The first day here in Kona gave me just a taste of what I’d experience all week long. Hello super inspiring people EVERYWHERE. The stories just don’t end, and to say I didn’t already shed a few tears would be an understatement. I can’t believe these people put their bodies through so much, for such great causes and reasons, to cross the Kona finish line, and then to be here to experience everything? It’s still a dream.
The first thing we did? Met Peter Jacobs, last year’s WINNER. Yes, that was real! I couldn’t believe that I landed, and we were meeting him, after I just watched the video of the 2012 Ironman Championships on the plane. The guy is incredible in real life, and you’d never know he was the defending champion of the Ironman the way he talked. So humble and he even told me some secrets not to be terrified on my bike. He is a totally normal guy with dedication and a complete heart for the entire 140.6 distance. It was incredible to spend a few minutes with him.
After a quick bite of lunch, we were off to the Parade of Nations, which was inspiring in itself. To see all the athletes come out, so excited about where they were from was so much fun and we had a great seat to the entire event right on the main street they walked down and in front of the announcer. It was also really cool to see all the special volunteers who make Ironman happen.
We finished off the day with a lovely dinner at the Kona Brewing Co. which of course was a favorite with my love for beer. The evening was welcomed along with the gorgeous sunset that really capped off my first day here.