|My Husband Al and his two daughters Cheyenne (17) and Montana (13)|
Ohana, Kokua and Aloha.
In Ultraman; 3 Hawaiian words are used to describe the feeling of the organization, participants and Island flavor the event draws from..
Ohana is family, and yes Ultraman is like a HUGE family and very precious to me in so many ways, this year I also had MY family to support me on my journey. The whole race is based on the Ohana principle .
Kokua is help, and oh my The Big Island gives a lot of help mostly the organization under Jane Bockus the majority are from the Keauhou Canoe club, they help with kayak escorts, help with pre and post race check ins, and help with home stays and places to go and see as well as help with support crews Chett Glenn who let me stay in his home,. Just amazing as well as all of the Local people who give their time to make ultraman happen.
|Crazy Ultra LOVE!!!|
Aloha is the Love, and there is plenty of love which flows through the whole race from pre to post race, from support crews helping other athletes, to athletes bonding with other athletes to the love which is given from the locals of Hawaii to the athletes that participate in the adventure.
|A LAVA heart over looking a calm ocean in Kailua Kona..|
Friday morning at 6.00am I was with a few other like minded Ultra athletes, as I zipped up my Aquaman wet suit, and used copious amounts of Tri slide around chaffing areas I never thought in my worst night mare I would be in the ocean for 5 hours and 20 mins ...
|Raffa has been my Kayak escort since 2001.|
The morning started well I had photos taken with my crew and my Husband wished me luck Raffa was as always my Kayak support and I had given him my Hammer gel, endurolytes and water enough for 4 hours .. the conch shell was blown and the 28th anniversary of UMH had begun.
|My amazing crew with Raffa|
I swam as I always do relaxed and not panicked, I just wanted to finish the event and enjoy the journey but when at 2 hours I had not past White Sand Beach I knew I was in trouble, I was SO very grateful to Raffa who was the total professional in helping me finish that swim and not quit! For 3 hours I was just tossed side to side, for every three strokes I took I also went left to right in haled sea water and one moment landed on the kayak!. When Raffa said he could see the buoy all I could do was trust his judgement, and soon I was passing the buoy, I had long run out of water and gel and just wanted to get to land, as I swam to the finish chute I saw a young Honu and a rainbow of colorful reef fish and suddenly I was standing on the green mat and Al was helping me with my balance, I had finished the swim and never quit, which was a good thing as I had Cheyenne and Montana there too.
|My amazing Husband|
Now I only have a wee 90 mile bike ride to the Volcano and you would think I would have no problem doing that in 6 hours 20 mins, but I first need to hydrate and get calories into my body as I am running on deficit. I set off up the King Kam3it is a steady climb for the next 10 miles or so and a few rollers in the mix. My crew have given me perpetuem and I am moving forward. Now as luck would have it at mile 18 as I was getting into a nice rhythm a nice Hawaiian Bee decided I was a fast moving object and a threat and decided to zap me on my left knee, the pain was instant and took my breathe away, I knew I had been stung but my crew had just leap frogged me and I had no option but to keep pedaling a few miles later I stopped and my knee was inflamed and the stinger was still in contact!
|Cheyenne tweezers the stinger out...|
|Mastering the art of bottle exchange.|
That evening we spent it in an 1890 guest house ran by great people, the shower was also a reflection of that time period! I slept well after my ordeal...
|My crew Tammy, Al, Cheyenne and Montana at 6.15am at the Volcano|
|AT National Volcano Sign in good spirits|
|The Lava fields of the Red Road|
|my friend Jimmy and his school friends with cheerful signs|
|Tammy, Al, Cheyenne, Montana and I stop to cheer on the cyclists|
|Peter Mueller from Switzerland stops to get a good luck kiss!|
|even the fields are happy in Hawaii and I have cycled past this happy face for 15 years!|
I was all smiles doing the wee climb over the Kohalas it was a truly magnificent day
The views were extraordinary!
|A happy cyclist|
|The descent into Hawi|
|At the finish line with AL and Khoel day light was a blessing|
The Finish Chute was great to see Ocean Potion , Hammer Nutrition and Polar signs up.
Day two had been a great ride with awesome memories but I could not believe the hospitality we were to get from Tammys friends Kenny and Gene at Hawi, a place to sleep, warm beds and even a beautiful home made meal....so happy we were able to enjoy the hospitality
|A magnificent table fit for a feast, laughter and good memories with new friends too.|
Now the first 18 miles of the run is kind of running rolling hills and descending the high light was running with Montana who was head to toe in my Brooks gear and looked very much the runner my plan was to run a few miles with all my crew as they would bring me Hammer gel and my Hammer pills...
I was so happy this run would be high on my list of enjoyable moments. The whole day was just perfect I ran with Montana, then Cheyenne then Tammy. All the time we laughed told stories and cheered and encouraged other runners. I looked for early whales and dolphins out on the Ocean that 18 miles went by really fast, I never changed my pace I just kept inching forward
|Cheyenne was a solid trooper|
|Totally having a blast (Thxs Timothy Carlson)|
|Ultraman four legged OHANA|
It was about mile 15 when I saw Wendy Minor with her Ultra dogs Bear and Tusker, we ran a small section together it felt like a scene from the Chariots of Fire. I am grateful to Rick Kent for capturing this moment!!
|Vito, Katherine and I do a group hug around mile 22.|
|Ali Herd is always a pleasure to run with.|
|Tammy turned out to be a really cool friend and excellent crew too.|
|Here I am with Cheyenne and Michael at this point we are playing an alphabet game of countries....|
|The finish line is the Old Kona airport... so very happy to see that finish chute!|
|A Happy crew at the finish line|
|Cool banners Ocean Potion, Hammer Nutrition and Polar USA!!|
|Myself with Montana, Cheyenne and Tammy.|
|Here we are with the famous "Cow man" a photo which just had to be taken.|
|Very Grateful to Ocean Potion and Hammer Nutrition for products for all the athletes, and also Polar USA for the monitors for over all male and female winners.|
Mahalo to Ocean Potion suncare, Hammer Nutrition, Polar USA, Brooks Running, Williams Wheels, Triall3SPort Cases, Aquaman Wetsuits, Rudy Project USA for great helmets, glasses and back packs!, Fuel belt, Kool n Fit for keeping my feet fresh, Serfas Tires, Profile Design handle bars, Covina masters Aquatics, SBR sports for tri slide and foggle! These companies are OUT STANDING. Also to Timothy Carlson of Slowtwitch and Rick Kent for taking photos and covering the event.
A huge thanks to my husband for his support & my amazing crew, and Jane Bockus for organizing the event. And to ALL the Local people I call friends who helped me enjoy the Big Island of Hawaii.