Here I sit on our hotel balcony at 9.30 at night looking out over the Kailua-Kona pier and bay, as palms trees sway and waves lap at the shore. Flame torches light the paths, fairy lights surround the diners by the beach and a sweet smelling candle in a coconut shell flickers by my side....it's pretty magical and very calm. The calm before the storm!!
It's hard to believe that in five days time this place will be swarming with people, lots of noise and many memorable moments with 1,800 Ironman triathletes fulfilling their dreams of completing the Hawaii Ironman.
|Kailua-Kona Pier. Tents beginning to appear. A calm night but in a few days sure to be swarming with people!|
So what is it like to experience a week in Kona in the lead up to Hawaii Ironman?
Throughout the week I plan to combine my love of Instagram and insistent Tweeting (which may drive some mad), with my amateur (yet improving) photography and as many blog posts as I can manage to grab the time for, to give you a feel for being a part of this amazing race.
It's the perspective of an Ironman wife (without kids this time) not a competitor or expert on triathlon - but I hope you enjoy and are inspired to come and experience it one day (if you haven't already!)
Day one of Hawaii Ironman week...
We arrived two days ago which gave us time to acclimatise and settle. Today the atmosphere ramped up one notch. There seemed to be more people in the town, the finish line chute is starting to take shape, tents are being built in the recovery area and companies are setting up their stands for the Expo which opens tomorrow night. The build up is beginning.
This morning, Dig Me beach was buzzing early. Every morning this week, competitors and onlookers flock to the swim start to try out the swim course and size up the competition! There is a coffee boat to swim to and IMTalk radio will broadcast live from it on Thursday and Friday. It's a small area but its the place to be seen. If you aren't competing it's still worth donning googles and getting amongst it especially to see the beautiful fish below.
|Dig Me beach swarming with swimmers and onlookers. It's where the Hawaii Ironman starts and finishes. It will be transformed in the next few days!|
If you are not swimming in the morning, then you should be out running or cycling (you certainly get the urge!) Since it's still early in the week, competitors along with other fitness enthusiasts are all hitting the roads - either in fancy (and very bright coloured) runners or on their expensive bikes (aero helmets a must!). They are familiarising themselves with sections of the course and testing the body in the heat.
The hype and the nerves seems to get the competitors firing when they probably should be resting more - but thats all part of the experience! It's great to get out amongst them but beware that when out running along side some of the fittest people in the world, you do feel slightly self-conscious!
|Ironman hubby and I ready for a run and lapping up the Dig Me beach atmosphere.|
I'll sign off with a couple of the many branded signs (some with great quotes and sayings).
Back with new report soon xx
PS. Apologies for delay in posting 1st report from Kona (few online hiccups) - more stories and photos from today (Tuesday) tom come....