This is our first time in Kona and it is starting to heat up both figuratively and literally. The town is buzzing with all the product companies setting up their exhibitions ready to go Wednesday morning. The coffee at Lava Java is good. Everyone kept telling us to go there. They were right.
We went for a swim this morning along the swim course with Shane Smith, Tiffany, Jimmy and the crew from Tri Travel and a large number of their clients who have traveled to Kona on one of their packages. Caine Eckstein came along as did Marcus Altman from Newton Australia and Darryl Griffin from Shotz Nutrition. Even had a go at stand up paddle boarding which went well until Tiffany saw the leg rope dragging in the water and pulled back on it suddenly. Marcus showed us his butterfly skills, a lady came swimming up to the floating cafe with a German Shepard strapped to her back in a life jacket.
We bumped in to Ironman Melbournes fastest age grouper Gregory Farrell this morning. Farrell was buzzing from all the star spotting he has been doing. He loves it! Kid in a lolly shop! This will be Greg’s 8th Ironman and first time at Kona.
We bumped into Brisbane based Kiwi 60-64 age grouper Dr David Knight at the Honolulu airport and sat down for a chat (No. 257). David, traveling with his wife Helen, had stopped doing Ironman races back in 2000 after completing 17 of them. Kona will be his 22nd Ironman. After Kona he will race IM Western Australia and Ironman Australia then hang up his Ironman shoes for good. “The knees just can’t cope with it anymore.” David and Helen moved to Brisbane 5 years ago from New Zealand after David was offered a role at the Mater Hopsital. He took this opportunity to enjoy the fairer weather after living in New Zealand and get back in to racing Ironman.
Cycling is David’s passion and he is a strong swimmer in his age group. “People like me are important for the sport. Otherwise everyone would think you could do an Ironman in under 10 hours.” Good luck David.
Joanna Lawn was out riding with husband Armando Galarraga this morning. Lawn was on the new Cervelo P5. The BMX hat she was riding with quite interesting. But more interesting was the aero helmet that Armando had on (See photo below). Jo was saying she has an orange version of the aero helmet. Watch for this race on race day.
We bumped in to Sydney age grouper Angus McGilvray when Mrs Jacobs picked us up for a supermarket run. Angus was Pete Jacobs training partner for Kona 2011. Bike / run exclusively. After training with Pete and getting talked in to Ironman Melbourne Angus raced and qualified for Kona in his first ever Ironman with a 9:15. He raced the Yeppoon half in 2011 which was his first long course triathlon.
Angus met Pete through the Warringah triathlon club on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. They hit it off and before long Angus’s garage had become a indoor cycling studio and Pete had a front door key.