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  • Standing in the check in line with Dave. He was commisserating about how he had forgotten about the stress ridden, lack of sleep the night before brings.

    Christoph Mauch and Tim De Boom coming up to the turn to Kawaihae.

    Looking pretty salt caked on the bike. Luckily I got on the salt intake before things got bad.

    Natascha looking very smooth on the run. Just a part of her flawless performance.

    Karen Smyers going through a rough patch on the run. But as tough as she is, she got it together and came back on Fernanda Keller.


    Kona – race day report.

    Well another year and another race has been and gone, and what a day it was. There is no doubt that THIS was the windiest year ever, or so it always seems. The best was to describe the day was ‘gruesome’ really. Race day dawned with clouds already in sky and the wind starting to pick up early. This of course meant that there was a fair swell going by the time the swim went off. The swell and the chop made it impossible to go anywhere other than the pack one landed up in – after the first 400m or so, you were stuck with whomever was around. The swim times were overall, pretty slow – at least 2-3 minutes I would say. We are proud to say that our camper and ironman training program graduate Jan Sibbersen was first to exit the water.

    Then the bike – oh yes – what a bike ride it was. I am convinced there wasn’t anybody out there that didn’t harbor at least one or two thoughts of quitting somewhere along the way. In all honestly the wind was gusting so hard it was difficult at times just to stay on the bike. A few athletes got blown completely off. I certainly in my years here have seen wind this strong – but not for the extended period and distance of the course. There are always stretches that gust hard, but one feels that there should be at least some stretches of let up. Not on this day. It seemed as if we had all of about 10 miles worth of tailwind, and the rest of the day we were fighting gusting sidewinds and headwinds. It was just an uphill battle all day.

    Probably the only break all day was that we had cloud cover for the run. As it was it seemed like half of the mens pro fields had DNF’d – had it been sunny on the run, it would have been even worse. The running conditions were actually pretty decent for here, and I for one was very grateful for that one small blessing.

    It was Tim De Booms’ day, and as an American it was a proud day for everyone. Natascha was solid all day, and is on her way to establishing her own little dynasty here in Kona. There were a million stories that unfolded during the day – but the may I just say, that anyone who saw the finish line on this day was an unequivocal winner.