9/30/98, 16:22 PDT
It's the Circus . . . No It's Ken Allen in the I-man Parade!
Dateline: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA
That's right, it's not the Ringling Barnum & Bailey Circus, it's Mark's Dad, Ken, on the high wire with his wife, Toot. This is one I hadn't seen before and I felt for Ken as he whirled along Alii Drive. By the time I saw him, he looked decidedly dizzy. Way to go Ken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you've seen this guy run and ride, you'd know where Mark got his talent.
9/30/98, 16:15 PDT
Molina Back for More
Dateline: Front of King Kamehameha Hotel, Kailua-Kona, HI, USA
Back for his first Hawaiian Ironman since his win in 1988, Scott Molina looked healthy & fit and ready to "participate" in the 20th anniversary edition. Pictured here with his good friend (and former mortal racing enemy) Scott Tinley, the two will be racked together in the bike transition area as #'s 29 and 30. It's so good to see all of the people who made this sport what it is today.
9/30/98, 16:10 PDT
Wally Buckingham to Race The Big One
Dateline: Longs Drug Store Parking Lot, Kailua-Kona, HI, USA
It's true. Encinitas triathlon legend, Wally Buckingham is in Kona for is 14th ironman. The "bad" half of identical twins (his brother, Wayne, wisely elected to stay home), Wally is not only one of the original founders of triathlon but is also a world class prankster. We're waiting for this year's big event (in 1990, it was rumored that he was the cause for Kailua Bay turning neon green - hmmmmmmmmmm) On good behaviour for the past few years, I figure the dam has to break sooner or later.
9/30/98, 16:03 PDT
Lothar Leder & Greg Welch on an "Easy" Ride
Dateline: Queen K Highway, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA
Here's the photo promised from the Sept. 28th report. Note Lothar's funky aero-helmet. As he said, "It looks funny, yes?" Yes, Lothar, it looks funny but I'll bet you'll make it go fast. For those that think it will be too hot to wear out in the lava fields, there are two vents on either side that funnel air in and keep his head "air-conditioned" as he put it.
The photo quality does suck but will improve as I figure out how to werk all this teknikal stuff.
9/29/98, 18:04 PDT
Monday In Kona
Dateline: Kona-Kailua, Hawaii, USA, Earth
28 September 1998
Images to follow . . . hopefully.
Back for another flogging in the lava fields, athletes from all over the globe have set foot on the Big Island with goals that range from complete and total domination to simply crossing the finish line on Alii Drive. While many arrived as long as 3-weeks ago, most competitors began to arrive 10-days out from race day in order to fully acclimate to the heat, humidity, and to re-familiarize themselves with the course. Now, on the Monday before THE DAY, probably 90% of the competitors have arrived and can now look forward to 5-days and nights of "tapering". While it varies from athlete to athlete, the final week's taper will include some and, perhaps, all of the following:
1. Cutting way back on training volume while making sure you "look good" when you do get out on the road (never know who's going to see you). Running is probably the most important activity in this regard. In the water, no one can tell who you are so you're free to go at your own pathetic pace. On the bike, you're a bit more recognizable but can still hide behind those Oakleys and that helmet. Running? Running is a different story. Friends who haven't seen you for 5-years can recognize that old hitch in your giddyup from a ½-mile off. If you're running on Alii Drive, it's best to maintain somewhere between 5:30 & 6:00 per mile. When you can no longer maintain this pace, pull into a drive way that's well out of sight and get recovered. Repeat this for as long as you want to run.
2. Eating, whether or not anyone wants to admit it, is the main reason anyone participates in this sport. Eating during the final week before an ironman, is a double edged sword. While competitors are at their leanest point of their lives, they are wracked with guilt about the fact that their mileage is at the lowest point it's been in two months (and they're not even injured!). Any normal level of caloric consumption begins to make these human garbage disposals neurotic to the point of severe psychosis. Most simply give in to their body's clamoring for calories and, by race day, tread water feeling like Michelin men & women. By the time they reach Hawi on the bike, they're usually grateful to have stored a little extra on-board.
3. Filling time. Tapering means rest. For a triathlete who's preparation has been aimed at Ironman, rest is almost worse than another long ride. Those who hold down real jobs and have real family responsibilities (probably a majority of competitors) find themselves in Hawaii for a week with no phone calls, faxes, or "regular hours". No problem? Leisure activities that any "normal" human would consider are off limits for the tapering Ironman athlete. Surfing? No, might get hurt. Marlin fishing? No, too much time in the sun (and you have to drink beer, don't you?). Golf? Nope, might throw your back out. Para-sailing? Yeah, as if. No, anything that risks injury or illness is a big NO and, besides couch racing, it doesn't leave a lot.
How did most of the athletes spend their day on Monday? What else? Swimming, cycling, & running. We (Roch Frey, Greg Welch, and Canadian Norm) headed out for a ride and picked up a notable straggler named Lothar Leder. Clad in an aero helmet I'd never seen, Lothar looks as fit as I've ever seen him and has been picked by Jurgen Zack as the man who could blow this race wide open on the run. As we turned up the nastiest hill within a 10 mile circumference of town, Lothar kept on down the Queen K. By tomorrow, I hope to be able to post some photos from our ride and the evening autograph signing. Name a legend in the sport and they were probably there! Tomorrow (actually today based on the posting date of this) is the parade!
P.S. If you have any '98 Hawaiian Ironman specific questions, send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org