This is cliche to say, but WOW where do I even begin? This year's trip to Kona for the Ironman World Championships turned out to be so much more than I ever anticipated. All together I spent 1.5 weeks on the Big Island -- I extended my trip because it was just that good (plus it was D's b-day, etc). I just got into LAX at 5 a.m. today and am pretty much feeling like crap... tired from the red-eye flight, possibly sick or just suffering from vog and feeling a major post-vacation low. However, I can tell you one thing, no matter who I'm working with or whether I have a job at all during Ironman, I will be going to Kona for the race every year as long as I can swing it. It's truly magical.
There are so many stories to tell, as well as stories that will remain between the island and me. More often than not, I did not play the media role on this trip. Yea I did quite a bit of work with Triathlete.com leading up to the race/race day (none of which I've even seen b/c I've been so busy!), but I made an effort to enjoy free time with some amazing people in the triathlon world. I could blog for weeks on all the dinners, events, parties, hang-out sessions and adventures I had, but sometimes not every story is meant to be told and sometimes it's better to just forget about the camera. This trip became more about developing real relationships with people I once just "knew of" and admired from afar -- whether pros, industry leaders, product peeps, photographer or whatever.
Besides my personal experience, there's the race itself. Saturday was unbelievably rad. I couldn't have been more thrilled to see so many of my friends out on the course, as well as the world's best pros killing it. Truly inspiring. No matter how each person's race ended up, I admire you all for toeing the line and giving it your best. You never hear stories of people giving up just because they were "over it." No. People fight to almost a deathly state if that's what it takes. How rad is that?! Watching it all go down live always brings tears to my eyes. So thanks for a great effort out there everyone. One day I want to be out there too... but I'm glad it hasn't happened yet because I've enjoyed the stress-free non-stop fun I get in Kona :)
I have to give a special thanks to D, Maggs and Laura for giving me an AMAZING place to stay and being great company. I didn't get to know Laura that well unfortunately (she is miss popular and always on the go! :) ) but I did get to spend a significant amount of time with D and Maggs, and bottom line: I love those girls. If we all lived close I'd want them as roommates, and I don't say that about many people. But those girls are special.
Alright, before I start sharing highlights from my Kona experience I have tons to do... but first I think I need nap #2 and more food. Speaking of food, oh man did we eat well in Kona! Not too often do I have dessert every single night. And D even ate/liked veggies, tried tofu and drank alcohol ;)