Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Kona, It Was Fun While It Lasted

Well after traveling back from 70.3 worlds and then driving from Colorado to California via a short stop at Interbike in Vegas it was back to training. Well, kind of.........The last few weeks leading into Kona were going to be really busy, and not the ideal prep for Kona. However, I believed that the 2 blocks in Boulder and the performance at 70.3 worlds that I was pretty fit and would still be able to shoot for the top 5 in my age group.

Once arriving back to California we had our wedding ceremony for family and friends (we actually go married back in September of 2013). After that we headed to Monterey Aquarium for a day and then up to Tahoe for several days to relax and enjoy some quality time together. Then we celebrated our one year anniversary in San Francisco and Hila departed to the UK the following day. 

I had a week left in California prior to heading to Hawaii and the training was going pretty well. I was a little low on motivation, a bit burned out by this point in the season, but tried to push through as I knew Kona was only 2 weeks away. 

Once in Kona it was go, go, go with something going on everyday. Had a few commitments with sponsors and Team RWB. It is also a good place to talk to future sponsors as well, so needless to say it was quite a busy week. 

Hila flew to Kona from the UK on Thursday night, so it was great having her there to support me along with my Mom, Steve, little sister and coach Scott and his girlfriend Carrie. Quite the group this year and we had a blast all week long. 

Race morning was the usual routine, same food, same wake up time and nothing out of the usual.  I felt great and felt like I was ready to go. 


I got a good start and wasn't getting banged up as much as years past. Starting with only the men made things a little less congested.  Around 800m I looked up to see that a big gap had opened up and unfortunately I was with the group ahead. I got to the turn around and looked at my watch and thought in was having a pretty good swim. Well the current on the way back along with the rough waters made the return trip slow and I ended up having my slowest swim to date in Kona.  I figured it was just a slow day which it was so just put my head down and got to work on the bike. 


I felt really good at the beginning and was pushing at my upper target of power for the race. I felt strong and was riding well, but was slowly feeling hotter and hotter. By the time I started climbing Hawi the power started to drop  a bit and I continued to feel hot. No matter how much I tried to cool my body I just felt hot. 

The return trip home was pretty brutal with the wind, minus one section just before Waikola where we caught a massive tailwind and I was spun out with no more gears left.  The final stretch was pretty brutal into a head wind and I just couldn't seem to keep the power up or get the body to cool down. 

Run- 3:28

Out on the run course I was feeling pretty good till about mile 1.5 when Hila told me I was in 25th in my age group. I then had a chat with my coach and I just told him that it was a brutal day and plenty of people were going to blow up. I thought I could run a 3:10 and figured that would get me into the top 10 (when looking at results after that would have done it).  

He thought that was reasonable so I settled in aiming for that. By the time I got to Palani I was feeling hot again and could not get cool. I felt miserable. I was walking through the aid stations getting as much ice and water as I could, but before I got to the next one it was the same feeling all over again. 

I hit the half way point with a 1:37 split and thought I could possibly hang on to run 3:15, but things just fell apart from there. I did a lot of walking and then out of the energy lab Joel O'Malley of the Canadian AF passed me. I wasn't sure if I was eligible for the military awards, but I knew he was. I told him great job and off he ran. 

Then came a buddy that I had raced a few times this year, Reilly Smith. He passed by and I couldn't keep up and off he went. I finally got going again and caught Reilly with 5 or 6 miles to go and we passed each other a few times and then just said screw it and ran together and suffered together. It was great to have someone else to complain to about the brutal day and to talk with the final miles so we just kept each other going. 

Coming to the finish chute my family had the US flag waiting for me and I asked Reilly if he wanted to cross with it. So we put old glory up in the air and ran down the finishing chute with it and crossed the line together.  Great way to finish off a brutal day and my last race at Kona for quite some time. 

Swim (2.4 miles)- 1:05:29 / 62nd out of 104 in AG /
Bike (112 miles)- 4:59:31 / 10th out of 104 in AG /
Run (26.2 miles)- 3:28:47 / 43rd out of 104 in AG /
Total- 9:40:08 / 215th out of 2,186 Overall / 164th out of 2,097 Amateurs / 25th out of 104 in AG


Next up is a race on the Canary Islands, the Ocean Lava Triathlon on 1 November. I bounced back pretty quickly last year, so hoping for the same this year. This will be my first pro/elite race, so looking forward to seeing where I stack up against theses guys. It is also the Spanish Long Course National Champs so should draw some strong talent. 

I can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Making it to Kona for the 4th time was amazing, hard to think that I won't be racing there next year, but onto a new journey in the professional ranks where Kona is not the goal for a few years.

One of the shots from the Kiwami Photo Shoot. (Photo Credit: Gary Geiger)
One of the shots from the Kiwami Photo Shoot. (Photo Credit: Gary Geiger)
Headed out on Ali'i Drive around mile 1
Coming down the finish chute in Kona, with Reilly Smith.
The RWB tri of Tom, TO, and myself

RWB / Military Get Together post race
Myself and Hila after the race


andre said...

Awesome race Brad; super tough day and you hung in there admirably.
Again a huge thank you from the Kiwami crew for all your time for the photo shoots.
Wish you all the best racing in Europe and looking forward to your return on Alii Drive, one day.

Emi said...

I would like to visit at least one of the Hawaiian islands. Kona sounds like it left you with interesting memories.