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:
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.