Day 1: I am off to Kona for the Ironman World Championships!

8 Oct

Today is the day! I am off to Kona, HI for the Ironman World Championships! I am so excited to be able to share all the action from the Timex tent and beyond with you. We received our itineraries in the mail last week and our days will be jam-packed with activities, time at the expo, conducting interviews, banquets, etc. We will be busy, but I am not complaining! Since the next week will be hectic, and since I don’t want to miss sharing one single thing with you, I plan on live-blogging as much as possible for the whole week. Each day I will start a new post, and chronicle the day’s activities, updating the post as often as I can throughout the day. That being said, if you check my blog first thing in the morning, there probably won’t be much action posted, but later in the day, you can catch up on what’s been happening! And of course, you can always follow along on Twitter or “see” what I’m up to with instagram (@katieRUNSthis)!

So, without further ado…

03:00AM EST
Alarm going off. I am grumbling curse words in my head and hurling myself into the shower. Let me just say, it is just not right to have to be awake and functioning at this hour of the day.

04:00AM EST
Throwing last minute items into my bag, zipping it up, and hitting the road. The Charlotte-Douglasville Airport is about an hour and 45 minutes away, and I want to get there in plenty of time. You never know how long it will take for the shuttle from long term parking, security, etc. The last thing I want to do is miss my flight!

05:45AM EST
Parking at long term parking, catching the shuttle, and heading to the airport. Of the 30 or so people on the shuttle, I notice that I am the only female. I am assuming that most of the people traveling at this hour are doing so for business, but don’t chicks travel for work too? Huh.

06:20AM EST
Made it through security, grabbing a coffee at Starbucks, and finding my gate. Okay, so I am WAY early for my 07:41AM departure, but again, I would rather be early than late. I find myself spending the time at the gate pouring over the latest issue of LAVA and Inside Triathlon. The total geek-out set in! I am really about to get on a plane to go see some my triathlon idols from all over the globe compete in the pinnacle event for the sport of triathlon!!! Say whaaaa!?

I’m on a plane!

09:15AM MST
Landed in Phoenix. The journey to Kona is half-way over…well, almost. I spent the first flight (4 and a half hours) reading every word of my most recent running and triathlon magazines and making a list of all of the athletes I wanted to watch and a few “fast facts” about each. I know that sounds tremendously absurd, but I know that if I have the fortune to meet any of them, I am totally going to lose it. I don’t even really know why I made the list. I know if I meet anyone on my list, I will be doing good just to remember my own name, let alone anything interesting about their careers or any questions I have for them. Ugh. I’m going to look like such a dork, I know it. Seriously, there is no I’m going to be able to maintain my composure if I am able to meet Chrissie Wellington or Mirinda Carfrae. NO WAY. I also spent an hour watching the DVD from last year’s event that Timex sent in our packages. The athletes’ stories…the famous athletes and the regular Joe’s…are all amazing. Some of them even made me teary. The reasons that people race. The sacrifices they make for training. The personal obstacles they are conquering. All of it, nothing short of INSPIRING. Watching the DVD took my “level of PSYCHED” from a 2 to a 10! There is no doubt that the spirit of the Ironman competition is palpable in Kona and I am ready to feel it!

10:05AM MST
Boarding my flight for Kona! It is absolutely insane to me that when I get off of this aircraft, I will be in Kona, Hawaii. I can’t even handle this right now! This is going to be the longest flight of my life! Two of the other Timex social ambassadors, Ryan and Sarah, are also on this flight. I was hoping to give them a quick high-five and hello before boarding, but all of us were cutting it so close from our previous flights that we had to just board and get in our seats. SUCK. I’m in a window seat. For 6 and a half hours. Well, I try my best to stay hydrated when traveling, so if I have to go pee 37 times during this flight, the nice couple to my left is just going to have to be understanding. Ryan and Sarah’s seats ended up being in first class (LUCKY!) so I didn’t even get to see them as they were boarding the plane. Sarah did, however, walk back to wave and say hello!

On a side note, I am super excited to meet Sarah and get to know her better. I am looking to start eating better and I am looking forward to picking her brain on some healthy recipes. She used to work at, but now she is a full-time blogger. Plus, I know she will want to work out while in Kona too. I have the Runner’s World Half Marathon coming up in less than two weeks, so I will have to do a couple of long runs. I am glad to know that I won’t be the only one of the ambassadors who will be fitting fitness into the itinerary. Be sure and check out Sarah’s blog, Sarah Fit, and YouTube channel!

I have now made all the small talk I can with the couple next to me. She seems pretty cool. Him, notsomuch. No worries. I am breaking out a book that Timex sent me, called Iron War. It is about the 1989 Ironman World Championship and how the men’s title came down to Dave Scott and Mark Allen. As another side note, Dave Scott has trained Craig Alexander in recent years, so he is definitely going to be one of the competitors I will be watching. He is a seasoned Ironman Kona athlete, and I think he just might win (again) this year!

03:30PM HST
Touch down in Kona! This airport is SO small. Even the baggage claim is outside!

Photo courtesy of Ryan Hudson

We made our way over to the condos! I got paired up with Sarah! Woo hoo! This is the view from our patio…I mean, lanais! This is going to be a very rough week!

05:30PM HST
We are heading out for dinner…FINALLY! Even though it seems like an early dinner, most of us are from the East Coast so it feels like 11:30PM to us! We are starving! We are heading out to Huggo’s On The Rocks for dinner!

Check out this amazing sunset! What a beautiful view for our dinner! After dinner, we watch three adorable girls do some hula dancing! I loved it!
Huggos On The Rocks
07:15PM HST
We hit up our local Wal-Mart…that’s right, I came all the way to Kona, Hawaii and I still went to Wal-Mart…to grab a few snacks for our condo. Water, KIND bars, Clif bars, and unsweetened apple sauce for the win!


09:10PM HST
LIGHTS OUT for this girl. Today has been surreal, to say the least. Sitting over dinner, we talked about the “greats” in the sport of triathlon, many of who we will see compete in just a few short days. We talked about all of the fun stuff Timex has planned for us too! You are going to want to stay tuned! The next few days are going to be PACKED! I’ve now been awake for right about 24 hours and I have hit the wall. Its time to get my beauty rest! After all, tomorrow begins with an early morning run down Ali’i Drive! ‘Night!

3 Responses to “Day 1: I am off to Kona for the Ironman World Championships!”

  1. Steph at 5:56 AM #

    that is pretty much awesome! so jealous

  2. triing2survive at 4:08 PM #

    Oh my heck!!! You are SO lucky!!! I’m so excited for you & a little jealous. How do you get thes amazing opportunities?


  1. Day 2: Media Credentials, Expo, and Parade of Nations! « katieRUNSthis -

    […] For all of the action from Day 1, click here. […]

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