Friday, October 7, 2011

World Series of Triathlons - Kona

In light of what will be occurring this Saturday, October 8th, I decided to instead devote a post to the Ironman Hawaii aka Kona aka the World Championships!  My love for the sport started in 8th grade, although I would never even "tri" a triathlon until I turned 31 unless you count a couple duathlons that were on a mountain bike....

Doesn't matter, I was enamored with this big race since 1989 when my Aunt Noreen and Uncle Glenn were married in NJ and  shortly after moved to Hawaii and would pursue the dream of competing in Kona....They both got in - my aunt in 1991 and my uncle in 1992.  I still remember being in high school and telling friends that my aunt and uncle were in the biggest race - I don't think anyone cared but I was so excited!  I was crushing over Mark Allen! 
The Iron War of Mark Allen and Dave Scott - 1989
I loved going to my grandparent's house and seeing that finishing post of my aunt coming in posted on the fridge.  She had quite a struggle but she finished and was an "IRONMAN."  My uncle finished in 10 hours and some change which I can't even fathom - but I think it is freaking awesome!

For any of you that don't know, the World Championships Ironman is mainly qualified racers from the other WTC-sanctioned (Ironman branded) events as well as some lucky little bastards that get in through the 200 lottery slots.  The race consists of 2.4 miles swim in the Pacific...(yes, kids, this water is clear unlike the Jersey lakes and cranberry bogs we need to sift through out here),  156 mile bike  past some lava fields (no joke), and last but not least, just a short little marathon. 

This was the IM Hawaii World Championships 1992....(I hijacked some of the pictures when my uncle was in it - such an amazing event)....I was so excited to find these pictures from almost 20 years ago!

Start of the race!

Swimmers getting ready to start!

This was from a post card

Setting up the bike pre-race!

Transition area

Finishing up - looking strong!

This is it now...

So yes, the outfits, may have changed, the bikes upgraded a little, but the emotions are the same.  

Among the hottest pros are Chrissie Wellington (course record of 8 hours and 54 min....), Andy Potts, Miranda Carfrae, etc...but what about those age groupers?  What about those incredibly dedicated peeps that hold down a full-time job and have trained for an additional 20-25 hours a week on top of that competing with the best of the best in the hopes of winning, placing and/or finishing this intense race.  And let's not forget those people that have handicaps such as amputees, blind, etc that finish the race way faster than I can ever even hope to.  These are the people that encourage me to run that extra mile when I feel like stopping!
So is Hawaii Ironman part of my hopes and dreams? YOU BETCHA! Maybe it won't happen till I am 75 and qualified by doing IM Brazil (I hear you have a better chance), or maybe one year I enter the lottery (not the $$$ one, the ironman one - all though the first would be nice too) and get in, OR maybe I just take a short vacation and watch the event unfold in-person and cheer and hold signs for all those amazing athletes.

The race will not be airing till November, but you can track tomorrow some of my favorite blogging friends.  If you get a chance, visit some of these blog links and read what some of these cool kids do in their "spare" time and how hard they work to get where they are! 

Tatiana  - What it is
Beth W - California Training
James - Blood Sweat and Beers
Hailey  - Hailey in Training
Beth S - Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials
Sonja  - GoSonja
Marni -

 Good luck to all those RACING tomorrow!!


  1. awesome round-up. i can't wait to stalk all my tri crushes!

  2. love love that your aunt and uncle did it and that you knew about it and realized what it was all about. i was hooked when i watched in as a child and saw julie moss, crawling across the finish line, i just that is a challenge.

  3. fabulous photos!! always love a good throwback shot.


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