Kona this year was an interesting experience. I felt better prepared then I have ever been before. Everyone around me was so much support I am very lucky to have such people in my life- Thank you.
A short race report:
Swim was a typical IM swim. Got the crap kicked out of me for the first 500 meters, then it was OK. The nice part about being a faster swimmer is usually you get some open water. Not here, everyone here is just too good; I had to swim amongst several swimmers the entire way. Swim was 55 min.
We got onto the bike and we had to go through town. I was chaotic. There were several turns, construction, people, etc and for sure we were all in packs for the first 5 miles as it was just about unavoidable. I felt terrible about it but tried my best to stay legal, just way too hard at that section. With all the turns and hills it was not as if we were setting records though.
Bike started out good. I wanted to ride with other riders for motivation. I really didn’t find too my people to ride along. It just so happened where I was we were very spread out. It was really fine with me as I just rode to power anyway. When we started catching the women pros that was pretty cool. Towards the end of the ride there were sections we were doing 11mph. It was so windy and hot. I tried my best to keep the water coming in but my gut would not let me drink everything I wanted. I felt strong the entire bike though and even passed several people at the end. My bike I think was a 5:09 which today, I was happy with.
Started the run and off the bike knew I was in a bit of trouble. I wanted to run a 3:30 or better. I wanted to start off with a good clip then settle in. Honestly I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish, or more accurately wanted to a few miles in. I was so hot I felt I could barely move let alone run. I decided to run for form and cadence and walk every aide station and drink 2 cups of whatever. It seemed to work OK as I was surprisingly sub 8 min miles for the first 14 miles. Then I slipped to 8:30’s for a bit and threw up in energy lab when I drank a hot red bull at special needs. I had to walk run 2 mile to just absorb some calories. Shot my averaged down to 10:02 pace and when I knew I wasn’t going to PR, I decided to just “jog it in”. Later found out it was 108 degrees in the energy lab! My SRM had an average temperature of 93 degrees for the bike!
I finished up in 10:07. I wanted to be less than 10 hours, but I really was satisfied with this race because with a melt down I was able to have a very respectable result. I faced all my demons this summer and came out OK. I tell my athletes anyone can race well when things go perfectly, what do you do when they don’t?
I had three athletes here. I'll cover them in finishing order.
Steve Johnson went 9:51!!! He passed me in the energy lab and looked very good. Not bad for his first IM ever! Well done Steve.
Rodney Adkison had a 20 min PR! Rod flew and was strong the entire run 3:26!
Craig McKenzie was one of the first high level pros I have ever coached. I was as nervous for his race as I was my own. Traditionally Craig is a great runner with several sub 2:50 marathons to his credit at IM events. He was never able to be close enough on the bike though and his highest finish time here was 23.
Craig’s issue this year was he has been putting off Achilles surgery to try to get through the race. We knew going in the run might not happen, but to give it a shot. Craig for the first time came off the bike in 23rd place and was the best position he has ever finished to that point. That was with a bad swim as well (another thing that normally does not ever happen)!
2 miles into eh run Craig’s foot hurt so bad he felt and was right it was time to call it a day. We know now he can do very well here. Had he ran a 3:00 yesterday he would have been 13th overall. 2:55 would have put him to 11th. He will be back.