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RACE REPORT - Mike Lamie
I'm writing this wondering “why would anyone want to read about my Hawaii Ironman experience?” If you are reading this, you’re the one I'm wondering about…
My sneakers are huge. People always say I have big feet, but I really don't listen. It takes almost one entire suitcase for my sneakers. Have you ever seen the difference between my feet and Beth's? Beth has said that she wants to pack less and less on each trip we take. With my feet it can't be done.
Some more packing issues: The bike, need I say more? I watch King Tut and his family get on the plane, and the plane leans to one side. I need to keep my bike under fifty pounds? Where's the logic. Also how much carry-on luggage can one person fit into an overhead space?
Let me start by telling you that it very difficult for me to believe that I'm going to race in the Hawaii Ironman. I was very happy last year just going to Hawaii and watching. How did this all happen? I had once dreamed of doing the race but that was many years ago. These dreams, I felt, were long gone. I guess it only takes one person to believe in you and amazing things can happen. That one person is Beth. Without Beth I would not be here, I probably would on been in a van down by the river with two laundry baskets. I just want to take this moment and thank Beth and tell her how much she has changed my life.
So, about the race... By Friday I just wanted to jump out of my skin and start racing. Hurry up Saturday!
Saturday is finally here - I'm ready. Not for one second did I think that I wasn’t prepared. How the race will go is another question. The pros go off at 6:45 am. Fifteen more minutes … still waiting. Finally 7:00 am, gun goes off, I'm swimming. Water feels good. Wow there are a lot of fish in the water. How come the fish are not afraid of all these swimmers? What the chances of getting eaten by a shark? Stop thinking and swim. Where is the turn-around boat I used to see on TV? No one told me they no longer have the boat as a turn-around. Keep swimming. I see the big Gatorade bottle that marks the finish. Keep swimming. Wow a lot of people have lost their swim caps. I've already have swam by at least a dozen. Focus, keep swimming. I've come to the Gatorade bottle - I guess I'm done with the swim. Don't trip on the steps out of the water. Go to the transition and get on the bike.
I'm on the bike. It's HOT!!! 112 miles? Shut up and pedal. Don't think, just pedal. For me the bike was a blur, a long blur but still a blur. All I can remember is the turn-around in Hawi and the head wind. I'm so glad I don't know how fast I'm not going. The head wind is something you can't prepare for. Did I say it was hot? Finally Kona! Time to get off the bike and run.
I'm off the bike and running. Hmmm... Not feeling it. I can't get the turn over. Uh Oh - trouble. Deal with it and keep moving forward. I have twenty five more miles to run. This could be a long day...
Let me say that the run was tough, but not once did I think I could not finish. Dropping out was not an option. Finish line! There's Beth. Give me a hug! First two things I told Beth were, "I am so proud of myself, thank you".
Paul Gompers finished behind me.