Monday, October 11, 2010

Ironman Hawaii 2010 update

Yesterday Jocelyn and I competed in the 2010 Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. This was my second trip out to the Big Island to compete in the "Super Bowl of Triathlon", earning the opportunity to compete the first time last year, and Jocey's first attempt but only her third Ironman ever. We had arrived in Kona a week prior on Oct 2nd to adjust to the time difference and acclimate, and for the most part had a very enjoyable and relaxing week leading up to the race. The one low point was when Jocey was hit by a truck when cycling on Ali'i Drive on Wednesday, right in front of the triathlete people watching epicenter of Lava Java, which rendered her bike useless and bruised and battered the whole right side of her body. Not the sort of thing that you want to happen three days before the most challenging physical event on earth. The circumstances of this accident are even more surprising and disappointing, but this post will not devolve into a negative rant on that subject. On the contrary, this unfortunate incident led us down another path that we would not have otherwise gone down, and as a result met some incredibly helpful, compassionate, and great people here in Kona. Mad props go out to Brad, Mac, and Chris of Quintana Roo for stepping up completely unbidden and saving the day (race, week, sanity, etc.) for both of us. In addition to these lifesavers, there were a number of others who were so sympathetic and supportive, and we both are so thankful for this at this tough time. Jocelyn was going to make it to this race come hell or high water, and it would live up to all of our expectations.

Saturday morning started early as usual and we were down at the Kailua Pier by about 5am to setup in transition and meet up with the rest of our Pittsburgh crew out for the race, Chad, Matt, and Beth. My parents were there to cheer us on, in addition to husbands, wives, and parents of some of the others. The race was underway at 7am and then it was on for the next 9+ hours. At times the conditions were the challenge, and others my body, but sometimes you just have to bear down, knuckle up, and as Jens Voigt has said, "Shut up legs!" Or perhaps, "Puke and Rally!" It was very tough at times to keep the pressure on and to continue pushing so hard when quite often my body was in revolt, but that's when you learn the most about yourself, when the chips are down and as I constantly reminded myself, that this was the world championship, you are here to do your absolute best and to suffer mightily in the process. As hard as I thought I had it, my tough as nails wife was pushing through the 140.6 mile race with a bum knee, which was probably swollen to almost twice its normal size. Seeing her out on the course in addition to my close friends and also the sport's top talents gave me so much inspiration to draw upon, to allow me to reach deep within myself for every ounce of effort I could. Hearing people shout, "Go Jeremy" and "Go Ballou Skies" at every turn was so powerful and I couldn't help but smile and do as they asked. I came across the line at about 4:30 HST for an Ironman PR with the following splits on this most competitive, fulfilling, and magical of days.
0:59:57 05:13:01 03:13:05 09:33:14


My official race report is soon to follow, but I just wanted to put something out there before I undergo radio silence during the long journey back to Pittsburgh tomorrow. Thanks everyone for reading and for all of your support leading up to and during the race! Mahalo.

9 comments:

James Thornton said...

Magnificent! I can't wait to hear the details, including the rant about the truck driver. It was so cool to see you cross the finish line live on my computer Saturday night.

P.S., did the truck driver who hit Jocelyn look ever so slightly like a human wood chuck?

CL said...

Congratulations, Jeremy and Jocelyn! I love the Cornman shirts your parents wore! :)

-Christen

Jess said...

Congrats to both of you guys. So inspiring! Safe travels home.

Whitarican (White-A-Rican) said...

Wow it is one thing to quailify and another thing to hit those numbers there! That is impressive given the conditions of the course and your ability to train for those conditions! Congrats on a great Tri year!

Kim said...

SO proud of both of you.. Thank you for representing our team in a wonderful, sincere, humble manner!! You both are truly an inspiration to me!! Great job again and safe travels home!

Tracy said...

You guys are amazing! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Beth said...

Awesome day out there Jeremy. It was so great and uplifting for me to see you out on the course running so darn well! Thanks for the inspiration! Congrats on the PR and pushing through the pain!!

Heidi Austin said...

congrats again jeremy! glad jocelyn is ok. you guys are awesome! go ballou skies :)

ojs said...

It was great to see you out there Jeremy! You were flying and pushing so hard all day. Way to go! I enjoyed the chance to cheer for you guys out there.