Monday, March 30, 2009

Kona - the first few days

We arrived into Kona on Saturday evening around 7:30 local time. We headed straight to the hotel to check in and to change into more Hawaii appropriate clothing before heading out to dinner. We had dinner and a couple drinks at a restaurant on Ali'i overlooking the bay and got back to the hotel about 10:00. Yes, that was by far our latest night out.

Sunday morning was up early and brunch at Lava Java before heading up to Waikaloa resort to watch the Lavaman race. Chris McCormack was the winner for the men and Lisa Mensink (Canadian girl) won for the women.

While the weather was fine for the pros and fast finishers, the wind really picked up while the faster people were running and the rest of the people were still out on the bike. Driving back to Kona I felt awful for some of the slower people still out on the bike course. I said to Graeme that if it was me out there I would probably be crying. Some of the slowest finishers were in the 5:30+ range for an Olympic. It was a tough day.

The rest of the day included a 30 min run which was way harder then it should be due to the fact that I had gone from running in cold to 80 and humid and then a 30 min swim that I was just not into. Well, I was into floating around in the pool and was in there for 45 mins, but only about 30 counted as actual swimming. I love swimming outdoors though and the Kona Aquatics pool is not only outdoors (of course) but free! I just had a vacation mind set which I really don't feel too badly about.

Monday we played in the ocean and explored some of the local sites including the Place of Refuge. We had to wait until later on Monday to pick up rental bikes as most of theirs were out for the race on Sunday. I rode a Cannondale Synapse and Graeme had a Trek. Both bikes were heavier then our own, but were still comfortable. After picking up the bike we went for a short but hilly ride down Ali'i and straight up Kam III and up and up and up! 46 mins going up and 22 coming back down. Even coming down wasn't that fast as the wind was coming straight in off the ocean. It was nice to ride without a million layers on but the change in temperatures and the hill climbing had a literal stream of sweat running off my face!

Me trying to look strong looking down over the bay.

Monday evening was relaxing and of course eating and drinking. No vacation would be right without both of these!

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