October 27, 2011

Road to Kona

So I've had this on my phone for a while and was FINALLY able to figure out how to get it off and uploaded to YouTube.com.  It actually cuts off before I cross, but I just barely come into view around the corner. 

I'm in the process of getting the Kona race report set up right now, so hold tight.  It'll be up before you know it.  Cheers friends.

October 19, 2011

Mass email (failed to send)

So to hold everyone over that is still waiting for my Kona race report (I'm in the process of collecting pics, videos, links, etc) I'm going to share a large email that I was SUPPOSED to send out to everyone in my address book (300+ contacts) but since there were so many, Yahoo mail decided to flag it as SPAM and lock down my account for the duration of the time I was in Hawaii. 

So I apologize if I didn't reply to any emails promptly, but in my defense my account was locked out (and I was in Hawaii on vacation, give me a break! haha) so here is the email I was going to send from my phone upon touching down on the Big Island:

Hello all,

I have been waiting 7 long years to be able to write this email and I apologize if you have not heard from me in a long time (I don't really care....I'm sending this to EVERYONE in my address book...friends, acquaintences, co-workers, etc.) I'm so happy, I'm telling everybody! :o) I honestly feel like I won the lottery and this is all a dream as I've been chasing down this dream for a long time.

After almost 24 hours of travel yesterday and 5 hours of delayed flights at LAX, we made it to this magestical place. I'm registered, had lunch at Lava Java today, and even went for a short swim in the ocean. Life is good!

But to the point of this email; On Saturday, October 8th I will be toeing the line for the 2011 Ironman World Championships in beautiful Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i (yes it's the one that's broadcast on NBC every year). This will be my 6th Ironman start and it's taken many miles and miles of trials to get here and I truly know that I have not done it alone. This is simply an email to say "thank you" to anyone that has supported me in my crazy quest to get to the Big Island (state #45 out of 50, woo-hoo!) and offered words of encouragement, gone on long rides/runs/swims with me, listened to my crazed talks about triathlons, offered any type of support along the way and just been there as family or a friend.

Most of you might have seen the NBC coverage at one time, and I can tell you that the lava is blacker, the winds are stronger and the sun is hotter than what they show on TV. I can't believe that I'm actually here (hallowed ground for Ironman competitors) and I have an incredible support crew here with me to make my day a little brighter. Just know that when the times get tough (running in and out of the Energy Lab, or climbing Palani Hill) and I'm literally baking in the Hawaiian sun out on the Queen Ka'ahumanu highway on the bike and the run course, I'll think of all the kind words and support and it will help me push thru.

If you'd like to track my progress during the day, (remember Hawaii is 6 hours earlier time change from most of you folks on EST) you can head to
www.ironman.com and view the live athlete tracker from there. My bib # is 1763 and the race starts at 7am and ends at midnight and my only goal is to finish in the daylight hours. Feel free to pass this on to anyone else that might be interested (I'm thinking Team Big Pants list, Morning swimmers from Patty's house, GTA, RAMS swimmers, Employment Store, etc) as well.

Mahalo (thank you) from the bottom of my heart for all of your support. I'll try to do Rochester proud and race as hard as I possibly can on Saturday. Then it's time to relax and FINALLY have an off-season! (can't wait to go cliff-jumping, and stand up paddle boarding, along with relaxing on the beach with a few cold brews!) :o) Thanks again for all your support and encouragement. It means the world to me...cheers!


In retrospect, we tried to cliff jump, but the ocean swells were too rough and stand up paddleboarding didn't happen because I was too lazy and cheap (I didn't want to fork over $65 for a 45 minute rental and short lesson) but it was a fantastic trip. I'm in the process of getting the report together, so as soon as I can, I'll get that stuff up.  I'll be back soon, I promise.  Cheers.

October 15, 2011


So the past week and a half has been an absolute whirlwind. First of all, I'm still alive, I survived the trip of a lifetime and am back in Rochester, NY after a long stint in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. I can now say that I've joined the elite club of being an Ironman World Championship finisher, which is incredibly humbling and amazing. I'm in the process of putting together a detailed and formal race report, but for now I just wanted to touch on a few things that were pretty darn cool as well:
1 - I got a chance to spell out a message with white corral on the black lava rocks! It wasn't until after the race, but that allowed me the cool opportunity to "recycle" my finishers lei and give it back to the 'Aina (land) without upsetting Madame Pele by taking anything from the island.  I thought of it as a way to complete the full circle, she produced the flowers that created the lei and I was returning it to her.  The lei is actually the "O" in the word forward (that was Kim's idea - mine was to lay the lei in the lava fields, but this killed two birds with one stone)

2 - I got interviewed by a writer for Triathelete magazine and Inside Triathlon magazine. (they are owned by the same company, the Competitor Group) about my story on how I got to Kona and the article can be found HERE. It's only a short little blurb, but it was still cool to be sitting in the condo in Kona and reading on their website about MY story as I was prepping for the race...so neat!
3 - Lots of pics from the race were taken by the professional photographers at FinisherPix.com and they can be found by clicking HERE and entering in my bib # of 1763.  But some friends and my family also captured photos and I've been tagged on Facebook as well.  There is one in particular that I really enjoy and it was posted on my FB page from my friend Greg Horrocks, who I met this year (formally) at Keuka as we were running into transition together.  That pic is above and I think it captures the emotion of how I felt crossing that sacred finish line.

3- But one of the neatest things is that since everyone was watching back home in Rochester, NY that some folks decided it would be super cool to be able to capture the finish line video from the live feed that was going on.  This video here was captured by my buddy Edwin Figueroa and it was SO cool to be able to convey what was going thru my head as I crossed the line. 

But really that's it, I have a TON of more photos and such to post up here and a crazy race report to write (spoiler alert - I finished with my BEST time ever at the Ironman distance in Hawaii - don't ask me how) and I was REALLY pleased with my race.  (again, it wasn't perfect, but I'll take it!) I'll have an analysis full on with Garmin file data and charts and graphs and whatnot for everyone to enjoy. 

Good stuff.  But until then, rest up, enjoy the off season friends and I'll be recovering from a teeny amount of jet-lag that's still ravashing my body after traveling a quarter of the way around the world :o) Take care friends and thank you ALL SO much for the support and kind words of encouragement along the way.  It meant a ton.  Cheers!