Kona, Hawaii, USA, Earth - Strange is the land of the Iron-people. As strange as it is inspiring. Athletes auspicious in their apex fitness, bikes blurring lines of sand-strewn paint, fast moving throngs donning colorfully copious yardage of what I believe the locals call 'spandex'. Hard to say exactly, as they have roughly 300 words for it.
Anyway, the Clif Bar crew are here and ready to rock, run, and roll; to support any and all looking for quick, convenient, deliciously all natural energy, as well as to ensure our Clif Bar Pro Team athletes participating in this year's sure-to-be epic Ironman World Championship - Chris McCormack, Tyler Stewart, Linsey Corbin, Meredith Kessler - have everything they need to do what they do best: CRUSH. Mark Allen and Bryan Rhodes will also be in and around the Clif Bar camp this week. Tuesday was full of all things hunting, gathering and preparation. We began set up at Mahina Pizza on Ali'i drive/downtown Kona, right on course (an open front second story staring right down into the thick of the action). Mahina's will soon be converted into the Clif Bar 'Triathlounge'; a refuge for all seeking a little Clif Bar spirit (aloha style), big screens bearing the live, minute-by-minute action, frosty refreshments and some seriously 'ono' pizza. Ono? O-yah. I know...cheesy.
The last duty of the day was an interview with Luna Pro Team Triathlete, Tyler Stewart; here in Kona to compete for her 6th time. Only having done her first triathlon 7 years ago, that's a pretty amazing deal. During our sit down, Tyler touched on topics ranging from 'training and the import of knowing your nutrition' to the the 'eco import of the CLIF SHOT Gel "Litter Leash." At one point, Tyler advised athletes arriving 'closer to the race' as to better 'concentrate on the race/do what you came here to do', concluding finally, "...THEN you can put your party skirt on." At this, a palpable wave of melancholy muteness washed over Director/Interviewer Dylan's face, just before he moped off the set for a private moment, having been struck by the grim reality that he'd - for all his diligent planning - not packed a party skirt.
In the end, Tyler's best piece of advice for anyone here to do IM Kona (or any triathlon anywhere): enjoy it. "You're about to do something 99.9% of the world never will. Take the time, look around, and enjoy it." Of course, there's nothing much beautiful or worth enjoying here in the land of azure sea and swaying palms, so good luck with that one. But it's important to dream. Stay tuned...
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