Hi everyone. Welcome back to our three part blog on Ironman Hawaii. In our first two posts, we talked about why, despite the professional gender inequality issue, we could never bring ourselves to do anything to harm this iconic triathlon. The first reason was because it has such a special place in our hearts. That thought prompted us to take a trip down memory lane that started at the Kona airport, turned onto the Queen K, went past the Energy Lab and was just starting to get into town. Before we continue this dreamy journey and give you our other reason for not wanting to disparage Kona, we’d like to tell you about last week when we were at the largest cycling trade show in North America.
It’s called Interbike and we were there for five straight days. If you’re a cyclist and have never been to Interbike, you must find a way to finagle tickets. If you’re not a retailer or a manufacturer, it can be hard to get in but, trust us, it is worth a shot. If you do score a ticket, you will be treated to hundreds of thousands of square feet of everything related to biking. You’ll get a sneak peek at the new models, gizmos, gear, nutrition, and of course clothing!
The show is designed to connect retail buyers with brands and over the course of three days and while there, we had meetings with approximately 75 different retailers. The meetings were fantastic and you’ll be seeing more Coeur than ever in shops next year.
Kebby and Hailey had the honor of being interviewed multiple times and one of the sessions will be airing on the Universal Sports Network on Sept. 26th.
Of course, now that Interbike is over, we’re starting to turn our eyes to Kona. Coeur will be there and we’ve got tons going on. If you’re going to be on the big island yourself, shoot us a note at email@example.com and we’ll share some info on all of the activities.
So, that brings us back to our tour. At the end of our last post, we were about to make a left at the King Kam (the host hotel) and turn onto one of the most storied streets in all of triathlon. Alii Drive!
Just the thought of this street gives us chills. Alii not only runs next to Digme beach and the swim start but it is also the home to the finish line.
When we’re in Kona for the race, we like to go out near midnight and stand right where athletes make the right turn onto Alii. They come down a side street and by 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm, they are just beat down. Many of them are limping and/or cramping. Most are shuffling.
Invariably, when they make the right turn on Alii, they almost magically gain energy and you can see them transform. The limping diminishes, the feet begin to move faster and many times, the walk turns to a shuffle and then the shuffle turns into a victorious jog or even a run! Folks, let me tell you, it is just amazing. It is as if the island that has taken so much out of them finally decides that they have proven they belong here and it gives some of that energy back.
If you close your eyes on Alii, you can see a parade of heroes coming across the line. There’s Paula again. And Mark and Dave. There’s Chrissie, Norman, Heather and Rinney. There’s John “The Blazeman” rolling across the finish line and there’s our friend Karen rolling in his honor along with hundreds of others.
This is where Mike “The Voice” stands to bring them all home and it’s where the biggest celebration in Ironman Triathlon happens at midnight.
It’s where heart and courage is personified a thousand times over and it is why we love this sport so much.
And that brings us back around to our original point. Yes, we wholeheartedly believe that an equal number of women pros as men should race Kona. It’s such an obvious answer that we understand why people think they need to do something dramatic to get WTC’s attention.
But, as we said before we could never do anything to harm Kona even for a just cause. Because, I guess we love it too much and importantly, from our point of view, while WTC owns Ironman Hawaii, it doesn’t really belong to them.
In reality, it belongs to everyone who has raced it, who has dreamed of racing it, cheered for an athlete or just stood on Alii and cherished the feeling. In other words, it belongs to all of us.
See you on the Big Island!
Your Friends at Coeur