Sunday 4th October 2009, Kona Hawaii
7.30 am, Alii Drive, Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
The sun is out, & temperature just coming up to 80f with 70% humidity.
There are 95 runners in the 10k, consisting of a mixture of enthusiastic locals & triathletes.
The race is out & back along Alii Drive, next to the Ocean, although there is no cooling breeze. The Drinks Station at 2.5k is welcome, and shortly after I see the lead runner, one time Hawaii winner Heather Fuhr, followed by a few blokes ! Round the turnaround and back into town to finish is a stately 50mins 51secs 42nd out of 95, and a telling 6th out of 7 in my age group.
A bit on the slow side, but in good order & a lot better than my first run a few days ago, when I got so hot & confused by 6k had to cool off under a cold shower for 5 minutes.
We all get an excellent T shirt for the Race, a complimentary breakfast of fresh fruit, Starbucks coffee & cakes all provided for the entry fee of $28.
As an old hand, I wait for the awards, and am rewarded with 3 water bottles, a fluorescent Ironman running top & about 10 assorted Gels all the sponsors have tons of stuff to give away !
Kailua Kona is more like a dream than reality. Since arriving a week ago we must have seen 2000 people running & 1000 each swimming & cycling, and to top it all smoking appears to be banned in all public spaces, so about 3 people smoking !
And the swimming ! The warm Ocean is full of fish of all colours and sizes, already seen 3 turtles & a pod of Spinner Dolphins, who dived down deep then surfaced to breathe all around me, whilst Jan watched from a kayak. Walking along the main street in Kona yesterday looking over the sea wall we saw four or five Spotted Eagle Rays swimming near the surface at times only 10 meters from the wall.
Been out for a couple of bike rides both on windy days, the first day getting blown back the 54 miles from the Ironman turnaround at Havvi in two & a half hours, the second riding out to Havvi into the wind, and I refuse to disclose the time it took.
There were some scary moments on both rides, as gusts of wind move the bike across the road, and one wonders if the next gust will be strong enough to blow you over.
Tomorrow is registration. I know my number 373, the lower numbers going to the professionals and more elderly competitors.
Saturdays the day, just hope the dream does not turn into a nightmare !