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Oct. 11, 2011
Sharing the Clif Love in Kona, 2011
The 2011 World Ironman Championship in Kailua-Kona has come and gone, but the images remain vivid. And sweaty. A week of blurred bodies and blazing temperatures bordered by the bluest of sea and sky, our week here on the western shore did not disappoint.

Set up in the thick of the mix on Ali’i Drive – just a mile from the run turnaround – each day leading up began by sampling Clif Bar goodness to said ‘blurry’ passers by. Clif Bars, Shot Bloks, Shot Gel, Shot Roks, and icy Clif Shot Electrolyte Drink flowed like fondue into the mouths, pockets and packs of those prepping for Saturday. Lucky for pockets and packs everywhere, we weren’t actually sampling fondue. With each smile or nod of appreciation shot back at us – leaping right over any and all potential language barriers – we were time and again reminded of how powerful – and joyful - the community of sport can be. More than just being stoked to be in Kona for a week, all seemed to harbor true appreciation for how unique it is to come together for an event like Kona IM; not just to compete but to connect.

Wednesday: We sat down for great interviews with Linsey Corbin and Tim O’Donnell, just prior to hosting happy hour at which “Linsey Corbin Montana Made Ale” (by Big Sky Brewing Company) was featured. And consumed. Copiously. Thank you Linsey for sharing your gift(s) with the world and may your so-called ‘recovery drink’ continue to help post-performances - and good times - thrive.

From there, we thought maybe a ‘BBQ with Macca’ would be an appropriate way to pull up the moon. Chris and crew carried us well into darkness with great food and quality story swapping. Thanks to all for making that night what it was.

Thursday: Morning kicked off with a 9am ‘Run with Macca’ for all who were up to take a loop with last year’s IM World Champion. Our own Dylan Seguin crushed at least a mile of the run and is now thought to be on the radar of U.S. Olympic coaches. Dylan couldn’t vacillate on that too long, of course, as he had to prep for our Thursday afternoon interview trifecta, featuring the likes and likenesses of Ben Hoffman, Tyler Stewart and Terenzo Bozzone. From training and race philosophies to nutrition, the humility and humanity with which each told their stories was no less than iron-cool. Kicking butt on a bike is nice, but it also helps to be able to smile – if not laugh – at yourself when you need to.

Next: How’s everyone feel about another BBQ?! It would have been almost rude not to attempt the previous night’s efforts. While ‘too much of a good thing’ does technically exist, we don’t acknowledge that BBQ’ing is on that list.

Friday: Conrad Stoltz, Jenny Fletcher, Mark Allen and Chris McCormack popped by throughout the day to chat about all things life and triathlon; where it’s been and where they think it might be headed. Big smiles and inspired stories were not in short supply. Thanks all.

Saturday: Day of. Post-rain clear-skies were back and conditions for racing looked to be pretty close to perfect. Other than the 135-degree pavement temps the afternoon eventually cranked out. 5am hit and we headed to Mahina Pizza, second-year site of the Clif Bar ‘Triathlounge’; a place for viewing the race on two big screen TV’s and where tasty food would be served up throughout the day. Added benefit to the viewing and food is that Mahina is located right on Ali’I - just before runners hit the finish line - so the access to live action was awesome and easily accessible. Saturday proved to be a great day of spectating, noshing, and cheering along side great people. Congrats to all who took on that starting cannon, head on. And how about that new course record?!

FINALLY: ‘The Party.’ Another budding tradition, The Clif Bar Triathlounge hosted the ‘unofficial after-after party’ on Sunday night/Monday morning; providing a place for folks to stretch out the dark as far into morning as their dancing feet might allow. Or right up until 4am, which was our determined cutoff time. We opened at 1am, our band went on at 2, and we played straight through without a break until 3:45am. The room was wall-to-wall and bouncing with the some of the world’s top triathletes - enjoying some well earned revelry before heading back off into their ‘day jobs’ sometime this week. As we all will, I suppose. With any luck, maybe we’ll all suppose our way straight into doing it all again - same time, same place - next year. Dare to dream.

Mega mahalos to Kailua-Kona and all the good people who made this week what it was.

Please visit the 3/GO Triathlon website to see video recaps of Clif Bar’s time in Kona.
Posted by:
Athlete Life, Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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