Just as the craziness of Ironman comes to a close, I have to depart. Once again, Kona is quiet. It’s devoid of compression socks and speedos and getting a table at Lava Java isn’t a 20-minute affair. By no means am I complaining, the atmosphere of Ironman week was incredible and the race itself was a spectacle.

I was able to watch the race from several different vantage points, which was nice considering how long the day is. My coach and I took in the swim just past the private beach of the King Kamehameha Hotel. Then it was up to the hot corner and then to mile 48/78 of the bike course. Watching the race on the Queen K was awesome. That is, until the draft packs started flying by. Fortunately, someone had a megaphone and was quite witty when riders were passing – solo or in a pack. After the pros came back through, it was back to Kona. I watched the run from here and there, but wanted to get out of the relentless sun, so I made my way into a sponsor’s lounge. Lastly, I camped out at the finish line and that was that.

Kona seemed like a war zone the day after, as people weren’t moving too fast. In fact, myself and my friends who I’m staying with were tired as well. However, that didn’t stop us from jumping into the ocean to swim with dolphins. We spotted them from our table and figured, why not?┬áLater that night was the K-Swiss after-party. Every big name in Ironman was there and it was cool meeting world-class professionals, olympians, and world champions.

Overall, the week has far surpassed my expectations and I owe a huge thanks to Jano and Paola! Their hospitality was truly amazing. Without them, this trip wasn’t possible and I am forever in their debt.

This trip actually isn’t over just yet. Rather than book a round-trip ticket back to San Jose, I booked it to Eugene, OR. So, good-bye sunshine and warmth. Hello, overcast and drizzle? No matter the weather of Oregon, I always enjoy visiting.