IM morning broke overcast, humid and cool (mid 70s). Hard to connect with everyone in the crowds downtown, so we dropped Vergil at the closest point and parked the car about a mile from town. Stopped in for breakfast at the famous Lava Java and ran into Justin Thomas (Xterra pro with whom I’ll be staying when I get to Maui). Ate with Dr. Kirsten Grove and Ally Heim.
As the gun fired, a light rain began – always a good omen in Kona. The water was “up” a bit and the finish times would reflect the slow conditions. Most competitors would see times 5-15 minutes slower than expected on this day. [The picture here was taken just east of the course which runs North/South. The competitors didn’t have any breakers to deal with.] Jason and I would later jump in for a 30 minute swim and I can vouch that the current was definitely pushing out.
Once we saw Cheryl, Elizabeth, Gail and Vergil head out on the bike, we chilled out and waited for the pro’s to come back to town. The weather remained predominantly overcast with light winds. Reports came back that the winds were down and there was even rain on the bike course – between a few minutes and an hour and a half depending on where you were.
As the pro’s came back to town, both Normann Stadler and Michellie Jones had established big leads they would not relinquish. Just as notable, however, were 2nd place finishers by Chris McCormack and Bethesda, MD native Desiree Ficker, who ran through the fields after several struggles in previous IM races.
As the sun dipped down, our local heroes, Cheryl, Elizabeth, Gail and Vergil made their way back to town and to the famous finish on Alii Drive. Each having gone through their own journeys to earn that the phrase, “You are an IRONMAN!” Congrats to all!
More Pictures to follow!