"Somewhat Bummed"...



By Rhiannon O'Connor

Kona Race report - It was great to meet up with Carey Congdon Cribbs at the prerace briefing. The briefing was late , ran long. For me it would have been very useful for them to explain that instead of a pair of yellow buoys marking the turns, you just sight on this large supper cruise yacht/dive boat and swim around that! 

 October 6 was a very long day. I was surprised at how emotional I was as we made our way down to our starting corral. So many cheering and excited volunteers and family lining the way. 

My swim was great in 1:25. It was really cool seeing the tropical fish below us. And going round the dive boat I realized that the little sparkly firefly things were bubbles coming up from photographers on the bottom! I had to do a complete change in the tent as there was no way I could have put my swim skin on over my Tri suit. Helped by really great volunteers. LOTS of sunscreen, sleeves and bike gloves....

 The bike was hot, hard and windy up the coast to Hawi. The trade winds are funneled East to West between the Big Island and Maui and you end up riding headlong into them uphill. I started cramping about 3/4 way up. At the turnaround I stopped to get some more Gatorade and couldn’t unclip so did a sideways pratfall landing on my elbow and shoulder. Recovered from that and made it back to transition but still cramping a lot. It was frustrating for as soon as I tried to push it a bit my legs would seize up. Even my hands cramped. I abandoned my nutrition mix half way through and switched to the Gatorade Endurance that they had in the course and lots more water and gels. My advice to someone racing Kona or any other hot race would be to train with Gatorade and see if it works for you. Way more convenient on race day than mixing your own powders in the fly. 

 North of Kona the black lava fields heat up during the day so you get 15-20mph crosswinds from the ocean on the way back. Good reason to strengthen that core!

 Back to the tent and out in Tri top and reflective gear. More sunscreen.necklaces.jpg

 Started running and tripped & fell down the first hill. landing on same elbow and shoulder but added in my knees and hands for good measure. After that it was just brutal. I was spotted by a local family from MN whose daughter was racing. He saw I was hurting and was so encouraging but I knew after the first 10 miles I probably wouldn’t make the cut off at 1100. 

 Out in the darkness of the Energy Lab I ran into our own Laura Frye who was just great. I was dizzy & cramping and generally all over painful. But she got me going and we tried to make it to the cut off but we were about 10 mins too late

I did end up with an IV in the med tent - kind of out of it so forgot to ask for Erin MG.

 Today pretty stiff and sore. Not too badly sunburned. The sleeves combined with bike top & gloves and sunscreen were very effective. I have a couple of stripes around my wrists where there were gaps. I shudder to think how I would like today without the protection. 

 Somewhat bummed. But even with just 5 miles to go but it might as well have been 500 the way my legs were feeling.

 And my husband did get me a participation medal!