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  • Sunday before Ironman means the Path 5 and 10km runs. If doing an Ironman isn’t enough racing for you, you can always jump into this race to put the final touches on your leg speed – and heat/humidity acclimation!

    Triathlon’s grand master, Bill Bell and Triathlete Magazine publisher, John Duke mug for the camera at the pier. If Bill can get across the finish line this year, he’ll be the oldest man to do so at the age of 79! John went 10:04 back in 1989 (as he’ll tell anyone who cares to listen) and is in the best shape of his life since that time – no pressure Johnny!

    Encinitas locals, JT Clough, Dr. Linda Janelli, and Paula Newby-Fraser. The three friends and training partners will be back for more abuse at triathlon’s family reunion in Kona.

    Haole Huddle starts punch up at the pier. Local waterman and head lifeguard for the swim start, Mike McMichael, get ready to take on his roll as enforcer with yet another tri-geek – in this case, Huddle.

    Katja Schumacher, Spencer Smith, Janet Wendle, Liz Vitai and Stuart Fish yuck it up before the morning swim. It seemed like a lot of people were swimming the entire course today. Coming off multiple Ironman victories in the past year, Katja and Spencer are among the favorites for race day.

    Ironman Wisconsin champion, Chris Lieto, is all smiles as he arrives at the Path Run to support his wife. Coming off an impressive season and his first Ironman victory, you can expect to see Chris at the front of the bike on Saturday.

    Ironman Hawaii race director, Sharon Ackles, presents Peaman with a gold Ironman pendant to recognize his “iron heart” and all of his contributions to the local community. If you’ve been to Kona and participated in any swimming, running, and/or cycling event, you’ve been touched by the Peaman.

    He’s the very embodiment of aloha. Sean “Peaman” Pagett has been putting on free running and multisport events and writing for West Hawaii Today in Kona for the past 20-years and was recognized at this year’s Path Run by a huge crowd of well-wishers. Way to go PEA!


    Day 3 - Sunday Swimming and a Tribute to Peaman

    The pier was just that little bit more busy as more athletes arrived in town and as it’s sure to continue to do as we approach race day. Since we’re still 6-days away from the Big Day and swimming seems to be the one discipline that athletes can carry close to their races, many were seen planning to swim the course. The morning social hour was underway by the time we arrived at the pier at 7:30am and many were already in the water.

    I started with Roch, Paula, and Laurent Rouaud of Manassas, VA fame and within 400 meters it was just Laurent and I. Upon arriving at the turn around, we run into Katja Schumacher and perpetual training buddy, Liz Vitai. Spencer Smith had arrived a minute earlier and gave me a bunch of grief about how slow I was going. I think the splashing mayhem that passed us 5-minutes earlier must have been him – of course he started a good 5-minutes before we were underway. The return was uneventful and we were lucky to make it the final 200 meters without any head on collisions in the morning swimming rush hour that Kailua Bay has become.

    The word out on the street seems to be a never-ending stream of men who are bailing out of the race. First it was Steve Larsen but the list gets longer by the day with Luc Van Lierde, Craig Walton, and Paul Amey. Between illness and injury, I’m beginning to wonder if I should call up Tinley and tell him to get over here. The women, on the other hand, are all showing up and every one of them seems rested, healthy, and calm. Maybe the men need to take a lesson from the other gender. Having run into Joanna Zeiger, Nicole Leder, Katja Schumacher, Belinda Granger, Beth Zinkand, Heather Fuhr, Lori Bowden, Nina Kraft, Natascha Baddman, Nicole DeBoom, Fernanda Keller, and Paula, I think the women’s race will be the race to watch.

    That doesn’t mean the men’s race won’t be a good one but it’s sure disappointing for the spectators and media to miss the likes of the above mentioned male favorites. That said, there will still be plenty of other guys hungry to come down Alii Drive in first place. So far we’ve seen Kenny Glah, Norman Stadler, Jurgen Zack, Lothar Leder, Cameron Brown (remember the 2nd place Kiwi from 2001?), Spencer Smith, Tony DeBoom, Chris Lieto, Cameron Widoff, Mathias Brain, Chris McCormack, and a few others I can’t remember right now.

    We’ll see how the week shapes up before we start making any predictions. And so, we’re now 6-days from doom’s day!

    Finally, along with the course swim, the Sunday before Ironman is well known for the Path 5 and 10km runs along Alii Drive. This is a great opportunity for those who are traveling in support of their Iron people to get out and do a run themselves. You’ll even find a significant number of Ironman competitors doing these runs as part of their final preparation for race day. The best part of the run this year was the surprise party for a local Kona hero, Sean Pagett. Better known as Peaman, Sean and his wife Linda have been putting on free running and multisport events in town for the last 20-years and generally contributing to the aloha feel that the Big Island is famous for. From his old high school track coach to Ironman Hawaii race director, Sharon Ackles, many old friends showed up to pay tribute to a man who is relentless in the spirit giving. Sean has been our unofficial leader / grand poobah of the Underpants run and, through all of his articles in the local paper, West Hawaii Today, keeps endurance sports in the spotlight. We should all make as positive a mark in life as Sean does! THANK YOU PEAMAN!!