Thursday, October 8, 2009

Waking up in Kona

Sometimes I forget I am here for an Ironman....waking up with the birds and the ocean. I have been sleeping with my doors open. Drinking Kona coffee on the peaceful. Oh and in 2 days I will be racing IM. There goes the peaceful, relaxing feeling.

Great day yesterday....had some good down time and went for a very hot and windy ride late afternoon. Really getting a feel for the elements out there. Getting in enough fluids is going to be the key. With the humidity I lose so much water. Dripping off me while riding...not like dry San Diego where it dries in the wind. And in those windy parts....hang on and hope they don't last too long. Good a good feel for the course and there are some lonely parts out there. Pretty much you and the lava fields. Bike seems to be good but am taking it to Stephen at Kestrel this AM for a once over, considering he designed the bike, he will ensure it is good to roll on Saturday..

Kestrel had a nice dinner last night at Kona Brew brews for me, but nice to smell the beer and think of having one soon. Met some nice people and KP came along with me. Good to go over the course, the race, where to be careful, where to control power and a good reminder of what to expect. We have been through this before but being here seeing the course drives it all home.

Off to meet E and D for the Underpants Run. Should be a hoot....I hear some of the pro's go all out!

History of the run....

If you don’t know what the Underpants Run is, where have you been? The event was started in 1997 when three friends (Chris Danahy, Tim Morris, and Paul Huddle) had seen enough - had seen enough Speedos, that is. “They were everywhere”, says Danahy, a triathlete and busboy from Richmond, Virginia. “Standing in downtown Kailua-Kona you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting some Euro in his underpants”, echoed Morris, Danahy’s friend also a triathlete and model from Richmond. Paul Huddle, a former triathlete and now a lounge singer adds, “The locals weren’t happy and many of the folks in town for the race weren’t happy. We felt like some of our triathlon peers were giving our sport a bad name so we decided to take it upon ourselves to protest wearing your ‘underpants’ in public.” So, in October of ’97 on the Thursday before the race, these three renaissance men stripped down in the drive way of the King Kamehameha Hotel and set off down Alii Drive in nothing but running shoes, black socks, heart rate monitor chest straps, bad hats, and y-front white underpants giving birth to a pre-race ritual. In 2005, 300+ like minded souls joined them.

The run has grown into an underground cult event that not only raises awareness about proper public attire and courteous behavior but raises money for the local Special Olympics chapter. The “entry fee” is optional and every cent goes to West Hawaii Special Olympics. has t-shirts made to commemorate the event and to raise even more money for the local charity. These collector’s items are available the week before the event and on “race” day for a donation of $20.00 – again, all of which goes to the charity. Since ’97, there have been Underpants Runs in Penticton, B.C., Lake Placid, NY, and Madison, Wisconsin. Current projections estimate the Underpants Run will surpass the Ironman in #’s of participants, licensing fees, and local revenue impact by 2007. “Such growth is unheard of in this market”, said Warren Buffet when referring to some commodity at some point in his life. The founders of the event have sworn that it will remain a fund raiser in the local communities where it is held. “We’re not here to cause trouble, eh. We’re here to give back to the communities that host our sport, eh” said long time Underpants Run participant and organizer, Roch Frey – an unemployed lumberjack from Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, eh.

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