‘Training’ in Kona!


October 6th, 2011 by



Well, I really must start off with an apology for the distinct lack in material on my site of late … truth be told i’m just having too much darn fun to find the time to blog! Excuses excuses… I know. However, I am going to start to fill the ‘race report’ holes from the past 2 weeks or so over the next few days – I promise. Cronological order will have been thrown out the window in order to achieve that goal, but I feel thats allowed. Right? – As long as I finally update my blog and keep you up to date in some way, i’m off the hook I reckon??

First up is a look back at some of the training I have been doing out here during the past week. – I arrived here to train with and support my with my team mate Joe Gambles as he prepares for his Kona debut. It is a kind of role reversal; last year he was on Kona supporting my first race on the Big Island, so I am really enjoying being able to return the favour.

Myself tracking my Trek/K-Swiss team mates Joe Gambles (right) and Matt Lieto down from the infamous Hawi turnaround point on the bike course. – A photo doesn’t do it justice, but it is always windy up there, believe me!

Training out here in Hawaii is certainly something to experience, and I am really enjoying my time out here. It seems a world away from last year when I was here ‘preparing’ to race myself. I was out of shape, unmotivated and on the brink of a rather serious bout of depression. The last thing I wanted to do was train and yet I knew I ‘had to’ … for getting around any Ironman is no mean feat, let along this particular beast. It isn’t the World Championships (and most famour triathlon on the planet) for no reason, that is for sure.

So I am endeaverouring to make the most of my time on the Big Island. It is a two fold visit; firstly to support Joe – but this in itself is mutually beneficial; a) he needed a training partner for the last block of work to lead into the race and b) I am also preparing for an Ironman later in the year (Arizona on Novemeber 20th) but secondly I am also here to work and hang out with my sponsors Trek and K-Swiss, who have a large presence during race week at the race expo village.

It hasn’t all been swim, bike and run training though! – As part of the Trek / K-Swiss team, we are incredibly lucky to be able to stay at the most mazing hotel resort – The Mauna Lani Bay which is about 45k out of town along the Queen K Highway (the bike course) and into the Lava fields. It is amazing!

The hotel beach! – There isn’t that much white sand on Kona, and I am told that 90% of what there is, has been imported from Australia … which seems a bit crazy, but hey, it looks good here! I was also lucky enough to get to try Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding during my stay. The hotel has a resident ‘pro’ and she took a group of us (non racing athletes i may add – its gets you when you wake up the next morning … ouch) out for an hour or so, and it was such good fun. But hard work … although not quite as hard as I was invisiging. I fell in only the once which was a ‘high five’ moment that I had with myself once back on dry land 😉

Myself with (left to right): Lucy Bell (Lukes’ wife) , Matt Lieto, Tim DeBoom (2 time Kona Champion and last US winner), Hilary Biscay and our instructor for the morning. I had a lot of fun and more importantly…. justified the hotel buffet breakfast at least the once during this stay!!