Butt Cheeks of Steel

The highlight today was easily riding and talking to Chrissie Wellington. She met a small group of us at the Cannondale booth on Ali’i drive. She talked about a range of subjects including her “Q Angle” and her life in Nepal (and her bike Prem). A small group of us went out for a short ride with her (about 20 miles) and on the way back, we stopped at the Energy Lab where she talked about the heat radiating during the final stages of the run. She also mentioned her 2008 episode when she had a flat on the road to Hawi.

It is no secret that I am in awe of Chrissie. Not only is she and incredible athlete, she is also an incredible person. Today, I experienced her as humble, candid, generous with her time and pretty straight in making her points. She showed up on her Cannondale bike and she was all smiles all the time. Contagious it is. When we were riding together, she asked me my name, and about my family, my pets and life in Arizona. She also talked about her race in Tempe in 2010 and how she experienced all 4 seasons in 1 day during the race! The best line was quite easily her reference to her own “butt-cheeks of steel” and how she would love to talk to the random guy on the airplane who told her that her Q Angle was too big and that she would never be a good runner.

Chrissie if you ever chance upon this blog, there are thousands of us who would LOVE to see you race again. We want to see you compete, dig deep and of course win again. I sincerely hope that you do.

Another (smaller) highlight of today was the swim out in the ocean (about 600 meters) to the floating Coffee Catamaran. Where else in the world can you go to the beach and swim out in the open water ocean to a floating coffee bar and have a cup before returning back?

In the evening we went to the official Ironman dinner. Some of the athlete stories are inspirational. It makes you think of what the human body and human mind and human spirit can do to overcome adversity. To mere mortals like me, qualifying and actually finishing Ironman Hawaii remains a distant dream. But dream I will…

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