It’s Ironman season again. The warning signs to “Watch for Athletes Training” are everywhere. The first cyclist in their cyclist uniform became visible over the last 2 weeks. I say cyclist uniform because we all know the look. The spandex tops and bottoms with so many corporate logos that they remind us of a moving billboard. In addition, the streets of Kona have become a little congested with drivers who, quite obviously, do not understand that it is customary to slow down, be courteous, and yield to everyone else. Heck, we yield for honu (green sea turtles), nene, (state bird), and whales jumping or even good surf. You can feel the tension slowly turning up a notch.
Soon the bulk of the people, over 40,000, will descend upon this little town of 12,000 residents. The barricades started showing up which will keep the crowds at bay and guide the athletes through the grueling course. I hope you made your lodging reservation a long time ago. I hope you reserved your car a very long time ago. This island runs our of cars for Ironman and holidays. The cars will jump from $50/day up to “charge what the market will bear.” Locals will rent you their car or truck if you are lucky. This place goes crazy. It’s a lot of fun.
For me, I am all set up to volunteer to work the event. Last year we worked the catch line. That’s where you are at the finish line and you support the athletes the moment they cross the line so they don’t collapse. You walk them off stage behind the scenes and see if they need medical assistance. To hear some of their stories was amazing!!! That’s all for now. It’s time to dodge another cyclist.
James C. Christopher