Greetings from the Big Island everyone! It is day four of our adventure and the Coeur team has been busy. Of course, we’re not complaining because, after all, we are in Kona! The first three days of our trip have been fantastic. We have a booth in the official Ironman Expo and the energy has been palpable. Hundreds of athletes and spectators have come by and we’ve met people from dozens of countries.
One highlight of our time in the expo was having three of our Pros (Kim Schwabenbauer, Beth Shutt and Jess Smith) come by the booth for a “Meet and Greet”. Kim and Beth are both racing on Saturday and we like to kid that since two of the 35 women are sponsored by Coeur, we represent almost 5 ½% of the women’s pro field!
All kidding aside, we are so appreciative that these women would take time out of their schedules to spend time with us in the booth.
Especially since it is, how shall we say it? A bit warm over here. While the number on the thermometer isn’t off the chart (it’s been in the high 80’s, low 90’s), the humidity adds an element that is hard to describe. For the un-acclimatized (i.e. all of us from southern California) the sweat begins to flow within minutes of stepping outside and it’s imperative to have a bottle of water on hand at all times. On the first day of the expo, one of our booth workers had a water to tinkle count 11 to zero! In other words, she had 11 bottles of water over seven hours and no trips to the rest room.
Fortunately, the energy in the expo and the view do wonders to keep one’s mind off the heat.
Of course, we’re not spending all of our time in the booth. We took a break yesterday for the big event!
We were all up before the crack of dawn and nerves were on edge. We knew we had prepared and that our taper had been perfect but none of that kept the butterflies from making an appearance.
While it was an individual event, we felt as if we were racing as a team. Maybe that was a contributing factor to the nerves. After all, we had a few first timers in the group and we veterans had our doubts about them. Would they go through with it? Or would they back out at the last minute.
Plus, we had our equipment to deal with fortunately, Hailey’s husband (Mark) has a Knack for the mechanical and he was on hand to take care of any issues.
Turns out, we didn’t need to worry. We must have been in the Island’s good graces because everything went off perfectly.
As you might expect, we’re talking about the Kona Underpants Run!
As many of you know, the Underpants Run is a fund raiser that originally started as a good hearted protest against men wearing speedos in places that might not have been appropriate. Say, for instance, in the airport.
Now it has grown to the point where we think more people do the Underpants Run than do the actual Ironman. In any event, it was an enormous amount of fun and we hope it gave a reprieve from the pre-race stress to the athletes.
After the run, we invited the team over to the house for some rest and relaxation. Many thanks to Charlotte, Teresa and Noah for being such great hosts. We honestly wish we could bring the entire Coeur Ambassador team out to Kona one year. We are so appreciative of everything they do to support us, each other, and people just getting into endurance sports. Hopefully, if we keep growing the way we are, we will be able to do something like that in the future.
Today, will be interesting because it is the day before the Ironman. The athletes will be doing their final prep and the practice runs and rides that created so much buzz will come to an end. By early evening, the energy level in town will have dropped considerably as the only people out and about are the spectators and the folks from the industry.
Tomorrow, we’ll be out on the course cheering and we’ll be posting updates on the race and our athletes. Check in with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Finally, we have to say good luck and god speed to everyone racing tomorrow. We know how hard you all have worked and we hope the day is true celebration of health, fitness and life!
With that, we’ll sign off for now.
Your friends at Coeur.