Monday, 22 October 2012

Champions are very nice people

I'm back from Kona, Hawaii and oh boy was it a phenomenal adventure.

From the famous Island Lava Java cafe/grill... everything, everywhere in the town being covered in Ironman associated stuff and pop-up stalls.

To volunteer shift #1, escorting athletes through transition to show them the route, help rack their bikes and point out important, er, points...

Lookit the queue that brewed - it's a tough job getting over 2,000 people through to show them the route and rack up and we ran thin on volunteers to length of athlete queue quite quickly.

 And spotted the odd elite...

Raelert brothers

The entrance hall of the race HQ - King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel - decorated with a floral m-dot...

And Ironman brand on -everything- that moves, or doesn't move.

 The place heaving with people with minimal body fat...

Dig Me Beach

And handy placement of the race week schedule on the pavement.

I did a sneaky Brit-centric chalk on the bike-out route from transition, in the hope it might make someone smile.

Didn't really get a chance to take any photos on volunteer shift #2 apart from lots of sweaty, knackered athletes in between crossing off names and handing out medals and finisher goodies.

Faris Al Sultan (5th place)

Part of my little list of athletes to give medals to (Rebecca Romero was on page 1 of my list)

Big chunk of ironwork!


Kristin Moeller
But did run into and and had a chat with elites at the cafe on the way back from my surfing lesson...

Andreas and Michael Raelert (and me inna middle)

And new world champions at the volunteer after party.

Pete Jacobs (and me)

They were more than happy to just have a chat, like a normal person and even a normal person with a sunny and cheery, sociable personality.  Triathlon is still like that and I hope it stays that way.  I do worry about it getting really popular and then the elites becoming less and less accessible and "normal".

Also met loads of other good people too, mostly the Team Freespeed guys, IronRosey and @devoniain

What struck me about a lot of people who were there that I talked to was the attitude of "well, just come and race here next year" as if it were something that you can just arrange to do with no doubt of it happening.

Maybe 2016's goal.


  1. awesome stuff and some FAB pictures!

    I was lucky enough to be in Lanzarote on 19th May - the day they did their Ironman (which was a qualifier for Hawaii I believe). I was on the way to the airport at around 8.30 in the morning when we saw the first of the cyclists bombing past us in the opposite direction having already done the swim.

    A few hours later as we were sat on the plane waiting to take off we saw the runners on the far side of the airport running along the sea front (in temps of 38 - 40 ). Deep respect to these people indeed.