I am settled out here and all is going quite well. We arrived Friday, about 3PM, and were greeted by a pick-up by our good friend Craig White. His wife, Jenny (previously Jenny Marine) and I met back in my Olympic Training Center days in Colorado Springs. Come to find out, Jenny & I are both U of I (Illinois) alumni, she was a runner, and I a swimmer back then. Jenny and Craig moved out here 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon and actually live right off of Ali’i Drive. So each year that I quality for this race, I not only get to see an amazing island but also Jenny and Craig; double whammy. 🙂
Saturday was spent riding my bike out to Hawi and back, which ended up being about 54 miles. It was a great solo ride, and quite seemless for the first 1 hr 45 minutes, until the turn up to Hawi when the winds picked up. They were predominantly headwinds, but they were quite strong and made that final 10 miles or so pretty challenging. I had planned to ride back for 15-20 minutes to feel the tailwind, however by that point my quads were feeling it so I figured best to pack it in and enjoy the drive back home with Derick, AKA “Iron Sherpa”. Funny observation he made when in Hawi. A lot of the Europeans seemed to sit and chill out at coffee shops once their rides ended, while many Americans looked like they either turned back or headed back to Kona in the car. Pretty funny; I guess us Americans are so uptight; or, we spent a shitload of $$ at the grocery store and I wanted to get home and eat the food we had already purchased!