As excited and nervous and energetic as Kona is the week before IM, it is like a bubble burst the day after. Most people are walking gingerly (even the spectators) and the atmosphere has very much mellowed. It is a time for reflection on the tremendous accomplishment of racing here in Hawaii, and even more so, on the journey that it has taken to get here.
We went to the awards dinner on Sunday evening, sitting with Tom & Cheryl, Christianna Ober (also her first IM in Hawaii) & Sean Ward, Vergil, his parents & friends Darren & Amanda. We couldn’t find G Lo and Chuck (sorry we missed you!). Without at doubt, it was the LONGEST awards dinner ever. Why does it take 3 1/2 hours to give out these awards?
- They showed a “final finishers” video and Vergil and his parents crossing the finish line was the first clip.
- Sister Madonna Buder was the last official finisher at 16:59:03 and 76 years old!
- G Lo made the final video of the evening as she was interviewed a few days before the race while at the swim practice area, aka Dig Me Beach.
The evening finished up with a loud, smokey (believe it), crowded evening at LuLu’s bar on Alii Drive. Got to bed at 12:30…6:30am EDT…just as Monday swim practice was finishing back home (thanks covering this morning, Franz!)