Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kukio Challenge....

The Big Island is always up to something fun, today it was the Kukio Challenge...swim, run, paddle! It attracts paddlers who are REALLY strong and do the crossings from one island to the next & it brings out people that just want to play in the water. The event also raises money for Hui Laulima O Kekaha Kai. ALL the money, 100% goes directly to the cause.
In any case, Paola the race director gave me the invite and I could not say no. You hardly have to twist my arm to get me in the ocean for any reason. Monday I spent about 10 minutes in the OC1 for the first time in over 2 years and called it good-to-go.

How cool is this, a race in any swim suit you want!
Other than knowing it would be a fun day with for a good cause, I really just wanted to race Coach Jimmy. I know the man can swim and run and bike and play in the water. I also know I would be "smashed tired" from yesterday & that he is "retired" from professional racing, so I was calling it even. Being a "play day" after yesterdays "work day" I chose the least speedy suit of all, a bikini. Let's just say the top went up and the bottoms filled like a balloon. I let the top go and decided I would fix it before standing to exit the water, the bottoms felt like I was dragging a buoy! Of course I missed the pack of men I wanted, but it was still fast enough to beat coach out of the water!
From there the run, a 5k that had me feeling tuff endurance wise but lacking that one-more-gear. Sure enough coach caught me just after the turn. I tried to stay on his shoulder while completely out of breath and legs. Well, he out ran me with some 6:15 or something pace to my 6:24 pace, however.... I made sure to pass him just before getting in the water, just so I can say I beat him! For the record, see the photo below-he is just behind me!
The paddle really was all fun and games. The Big Island paddlers are so strong, its all business when they are in the water. As for me and my LONG time out of the canoe practice I was just wanting to enjoy the ocean and of course hope that my swim/run lead would hold them off. I huli-ed 3x (huli means to flip your canoe over). That wasn't the most fun but I laughed about it, got back in the boat, and tried to remember this is a race-not a little paddle out to sea. The boys all went by me, none would give me a tow rope (I did ask a few of them). Believe I know perfectly well how fast the women are too and I knew they would have faster paddle times by a few minutes, so for sure out of the corner of my eye I had the look out for them. Despite the fact many of them out paddled me time wise I was thankful for the swim/run that helped me hold them off. Humble pie for me, yummy for this paddle adventure of mine...girls you had me paddling in fear!
This is the best photo of all! T Bear (one of the best in the world!) is looking for me...I am under the canoe looking for my hat...I huli-ed thinking I could take a wave head on. No such luck, he told me to breathe and relax. Another 2 times I would be out of the boat trying to get feisty with the ocean, leave it to me, (a woman who spends SO MUCH TIME in it), to forget that you can never ever challenge it! Never turn your back on it! And never think you can outsmart it!
It was a great day with great people. The day made me really wish I could spend more time in the boat. And I give so much respect to those that paddle, it's such hard work when trying to move a boat for several miles as fast as you can in chop, swell, waves, wind, or even the calm days. And after just 4 miles of paddling I give even more respect to those that cross the islands! AMAZING...maybe one day, I'll put that on my to-do-list.
I'm officially tired from the weekend & officially ready to think about my pillows! GOOD night and sweet dreams from the island!


IronHoosier said...

Looks like you had a usual!!

Sherry said...

Oh wow! That sounds crazy fun! Hubby and I really picked the wrong state to move to.


Great fun!!
Wish we had stuff like that around here.
Now I really do want to retire to the islands in 10 years!! and hopefully wont be old to enjoy all this fun!


Oh, and I have been out of touch.... Congratulations on a strong race last week. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person..

Jennifer Harrison said...

Bree, happy belated GREAT JOB at honu!!!!! Amazing race, good for you!!! :)

Kelly said...

Great weekend of racing, Bree!! I was so excited to see your report form Honu 70.3!!! YOu earned it, lady!! Congrats!

Furacán said...

Very funny! a great weekend!

t-odd said...

You have got A LOT of energy. Way to go and great race on Saturday.