When I first began coming to vacation in Kona in 1997 I loved running into a guy by the name of Peaman. He had this race he put on every six weeks and i loved arriving from New Zealand to compete in his races. Once I moved to Kona I raced them ever chance I could and started winning them every once and a while. I always hated it when Matty Cunningham, D. Lawerence, Mike McCarey, or Gary Cooke came to race because I could beat them in the swim, but would crumble in run and end up defeated. This race definitely shaped me into the triathlete I am today as I was humbled every six weeks and learned I had to be able to run fast in this sport. I think I won my first championship back in 2000 or 2001 and have not been able to race this race since because of work and then because of me leaving the island. 2007 had me on the island for the race and I was going to try and win again.
Little history lesson here also. Everyone has to be very familiar with the name Bree Wee now. She was the first amateur at Ironman Hawaii this year and placed 13 overall. Yes, I know, AWESOME. I ran into Bree in 2003 at the Lavaman triathlon after I crossed the finish line. This girl ran up to me and had her picture taken with me and I will not lie, she was a looker for sure :) as most of you will notice from her pic in the latest tri mag for Lifesport coaching. I moved to Texas in 2004 and would catch up with her every now and then for training. She has to be one of the most talented and dedicated triathletes I know. She jumped aboard with Life sport and has blossomed into on hell of World class triathlete.
The race. I arrived at the pier and was pretty nervous. I always get nervous no matter how big or small the race is. The gun went off and I charged up with the top four swimmers and died five minutes into the swim. At that point I decided to keep my head down and just swim. HAHA next time I looked up I was so far of course and to my horror looked back to see the pack was following me :) I must have been 100 yards off the buoy to the left. Who who was it that was right there on my feet? The speedy Bree Wee. i knew I was going to hurt because she can move on the pavement. She got me on the swim and was off on the run like a rocket. My transition was not my quickest but I eventually got out. Bree is quick and it took a lot of effort to catch up to her. I will tell you why I beat her today and I still laugh about it now. She was so busy responding to everyone passing us the opposite way. She was not just waving, she was talking to everyone and addressing them all by name!
Bree you are awesome and I can't wait to see what you accomplish next year. Look forward to catching up with you and Jim on Friday.