt, can't explain it. I was just having so much fun, I'm pretty sure it was lack of oxygen to my brain that had me so child-like and enjoying the race so much.

When you get off Saddle Road and make the turn to climb Mauna Kea you cover 2500ft pretty quick. The total climbing from sea is just over 13,000ft and for this ocean girl I could tell my lungs were a little confused. We made the turn and I just started to throw up...it felt a lot like a fish out of water, a little oxygen would have been nice at the time...
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The final few miles are such a personal challenge. You just keep facing yourself and all that you are made of. The option to slow or quit are right there, alongside them is this inner battle to just keep working till you get to the top. It was like a fight in the ring and your only opponent is yourself...
Seeing the finish line was like finally reaching a star or something you have been wanting to achieve for a long time. Simply put, I was beyond happy! Getting off the bike was exactly like getting off a merry-go-round as a child. You are so dizzy and the legs are so wobbly. You just sort of flop to the ground, all giddy, super smiley, in a world of complete wonder...









Post race massage...
The Kona boys up to no good...
Maui and Oahu friends...

A HUGE congrats goes out to all the finishers! AND big mahalo to Steve for riding most of the day with me. To Jim for watching Kainoa so I could go race. To Andy and Dusty for the most fun a girl could have in a van (maybe not), to Argon 18 for the best road bike a girl could have, to the Hawaii Cycling Club for putting on such a great race and of course the fantastic prizes! I will put it all to good use, especially that free ocean front hotel stay! ha ha, Kainoa pack your bags! We are going on vacation to the fancy hotel across the street!
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GOOD NIGHT from Kona!
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11 comments:

Marni said...

Congrats!! I told Karel about it and it is on his must-do list :)
Great job.

Missy said...

For the love of a road bike, I swear! Just love mine too. Great pix as always.

D said...

I might know someone who would use that hotel stay ;)

Yasi said...

Awesome job! Congrats on such a great race. I love all of your similes because I can totally picture exactly how you feel without having to do it myself (because I'm sure my weak legs would not make that!). Looks like we'll have to do a virtual pull-up challenge, though I do wish I had a killer trainer to whip me into shape!

Sherry said...

Wow! AMAZING job! Way to go, Bree!!!

miles99999 said...

Great ride, sounds awesome. How did you end up doing...looks like you won, eh?

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

I take it from the plaque and hotel award that you won?? Way to go!!

I just want to know.... what's with you and guys in podium pictures? Either this one is scared to put his arm on you, or he is checking something out, but I dont see any cleavage so I'm confused...

Charisa said...

Sounds like a crazy awesome race!! Congrats :)

t-odd said...

Way to go! The pictures are awesome. You are reaching for water bottle a little too enthusiastically in that one picture. Way to grind it out! Congrats.

Swim Coach Finder said...

Thats the great thing about Hawaii, the beauty you see gives you the extra boost you need to complete the race!

CoachLiz said...

Whoo Hoo! Super Congratulations on that climb. Were there burritos at the top for finishers? Ok, I want the stats...What was the temp at the start and the temp at the finish. :)