Mindless Kona Images - Part 2
Thu, 9 Oct 2008 12:13:18 -0800
The 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii featured a first time Keiki Splash & Dash for kids. Chris McCormack and Chris Lieto were there to participate with their kids. Much fun was had by all.
The 1st Keiki Splash & Dash race had more race directors and industry people working than most Ironman races. From left to right, John Duke, Michellie Jones, Heather Fuhr, Tom Ziebart, Paula Newby-Fraser, Paul Huddle, Bob Babbitt, Phillip LaHaye, Kona director Diana Bertsch, Murphy Reinschreiber, Mike Reilly, Keiki race director Janet Higa, and Roch Frey. Letís see, thatís 1-staff for each kidÖalmost.A Keiki finisher gets and early taste of finishing on Alii Drive. Imagine being a child and getting to run along Alii Drive during Ironman week?! The Keiki Splash and Dash was the first kidís event produced in association with the Ironman and had at least 50-children participating. Note Michellie Jones (black shirt & pink shorts in foreground) getting ready to hang another finisherís medal. The other three medal presenters at the finish line were Ford Ironman World Championship race director, Diana Bertsch, Heather Fuhr, and Paula Newby-Fraser. Thatís three Ironman Champions presenting medals. Nice.Itís all about trying to inspire fun and an active lifestyle. If thereís a little extra attention heaped on to light that flame, do it. A group of Keiki finishers pose for a photo op in front of the finish line. Can you say ďcuteĒ? Thereís nothing better than seeing the face of a child with the smile and sense of accomplishment after one of these events.Thatís Linda Jane Kelly, one of the Kona assistant event coordinators, manning the finish line aid station. Linda, a local Kailua-Kona resident, has been a core component of the Ford Ironman World Championshipís success for a long time. Itís always great to see your extended Ironman family and that extends to our local Hawaiian relatives.Whatís the head referee doing at the kidís race? No, no, he wasnít there to enforce any rules. Jimmy Riccitello and Roch Frey enjoy some fun outside of the Big event coming up on Saturday. Anything with kidís has to be all about fun and these are two of the biggest kids around.Race equipment! This retrofitted mountain bike bought at WalMart was a product of one of the Zoot staff. Note the attention to detail was spared with Kona conditions in mind. Furry seat cover & grips, over sized paper boy basket on the front with large, old-school, light weight Styrofoam cooler to keep sandwiches and beer, hula girl, and grass skirt. Perfect. Thaíts a Queen K Machine for sure!On Wednesday evening during race week one of the best functions to be attended is the VIP function at Huliheeís Palace. Roch gets a photo with the, oh so cute, little Hawaiian greeters. The vacation home of Hawaiian Royalty, the palace truly as the feel of old Hawaii.Rich Propst is still smiling. Rich and his wife enjoying the expo. Maybe the smile will diminish just a little by mile-15 on the runÖmaybe.Heather, Shannon Delaney, Paula, and Roch are all smiles at 6:15am before heading out for a paddle on the swim course. Whatís not to smile about when youíre in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Ah, peace and quiet on the water. Paula and Heather will be the lead paddlers on race day but today it was just the five of us, the water, the island, and some spinner dolphins.
No story - just pictures. The Keiki Splash & Dash was a definite highlight for everyone. This was the first kid's event held in conjunction with the Ford Ironman World Championship and it will become a much bigger Tuesday tradition in the future!