Yes there really is magic all around in Kona during race week. We got here Monday evening, and within hours plenty of Kona royalty had passed or stopped by the house. We’re on Alii about 4 miles out of town near the run turnaround. We are hosting the Gatorade Hydration Station, and a constant stream of athletes stops by all day long. Macca and 2008 4th place finisher Ronnie Schildknecht were the first pros to pass through. Ronnie is a really nice guy and stopped to chat with Vinu and me. He was a big surprise last year, this year he’ll be marked. But he said he is feeling good and well acclimated to the heat.
Then none other than Mark Allen knocked on our door looking for Vinu. He came by for a chat today with his partner Luis.
This morning we hit the Gatorade swim at DigMe beach, and Vinu chatted with Terenzo Bozzone for a while. The swim was beautiful as always with abundant tropical fish in plain view. We got an even better treat when a large school of spinner dolphins suddenly appeared swimming along lazily all around us. You could almost touch them, and they were in no hurry. Several babies were mixed in, and some of the adults were in a rather amorous mood – perhaps that’s why they didn’t care about the triathletes churning up the water all around them. I was able to dive into the school and actually swim amongst them, and they really seemed to care less. Amazing!
Most of the other top pros have run or biked by or both. I went to the expo and chatted with Kestrel brand manager Steve Harad, and got my banner set up outside the Kestrel booth. The new 4000 is very slick – look for a report here tomorrow with detailed pics.
Then we visited Heather and Todd Gollnick so Lis and Vinu could film some promos for their excellent Rev3 tri series. 6 races in 2010 including a full Iron at family friendly Cedar Point amusement park.
Unfortunately Vinu couldn’t resist launching into his Don Ho schtick, which is only slightly better than his Michael Jackson impersonation. Strangely enough, Heather seemed to enjoy it while Lisbeth just looked baffled. I don’t think they had Don Ho in Norway…
Lis got a short (hot) heat acclimation run in and tested her bike out. I also ran a short fast (relative term) run on Alii before heading to a beautiful water-side dinner at Huggo’s. And now I toil here on my laptop, sitting on the deck sipping a Kona Brewery Longboard Lager while the waves crash on the lava just below.