She's a role model to up and coming triathletes, she's funny, she's driven, and she's racing Ironman Hawaii for the seventh straight year. Meet Coeur Co-Founder Hailey Manning.
Coeur: Well…here we are again. Our annual pre-Kona interview! This is your seventh time qualifying for Kona. We know how much work it takes to get a Kona spot, so we’ll start off by asking…”How do you manage to keep up the training year in and year out?”
Hailey: I know it sounds cheesy, but this island finds me in my dreams. So that keeps me going a lot of the time and I love racing here. It's also such as fun few weeks...I get to see friends I only see once a year. I suppose I could come here to just hang out, but what fun would that be?! I have a great group of friends at home to train with so that also makes it pretty easy...I don't log a ton of miles on my own.
Coeur: It seems as if your podium position has improved every year in Kona. Do you have a similar training plan each year or do you have to mix things up to keep making improvements?
Hailey: it's funny, as Mark (coach) says, not much in the plan changes, we just get faster so the workouts keep getting harder. I've had a pretty similar schedule for 7 years and I've memorized my taper at this point! Why change something that has worked thus far! It's a good thing I like routine ;)
Coeur: Speaking of training plans, we know your fabulous husband and coach – Mark Manning. Can you tell us a little about working with him? What’s he like as a coach?
Hailey: Tough love...if I need babying, I have to go to my friends and training partners! Everyone's first reaction when they find out he's my coach is "ohhhh, how's that work out?" The truth is it can be tough sometimes as I always want to do MORE and he argues for less, and since we're married, I don't mind pushing back...probably more so than I would a traditional coach. But he typically wins so it all works out. And no one knows me better or cares for me and my success more (maybe my mom would argue this point) than he does, so even though I've thought about what it would be like to have a different coach, at the end of the day, I think he's the best choice for me.
Coeur: Given that this is your seventh year, can you reflect on how the event has changed over time? Is it much different now than it was your first time around?
Hailey: It is busier than it was 7 years ago and it seems that everyone comes earlier and earlier each year. But the week of the race and the race itself are just magical and that hasn't changed. The morning of the race is just electric with energy.
Coeur: Also, do any moments of any of your races in Hawaii stand out or is that like picking a favorite child?
Hailey: there are a few key moments that stand out...my mom managed to sneak into the finish line one of my first heard and gave me my medal and was my catcher. Getting onto the podium in 2014/2015 was just incredible. Going sub 10 in 2013 (my first sub 10) was pretty awesome...and I remember asking Kebby (Mark was being tough love and wouldn't tell me) if I was going to make it for the sub 10 and having her by my side those last few miles pushing me home. Those are probably the biggest highlights.
Coeur: If we’re not mistaken, you went out a couple weeks before the race this year. What is the environment in Kona like a couple weeks before the event?
Hailey: I came so early! I'll have been here for three weeks on race day. It goes from being really quiet and seeing only a triathlete here and there to oh my they're EVERYWHERE!!
Coeur: Now this question comes from a different perspective, but once again, Coeur has a big group racing with a couple of first timers. Do you have any advice for the first time spectators? Is there anything special they can do or say to their athletes?
Hailey: the spectators and families and friends are a vital piece of the pie for each racer. For me, I need calm on the morning of the race as I've already got enough nerves. I'm typically just with Mark before the start and we always meet up in the same place. I would say just try to make things as easy as possible for your athlete and try to remove all outside stress that you can. When we hit the bike, go find some shade, some food and remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen...it's a long day for everyone and your racer will need you after the race is over to get them home and fed! Then the next day, it's your racers turn to pamper you!!
Coeur: Well Hailey…congratulations again on an amazing accomplishment and good luck in the race! We’ll be cheering!
Hailey: Thanks Team!! Don't know what I would do without the love and support of the Coeur family!!!