Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Monday 9th October: 

Here I sit on our hotel balcony at 9.30 at night looking out over the Kailua-Kona pier and bay, as palms trees sway and waves lap at the shore. Flame torches light the paths, fairy lights surround the diners by the beach and a sweet smelling candle in a coconut shell flickers by my's pretty magical and very calm. The calm before the storm!!

It's hard to believe that in five days time this place will be swarming with people, lots of noise and many memorable moments with 1,800 Ironman triathletes fulfilling their dreams of completing the Hawaii Ironman.

Kailua-Kona Pier. Tents beginning to appear. A calm night but in a few days sure to be swarming with people!

So what is it like to experience a week in Kona in the lead up to Hawaii Ironman?

Throughout the week I plan to combine my love of Instagram and insistent Tweeting (which may drive some mad), with my amateur (yet improving) photography and as many blog posts as I can manage to grab the time for, to give you a feel for being a part of this amazing race.

It's the perspective of an Ironman wife (without kids this time) not a competitor or expert on triathlon - but I hope you enjoy and are inspired to come and experience it one day (if you haven't already!)

Day one of Hawaii Ironman week...

We arrived two days ago which gave us time to acclimatise and settle. Today the atmosphere ramped up one notch. There seemed to be more people in the town, the finish line chute is starting to take shape, tents are being built in the recovery area and companies are setting up their stands for the Expo which opens tomorrow night. The build up is beginning.

This morning, Dig Me beach was buzzing early.  Every morning this week, competitors and onlookers flock to the swim start to try out the swim course and size up the competition! There is a coffee boat to swim to and IMTalk radio will broadcast live from it on Thursday and Friday. It's a small area but its the place to be seen. If you aren't competing it's still worth donning googles and getting amongst it especially to see the beautiful fish below.

Dig Me beach swarming with swimmers and onlookers. It's where the Hawaii Ironman starts and finishes. It will be transformed in the next few days!

If you are not swimming in the morning, then you should be out running or cycling (you certainly get the urge!) Since it's still early in the week, competitors along with other fitness enthusiasts are all hitting the roads - either in fancy (and very bright coloured) runners or on their expensive bikes (aero helmets a must!). They are familiarising themselves with sections of the course and testing the body in the heat.

The hype and the nerves seems to get the competitors firing when they probably should be resting more - but thats all part of the experience!  It's great to get out amongst them but beware that when out running along side some of the fittest people in the world, you do feel slightly self-conscious!

Ironman hubby and I ready for a run and lapping up the Dig Me beach atmosphere.

I'll sign off with a couple of the many branded signs (some with great quotes and sayings).

Back with new report soon xx

PS. Apologies for delay in posting 1st report from Kona (few online hiccups) - more stories and photos from today (Tuesday) tom come....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Hype Surrounding the Hawaii Ironman. Tips & Links to join the party online!

All big events around the world have hype surrounding it. We just experienced one of the most hyped sporting events on the planet - the Olympics.

Hype is defined in the Oxford dictionary as to "promote or publicize (a product or idea) intensively". Hype is essential if an event is to be successful. (My mind is drifting to that rap "Don't believe the hype" by Pubic Enemy No.1 -  showing my age!)

Why I am I talking about hype?  Because I am declaring that one of the best 'hype' machines has to be Ironman triathlon!

We are heading off to the Ironman World Championships in two days. The race is on Saturday 13th October and the hype has truely begun.

My next declaration is this - I am addicted to hype! Well, hype that relates to something that I enjoy or am passionate about.

My husband is the one who is passionate about triathlon and Ironman, however we as a family have been swept up in it for a number of years. Although I am not a competitor, I love all that it represents and enjoy the experiences that surround it.

For those of you who don't know much about Ironman triathlon, you should know that this is the event that any long distant triathlete dreams of competing in. It is the pinnacle of Ironman every year. The best professional and amateur Ironman triathletes all converge on one small town called Kona in Hawaii and compete in the most gruelling of all the Ironmans. It is an international sporting event in so many ways.

The week before is filled with lead up activities. Every event and triathlete sponsor is represented. All the brands who want to capture the interest of people whose passion is health and fitness want to be seen and heard. Pro spotting is a popular pastime and everybody is strutting their stuff. It all adds up to a week of hype!

I have experienced the Hawaii Ironman first hand two years ago and now just the thought of returning to experience it again excites me.

The hype began weeks ago and now with social media being a big part of brands marketing mixes, I am feeling overwhelmed with options to get more hyped.

Triathletes and triathlon brands are big on Twitter, there are also a number of popular triathlon websites and triathlete bloggers, and of course Facebook is part of the mix too.

My Ironman is a regularly listener of IMTalk and we are loving the new Ali'i Drive Ironman You Tube Series of videos (so well done and serious hype generators!) Watch these and you will truly get a feel for what Ironman is all about.

If you want to get hyped like us, follow the race on the 13th or just want to understand more about the Ironman World Championships, here are my tips and links:

1. Watch the Ali'i Drive Video Series 

2. Visit the Official Ironman website and the official FaceBook Page

3. Listen to IMTalk and Competitor Radio

4. Join Twitter (if you are not addicted already!) and follow hashtags #IMKona, #IMWC, #IMHawaii and #Kona2012.

5. Follow on Twitter some of the professionals (top Aussies include @CrowieAlexander, @maccanow  and @Mirindacarfrae ), Ironman legends (@IronmanVoice,  @IronmanLIVEgreg@MarkAllenOnline@DaveScott6x) and triathlon focussed Twitterers like @IronmanTri , @firstoffthebike , @trinewsonly,  and @BeyondT2  (I could go on and on!)

6. On the day, visit IronmanLive to watch the race live (if you live in Australia you may be up in the early hours of Sunday!) and track your favourite athletes.

7. A great app for your iPhone if you are out and about is IronTrack.

7. Ironman website and radio is live all week - find out whats happening every day here.

Of course, you might also like to follow me via Twitter @trititbits and Facebook - and I will be updating this blog regularly throughout our Kona stay!

Love if you can tell others who may be interest in my post -  and add your own tips in comments if you have more!

Enjoy the hype!

Lisa xx