Monday, June 4, 2012

Honu 70.3... a spectator's race report

Race morning, I arranged for the Dkyhouses to pick me up on their way to the race start. Coach joined in and when they rolled up, Bo was in the car as well!  We all arrived at Hapuna Beach.. all walking towards the entrance to T1 when I stopped on my tracks and claimed a rock to step upon right over the Pro area. In case you hadn’t heard, Lance was racing! Yes, I am a Lance fan and have been for over ten years. Lance appears and it’s like being in the presence of a rockstar.. no wonder the guy needs his little posse around him.. dude gets surrounded with a crowd wherever he goes. You can tell that word was getting around that Lance has arrive as you see AGers running towards the fenced off Pro area.

I make my way down to the beach and found Bo, Nat and Kevin. The Dkyhouses and Coach later joined us. They all headed towards the swim start as I made my way towards the opposite end to claim my spot at the swim finish.  Coach decided to stick with me until he finished his swim prep.. he handed me his bag.. I wished him luck and off he went to join the rest. He, Coach, Chris as I will refer to him was a bag full of relaxation and indecisiveness. I think up until race morning he was going to wear the old school blue TYR suit but race morning, he went for the TYR Torque. I think one of the only things he was decisive about was what he was going to have for dinner two nights prior to race when most of us headed to Pau in Waimea. He, alone, consumed a quinoa salad, a big bowl of turkey chili, 6 slices of pizza and 2 beers. Oh, and he was sure he wasn't going to wear a heart rate monitor. Anyway on with the race... 

The canon goes off for the Pros and then a few minutes later for the AGers. About 20 or so minutes later, my camera was clicking away as Tim Marr (Pro a.k.a. Macca’s man crush) was the 1st to exit the water. Lance came in 3rd and I found myself relaxing a little bit before I realized Chris was coming towards the swim finish as well. And he said he wasn't fit to be competitive.. not even in the swim. Liar. As he was making his way to T1, Greg Welch, gave the crowd a little back story on him. Chris Hauth...  former Olympic swimmer out of Mill Valley etc etc etc. I waited for Kevin, Natalie, Dykhouse and Bo to exit the water before reuniting with Nicola for a ride back to the hotel. We came upon a little traffic jam to make the turn into the Mauna Lani and I thought I’d have to get our of the old jeep to start pushing because the car would stall from all the stop and go. Luckily, we made it, phew!  I made my way to the run out at which I had to sit down because the winds were so strong that it’d blow me out of stance when I stayed standing up.  It was announced that Lance was in the lead off the bike (duh) and I can see him from afar getting off the bike and running through the tents to get onto the run course. As this was going down, these tri newbies asked, “why is Lance running already?” Referring to the bike off run towards the tent and I was immediately brought back in time when I used to sneak out of work to catch that last hour of the coverage on the then, OLN channel (pre- Versus). The Il Fornaio coffee guys were nice enough to save a seat for my co-worker and I every morning. People use to come in and say… why isn’t Lance leading (during a Sprinter’s stage)?

It wasn’t long before Chris ran through and he looked good.  All the while, I am quadruple tasking between tracking people on my phone, returning text messages, posting race updates on facebook and taking photos. I must have looked like I knew what I was doing because then I had a small group of people asking me to predict when I thought their loved ones would be coming through if they gave me their swim times and the level of their bike strength. Funny, I know. About 20 minutes before the winner would come through, I made my way to the finish line.  Lance comes through first, then Greg Bennett, followed by Lieto for the top 3. From afar, I see a red blurb running and I knew it was Chris so I got the camera ready. He comes through, 1st AG and overall amateur. I went to greet him at the finish where Greg Welch was interviewing him followed by an intense conversation with Diana, the race director. I asked Chris what happened and he said you saw what happened at the swim? I said no…. and so he tells me about the course cutting accusation.  OOOH.

Nicola would join me at this point and we waited for Kevin, Natalie, Bo and Dykhouse to come through. When Bo finished, I asked her if she saw Dykhouse and she said,”Yea.. he didn’t look so good. He was bent over grabbing his hamstring saying f*ck f*ck f*ck.” Cramps.  A few minutes later, Dykhouse crosses the finish and my time at the finish line is done! All my friends finished, did great and none of them looked all that bad! Time to hydrate and feed myself. I tell ya, spectating is tough!! I head up to the Dkyhouses room to recharge my phone and to rest a little before heading back down for the awards. They started the awards ceremony with a public apology to Chris Hauth. I was shocked and Chris himself was not even here for this. The apology went something like this... "We as race directors, staff need to make sure that all athletes are racing the full course. We don't always get it right and this one athlete got really angry at us. Blah blah blah... I want to apologize to Chris Hauth and ensure all of you that he did indeed kick all your @sses. In fact, he'll kick all your @sses all day any day." I thought.. oh my god... Chris' head and hair is about to get a lot bigger. I got my phone and texted the guy and said … you’re missing your public apology. He didn’t believe me so he called me and all he said was really? Really? Really? I know I can be creative but even I couldn’t have made that stuff up!  From then on, it was like the Chris Hauth triathlon celebrity show.  If you left the AG awards ceremony not knowing the name Chris Hauth, you must have been sleeping. TYR AG swim awards, Chris Hauth come claim your award. Chris Hauth… 1st AG in Men 40-44. Kona/Vegas slot roll down… Chris Hauth.. are you here? Ok, we’ll skip to the next AG and come back to that one. True story, that happened. We’re making our way to dinner and had to stop many times because now it seems like everyone who’s ever met him wants a word with him. I felt like it was Kona week in October and I am walking down Ali’I Drive with Whit and it takes us an hour to walk from the banyan tree to the Thai restaurant near Lava Java because everyone and their moms wants a word with him.

Next day, Chris Hauth celebrity show is over and we’re sitting at the beach at the Mauna Kea Resort… we get settled and I say to him.. we’re at an old person’s beach.. look at all the pot bellys!

To view photos from the event- click HERE!

Oh, in other news, the OKC Thunder won a road game vs the Spurs while I was flying home. SWEET!! Go OKC! In case you didn't know, it's the NBA playoffs.

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