Cheering on the BFF and watching her crush it at the front of the race for a big chunk of the day. In the end, she had some terrible luck and got taken out by a male pro who hit her on the way up to Hawi, and she ended up with a concussion/ unable to see straight. But I think Mere and all of us saw yesterday that she has the strength to be a player here—and she will be back!
Watching my friend and training partner, Leanda, become Ironman World Champion. Wow. I still get goosebumps just talking about it. Until yesterday, I had never really been able to watch the women’s race winner seal the deal, as I am always either on course racing (miles behind her) or chasing my Cat/ attending to his post-race puking festival. Yesterday I had the incredible experience of watching the women’s race play out first-hand. We were able to bunny hop Leanda on bikes from when she exited the Energy Lab a minute and a half or so behind Caroline and give her splits every mile or so as she closed the gap. It was absolutely amazing to watch the digging-deep up so close. I could see on Leanda’s face how much she was willing to hurt herself to make the final pass at about mile 23; it was incredibly awesome and inspiring.
As you can see above, in the end, there was a massive peloton following the girls, watching the drama go down. We were able to follow Leanda all the way til she turned down Ali’I for the final stretch. I am so flippin’ excited for her; this win is beyond well-deserved!
Watching all three of my first-timers learn what this Kona thing is all about and all four of them log solid finishes on one of the tougher days I have seen on the island. I think it is hard to understand what a different animal this race is until you have been here and experienced it. My girls were strong in the face of the challenges the island dealt yesterday and I think everyone learned some valuable lessons, as it is on these toughest days that we learn the most.
Above is first-timer Jennifer sneaking in under the 11-hour mark! She had a solid 3:38 marathon.
I love this pic of Kona Dawn crossing the line (in Smash, I might add—her kit looked awesome!!). She’s been dreaming of that for 7 years! I am so proud of her. And she has already posted a report here—check it out.
Kona veteran Julie logged another solid finish, determined to crush Ironman Arizona in a few weeks’ time, and first-timer Alyssa ended up in the top third of her age group in what she said was the hardest triathlon she had ever done. Love my girls! So proud.
And exhausted—and I didn’t even race!