We're continuing our interview series with Coeur's Kona Qualifiers. Let's say Aloha to Katie Colville.
Coeur: First, Congratulations on qualifying for Ironman Hawaii! How does it feel to be to be going to Kona?
Katie: Honestly it doesn’t feel real. This has been a dream and a goal of mine for so long. I knew I was always capable of getting there but I didn’t think it would be so soon in my triathlon career. I am so excited and feel so grateful that I get to share the Kona race course with some of the best athletes in the world.
Coeur: You were an early qualifier with an age group win at Ironman Florida, so you’ve had a while to wait. How did qualifying early impact your preparation?
Katie: You know after I qualified, I was thinking to myself, well maybe I have a chance to really excel in this sport. Up until Ironman Florida last year I was just following generic race plans that I found in books and such. I thought maybe it’s time to start working with a coach, someone to help me specifically in the areas where I needed the most help. I really think that’s what has helped me most. I started working with Adam Zucco a month after Florida with my main goal to be as ready for Kona as possible and I can’t tell you how amazing it is to have someone making a specific plan catered to my needs. Qualifying early helped me get a jump-start on prepping for the biggest race of my life.
Coeur: Now, you just graduated from college within the last year and you’ve had quite a bit of success already as a triathlete. What are your long term aspirations in the sport?
Katie: Well thank you first off! I’m very proud of what I have accomplished so far. To be honest my long-term goal for triathlon is to take it as far as I possibly can! If that means one day going pro then of course that’s what I want to do, but if that also means I’m destined to be a badass age grouper I’ll take that as well. My long-term goals are to be able to take myself to my highest mental and physical potential.
Coeur: You also moved to Boulder within the last year. How has that been for you?
Katie: Moving to Boulder has been a great experience so far. I have always been intrigued by Boulder and after I graduated college I thought, “What’s holding me back? And the answer to that was nothing” I’m young and have a desire to really live and take as many chances as possible. I mean Boulder is great—I’m pretty star stuck every time I go swim at the pool or head out for a ride with Boulder being a mecca for the multisport lifestyle. I’m in love with Boulder and Colorado is just so beautiful in general, so many places and hidden treasures still to explore, and it’s all in my back yard now.
Coeur: As you probably know, at Coeur, we’re huge pet lovers as it appears you are too. Can you tell us about your four legged friend.
Katie: Yes of course I can! I have a sweet girl named Figgy. I actually found her with my friends last November. We all decided to take a weekend lake trip and once we got there this cute little dog kept following us around. She had no tag and kept rolling in the leaves being so cute, we let her hang around and then eventually into the house, and from that point on we all fell in love. She didn’t have a tag and we thought this sweet pup has to have a home somewhere, so we put signs up posted on find fido and craigslist but no one called to claim her. So to make a long story shorter—I basically fell in love and decided to adopt her myself. I love her, she is a little brat and loves her way sometimes but it’s usually the dogs that end up training the people right?
Coeur: Of course Kona is the big show in long course triathlon and everyone who is anyone seems to be on the Big Island. We've heard that some athletes like to experience as much of the race as they can and spend a lot of time on Alii and at the expo. Others make a point of staying away from the action so that they don't get distracted. Do you all fall into one camp or another?
Katie: I think I will be the type of person to fall in the middle of that spectrum. This is my first time to the big island so I know I’m going to want to soak it all up and experience all the magic, but I also know I have a goal and that goal is to race like I’ve never raced before. So I think I will defiantly enjoy and take in the energy around the expo and Allii drive, but I will also try to be as relaxed as possible and put my feet up when I need to.
Coeur: We don't want you to give away any secrets but do you think you will race Kona any differently since it is the World Championships or once the gun goes off will it just be another Ironman?
Katie: You know ever since I have started working with this coach I have never trained as hard in my life. Adam has helped me push my own limits and I think with that newfound confidence I’m going to race Kona as aggressively as possible. Mental training is also a huge component of any long course race and I really have been trying to find that peace in my mind. I believe that can go a long way when racing,. So my goal is to really race Kona to the best of my ability and leave it all out there on the course, but also I am going to approach it like any other ironman so I don’t psych myself out. I’ll say to myself “Katie this is your 6th ironman event, you got this you know what you are doing, Bring it on”
Coeur: Quite a few of us will be out cheering on the course in Kona, so we have to ask. Do you ever hear what people yell to you on the bike and the run or are you concentrating so much on your body that you don't notice? Also, if you do notice, what is the best thing you've heard from a fan during a race?
Katie: I for sure hear what people say—sometimes the crowd support is what will get me through a race! Out there on the course racing something like ironman your body process are working at hyper speed so that can leave you emotionally raw, and just a cheer or a “you got this Katie” really helps me push forward when it hurts. You know there was this one guy who I kept seeing on the Ironman Coeur D’alene course and he kept calling me smiley and high fiving me every time I passed him. I’ll never forget that, he made me feel good and gave me an extra confidence boost.
Coeur: We think that the finish on Alii drive is one of the most magical places in all of sport. What do you think you'll be feeling when you make the turn on to Alii?
Katie: You know, I grew up watching the ironman world championships with my dad as a kid. Our favorite part was the end watching everyone cross the finish line. As a kid I was so inspired and moved emotionally and so was my dad. He was so into it and so passionate about watching the last people cross the finish line. I know when I make that last turn on to Alii I will be feeling good despite any pain that I might be feeling. Ill probably get super emotional and be thinking to myself “Dad I did it”
Coeur: Well, thank you so much for chatting with us! We’ll see you soon in Kona!