Monday, March 31, 2014

Lavaman Waikoloa 2014

I always enjoy going out to Lavaman Waikoloa to watch, cheer people on and take pictures.  Since this is one of the few races that I don't race or volunteer at, it's a nice change of pace.  All of the pictures are available here. One of the first things I noticed/remembered when I got to Waikoloa is what a big deal this race is.  Lots of people from the mainland come out for this event, especially Alaskans and the big Team in Training contingent.  So it really has a big race feel in our backyard. And Gerry Rott and her team of volunteers put on a first class-event.

One of the first things I saw when I walked in was Bree Wee taking a warm up jog with her main support crew, Mike. I think he gave her some great words of advice and encouragement as she finished the day in second place, behind Canadian Pro Magali Tisseyre .

After chatting with some friends, it was off to the beach to stake out my spot for the photos coming out of the swim.  This race has so many people it needs several wave starts, beginning with the pros and relays.

I think I must have missed some of the first people out of the water, but Luis De La Torre was one of the first competitors I caught:

Some of the top relay swimmers came out right around there, too, including Jim McCleery and Danny Becker:

Jim McCleery

Danny Becker
The steady stream of people coming out of the water lasted for almost an hour.  I think I must have done a good job cheering for the people I knew, since the couple standing next to me turned and said "You know EVERYONE out here!" And it kind of felt like that!

One of my favorite pictures of the day was the photo below of Lora Jorgensen and her dad John Barnett (on the left behind her).  Even though they started in different waves, they came out of the water at the same time, which had to be a neat experience!

After watching most of the swim, I headed up to the start of the run course.  As I was walking up there, I could see Luis running off into the distance and heard that Tim Marr was ahead of him.  Tim managed to hold him off for the win, with Luis taking second.  But I was able to catch a lot of the runners from then on. Here are some of my favorites:

Garrett Prinslow
Joseph Hodnette (left) returning to Kona after moving back to Chicago

Laura Dierenfield
Becky Prater completing her first triathlon.

Not a competitor, but she's got good form!
Unfortunately I wasn't able to stick around too long as I had to get back to Kona to open the Alii Drive store, so no finish line shots or post-race party this year.  But it was a great morning to spend time with friends, supporting the community and the sport.  Congratulations to all of the competitors!
Full results from the race are available here.

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