- Oct 11, 2010
- Ironman Kona: Cool-Down Heats Things Up
All is quiet on the western front; the 2010 Ironman World Championship in Kona is in the books as of 4am this morning. Bikes are being boxed, last sips of Kona coffee are being savored, and - as I write - there are no doubt hundreds of athletes standing in front of compression sock strewn hotel beds, toiling over which pair to wear on the airplane. Fortunately, NONE of them go best with 'any' outfit, so may your choices be obvious and pain free. Own it.
As for us here at the TEAM CLIF BAR camp, we're still trying to make sense of all that has been our last seven days on Ali'i Drive. All we can say at this point - judging by the smiles and stories being exchanged - is that it was one hell of an awesome week; a 'success' (to say the very least) if it had to be reduced to one word. Inspiring athletic spirit and ambassadorship, stellar support, (from fans to volunteers), folks diggin' on our newly formulated CLIF SHOT Energy Gel, and, well, our boy Macca took the title in a beyond dramatic fashion (one of the best finishes in Ironman history), which is, of course...rad. All of this in the can - what left to do? Party.
Last night (Sunday) was the night of the award ceremony, followed by various sponsor parties. Not wanting to compete with any of that, we planned to host a Clif Bar Kona Cool Down after party (from midnight to 6am - ouch). We showed up at the Clif Bar Triathlounge for one final hoorah around 11pm. Beyond knowing most other parties were 'done' by midnight, we didn't know if 5 people would show, or 200. Being that we were hosting Kona Brewery beer, delicious food, live music and (as has become standard Clif Bar fare) foosball, we were pretty sure 'someone' would show. In classic Clif Bar style, we left it to the word-of-mouth, grassroots gods to get the party buzz out there. The big card we were hoping to play: Macca shows up from the last stop and brings everyone with him. It's happened before. Fast forward 2 hours...it was still just us, listening to iPod jams, playing foos, sipping on beers (and coffee / CLIF Double Expresso SHOT Gel), still wondering if the night would fly or flop. The week had gone great, so anything beyond that would be a bonus. But we were still hoping for a final ode to the island. All that had really been accomplished by 1am was that Kenny - in lifting and carrying a TV into the back room - had completely blown out the back of his board shorts.
While this might not sound super-catastrophic, Kenny rolls commando, and this was among the most revealing rips ever...so we got some decent mileage out of that one. A good 10 minutes worth. But then, back to mellow. Only one in our group never waned in 'knowing' the night was going to fly. Good on you, Dylan Seguin. In 'It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown' fashion, Dylan held true to his faith: "They're coming guys...they're out there...Macca will show - he will, I know it - and he will bring with him a level of revelry yet unknown to man. You just have to believe." Well, sure enough, 1:09am...the street below began to stir. At first, one post party zombie...meandering, looking for one last stop. Then two! Then Macca showed - as predicted. Then...a GAGGLE of post party peeps looking for new party blood. Before we knew it - over about 20 minutes time - the place was WALL-TO-WALL! It was an amazing phenomenon to behold. McCormack hanging with friends by the balcony, guys and dolls looking to dance (on tables or the dance floor - they didn't much care), TEAM CLIF Pro athletes enjoying their post race afterglow...and exactly one freshly married couple; the bride donning jean shorts, a white tank top, and a wedding veil. Classic. Even IM women's champ - Mirinda Carfrae - showed up to tear up her own little piece of the dance floor...it was a complete evening. Almost. What to do at this point but play some music live music from 2-3am, blasting the good times off the lanai and out into the Kona night; a final exclamation mark on the aforementioned 'week of awesome'.
It was one for the books...feet moving, fists pumping, amps at 11, celebration at 12. Floor boards bending as the entire room bounced their way into a blissful state of sweat and smiles, as we played our final song - a punk version of Leavin' On a Jet Plane. Being on the second floor, I imagined the middle of that trampoline floor giving way...but it held strong, just like those bouncing uncontrollably upon it. Good work, everyone. (slow clap) So...recap: Kona rocks, Macca rocked it (the lasagna worked!), the triathlon community is growing and galvanizing like never before, Kenny blew out his shorts in unprecedented fashion, Tom was lost snorkeling at sea for an hour but didn't drown, and - at the time of this report - it looks like we'll be getting at least some of our security deposit back. Last but not least, Dylan - for his unyielding faith in TCB Athletes and island revelers in general - still has a day job. As far as we know. Thanks to all those who helped make this event (and week) happen. To the triathletes, the trainers, the support staff and volunteers, the sponsors, our girl Darcy at Mahina Pizza, to the local community, and to this big loveable lump of lava we call 'the big island'; home to some of the best big and small moments anywhere. Mahalo nui loa. Malama Pono.
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