In 20-years of going to Hawaii, we never understood the “Donkey X-ing” signs along the Queen K until we finally saw some while playing golf at Hualalai. We’ve seen mongooses (mongeese?), turtles, wild pigs, goats, and even a shark or two but never a donkey…Huddle ran into the lava to get a close up but, evidently, they could smell him because they soon departed.
Kona ’05 – Images and Stories From a Week Gone By – Part 1How did we get to “7-weeks to go” and then fizzle out with our weekly reporting? I don’t know. Somehow the days seem to be going by at a reasonable pace and then by the time Tuesday comes around, the pace picks up and, before you know it, you’re listening to war stories and everyone’s limping to the next buffet line.
We have a boat load of pictures still waiting to see the light of day on our News page so we’ll see if we can post at least one story per day from now until we’re out of pictures…ok, if not a story, then at least some pictures with a caption or two…after all, we know you’d rather just look at the pictures than read a bunch of crapola about a race you’ve already seen and/or heard about.
Besides, you could just look at past pre-race reports to know what happened in the days leading up to the event. Every year seems like a broken record. Some of the faces change but the same schedule of events is in place and the same build up of energy and emotion happens followed by the explosive release of all this tension on race day followed by the limping, dazed, happy faces on Sunday.
We’re now well into the beginning of AIDS (after Ironman depression syndrome) for many as athletes find themselves back in the reality of their lives (work, family, etc.) and no goal…no goal, that is, until they’ve obsessed about split times, places, and settled on some new Ironman race in 2006!
It’s making me tired just thinking about it.
One of the interesting was to remember how each of the athletes seemed in the days leading up to the race and then to see how they ended up doing. One of those was Peter Reid. While Peter had gone to hell and back over the course of the season (systemic illness and a long road to recovery from March thru July), he certainly seemed to be back. He seemed extremely relaxed and happy and was very much out and about in the days leading up to the starting cannon. This was a marked change from the serious, solitary hermit of years gone by.
Last year seemed to be the start of this change but this year showed a Peter willing to hang out at the Pier and Lava Java and generally mingle with everyone. He smiled more this week than I remember in ’00, ’01, and ’02 put together so it was nice to see him looking truly happy and comfortable in his own skin. Even at the press conference, Peter seemed genuinely happy to answer questions and take on the responsibilities that the top professionals are held to in the week before the race.
On race day, he was the only serious challenge to Faris getting within 3-minutes of the German half way into the marathon only to fade to third but it was great to see him laying it all on the line to take a shot at the win. The 3-time Hawaii Champion has never defended so was a natural favorite coming off his 2nd place finish in 2004. Said to have been under the tutelage of Mark Allen again this year, one wonders if Mark knew that he cut his hair with a week to go. Mark was known to eschew hair cuts in the final 6-weeks before a big race – especially Hawaii – because he believed it was akin to cutting off your strength ala Samson & Delilah. Evidently, it didn’t affect Peter…or did it?