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Chris Benchetler getting it good. photo - Peter Morning
Team Clif Bar Blog
Oct 8, 2010
Ironman Kona: Full Coverage of Minimal Coverage

Thursday, October 7th will live in infamy. For at least the next 24 hours.


Stop one on Thursday found us downtown at 7am, scouting out an ideal spot from which to experience the splendor of philanthropic exhibitionism that is The Underpants Run; an annual, grass roots, word-of-mouth run of ridiculocity raising money for Special Olympics of West Hawaii, as well as (this year) the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii. Ahh yes...the color, the camaraderie, the Kona coffee saturated rockers of all things thongs, bras, brightly colored wigs, and frilly lingerie...and that was just the men. Yes, the bro-ssieres were in full effect. On the flip side, many of the ladies chose to mock'fully celebrate the Isle of Tighty Whitey - so let's just call it even. In the end, the run proved to be all it was said to be and more, as there was no shortage of sundrenched smiles, aloha spirit, or curious tan lines. The added bonus is that yesterday ended up being the most well attended Underpants Run yet. Subsequently, record money was raised! We like that. Congratulations and mahalo to all who organized, participated, and supported.


Now, back to the land of the clothed. The rest of our day, Thursday, was filled with Clif Pro Team athlete visits, interviews, and chaotic MACCA meet-and-greet giveaways. Word was out (via Blog, Twitter and word of mouth) that Chris McCormack would be here at the Clif Team house by 2pm to give away a limited number of 'Team MACCA' T-shirts (by Under Armour®), to hang with his fans, and to sign anything and everything they might toss in front of him. At least until his supersonic Sharpie ran dry.


By 1pm, our front yard's 'living room lounge' was already full and a line had begun to form down the street; quite a spectacle. Ultimately, both Chris and those in attendance seemed to enjoy the event. As expected, we had to douse said Sharpie in water a few times to keep it from melting (melting plastic = bad for the environment). So, if any of you see SUPER bright yellow Team MACCA T-shirts floating out there on course, or in the world now know where they came from. After the frenzy that was, Chris was nice to sit down for an interview and to share his top tips for training and racing; Kona and otherwise. Among other inquiries, when asked how he manages to remain so 'up', smiling and (apparently) happy all the time, Chris offered simply, "I've always been a glass half full kind of guy - it's not an effort for me to be's just who I am. (big smile) Just wake up in the morning...first thing you should focus on is smiling...easy." Finally, when asked why folks thinking about giving triathlon a go for the first time 'should', Chris replied even more simply, "Why try a tri?" (ostensibly surprised, as if the answer were obvious) "...because it's fun!" After Chris took off, the parade continued as the perpetually grinning Bryan Rhodes walked through the door; yet another Team Clif athlete full of good advice and great energy.

TEAM CLIF at Ironman KONA 11

For all the tips and advice Bryan offered during his chat with Dylan, 'Rhodsey' came clean and admitted the 'true' reason he came to Kona was for the Clif Bar 'Triathlounge' party at Mahina's Pizza on Saturday night. "It's THE place to be, mate!" We like to hear that. We're not sure we totally believe him, but he looked pretty serious about it. And he is from New Zealand after all. The day finally ended with a handful of us enjoying a chill moment in the front yard; Bryan Rhodes offering up humor driven stories and Conrad Stoltz eyeing Kenny Souza's foldable Bike Friday over in the corner, no doubt wondering exactly 'how fast that thing might go.' All and all, a long but good day. Tomorrow...the big event. Full coverage to come. Best wishes and good luck to all participating. Be safe out there.

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