I heard more from Peggy McDowell-Cramer. I asked for clarrification on how strong the “S” was when she said she had done IronmanS. “How many times? 6 times for kona, this is #7. It’ll be #11 total: 3 IMNZ, and 1 Florida.” Wow. I don’t even know how to respond to that, so here’s Peggy’s latest report from Kona.
Things have definitely come alive by Tuesday night, as most competitors are here. We just had the parade of nations, which ends up at the Expo Village, and that signals the official start of the activities. Since Kailua-Kona is a small little town, it’s pretty crowded.
I started Monday off with the usual swim and then got the ART people to work on my tight shoulders and neck. This group has a specific massage technique which is, in short, to push on a knot until it gives up. The practitioners do this for free each morning of the week, 15 minutes per person. They put up their massage tables under a huge canopy right at the pier, so the swim first and massage second routine is fairly standard. I’ve had wonderful ones, very normal, but today’s draw was a wannabe hepcat. He did loosen a couple of knots, so I can hardly complain.
During the day I did some modest workout things in the heat and visited an open house by a nutritional company (Hammer Gel). It was at a beach house 4 miles south of town and the company owner and family put it on just for the athletes….and so it was very much like just visiting friends. There’s something similar, I think, by another gel company the day after the race, at another rented house close to the first one. I’m not sure how I feel about those: thanks; thanks and I really ought to buy a bunch of your stuff now; thanks and I feel like a mooch because I probably won’t buy anything…….who knows?
Last night, per notice, I went over to the Iron Gents soiree at the King Kam hotel, which is at the pier/start/finish of the race/registration/etc. There were probably around 50 people there. I knew several, got to meet some I’d long heard about. It was a nice, fairly low-key event.
Today’s early morning swim had a fun factor added in because the fellow who has a Kona coffee company got a boat with an outrigger boom on it, went 1/2 a mile out from shore, and had iced espresso for us. You swam up to the boat, hung onto the boom as someone fixed your cup with or without cream and sugar, gave the cup back when done, then swam off. To sight on it they had an orange sail with appropriate wording on it, and it was an entertaining event. They’ll be out there the next two days, too. After the swim, registration opened and it was pretty much a breeze this year, which means quicker and more efficient. More along the lines of expecting competitors to be sentient and literate, so not much going through everything verbally with us.
From there it was off to riding the first part of the bike. It’s only about 7 miles long, but winds around town, with an out and back section going south, and I wanted to see how I wanted to do the gearing. During this venture I was reminded that my shoe cleats had developed a truly intolerable squeak. …both of them…which had driven me crazy on Saturday’s long ride. Fortunately there was a bike shop set up right at the King Kam hotel site and it took just one drop of oil in each cleat (total: 2 drops) to make life good again.
With the bike shop was the whole IM retail store and this year it had a notable difference: no posted prices. There’s nerve! The whole IM merchandising end of life is the subject of a good deal of athlete sarcasm (which apparently hurts sales not one iota), and this year’s top candidates for rolled eyeballs are the following: mattresses, and a Christmas tree ornament-ball with the mighty M-dot logo and some wording. I searched around and found the latter was to be had for $12.
The parade this afternoon was nice, and I got to meet more Americans while waiting for it to get going. We end up at the Expo’s opening, which is sort of entertaining in its own way. It’s a series of open tents with vendors, IM qualifier race reps, a stage with various rotating speakers, and a good deal of whatnot, and the mattresses were there. I tried out the medium and firm ones. As for me, I’m headed for the one right here in my condo, right now!
All remains well,