As some of you may know I just went to the Big Island. I hopped over there to swim/bike/run the Lavaman Waikoloa, which is an Olympic distance triathlon.
I may have completed three half Ironmans (double the distance of an Olympic) in the past but I was actually super nervous for this one. I have never been so severely under-trained for a race in my life!
Biking on Maui has been – interesting. Perhaps I’m spoiled from coming from two very biker friendly places. First Minneapolis with miles and miles of safe bike paths. Then the triathlon mecca of Colorado. I mean pretty much perfection when it comes to biking.
I have had numerous close-calls with cars and have even gone down twice. There really aren’t any designated bike paths except between Kahului and Kihei, which is typically extremely windy. I really hate to make excuses but if I feel unsafe doing something it’s kinda hard to stay motivated!
My main mission with Lavaman was simply to find my love for Triathlon again. I was starting to view triathlon as more of a hassle then anything. Finding the time to train for three sports and shelling out money left and right on more “needed” equipment. Yeah – none of that screams fun.
Lavaman was just what I needed. It was the most fun I have ever had at a triathlon. It is more than simply a race – it’s an experience.
Even if you are not ready or do not wish to do the full race you have other options to join in:
- 5k sunset fun run/walk the Friday before
- LavaKids Waikoloa Aquathon (swim/run)
- Relay team (choose swim, bike, OR run)
- Help a racer by being their Sherpa!
Host Hotel – Hilton Waikaloa Village
And man was it really a village! Pools, waterfalls, waterslides, bars, restaurants, luau, water sport activities – I could go on. They even have a train and multiple boats running throughout the resort because it’s so big! My favorite part was the bed. SO big and the best sleeping I’ve ever had. My only complaint would be the parking situation. Took forever for valet or to park on your own. Both of which were not cheap.
Hope you enjoy my race recap!
The Swim – 1500 M (.9 Miles) in 32:39
The Lavaman swim is at Anaeho’omalu Bay at Waikoloa Beach and is an open-water start (meaning you literally start treading water before the gun goes off).
I started in the biggest wave totaling 275 women ages 15-39. Wowza! We surprisngly spread out really well and there were only a few times I felt a bit claustrophobic. To be expected when you’re racing – the hitting and kicking are REAL!
I found the water pretty calm considering they were having some crazy surf a few days leading up to the race. The one part I struggled with was the way back in to shore. We were directly facing the sunlight and my dummy self brought the wrong goggles. I couldn’t see a thing and the kayakers had to help keep me on track a few times! Sooo I probably added a little “extra credit” to my swim. Ooops!
T1 in 1:53
Tore off my tight wetsuit and threw on the bike equipment. Pretty happy with my T1 time considering it was quite the hike from the water!
The Bike – 40k (24.85 Miles) in 1:32:31
The Lavaman bike is on a portion of the Ironman World Champion Bike Course. Yeah – I’m like pretty much pro now. HA! But for realz it felt pretty cool to get a lil taste of what the best of the best experience!
Ride out was the most challenging. The head winds were pretty brutal and there is a stretch of just UP. Making that turn put a big ol smile on my face knowing that the worst was out of the way. I rode back (mostly) in high spirits knowing that if my legs aren’t shot I could really finish this thing and not spend a minute in the med tent.
T2 in 1:43
Hung up the bike, quick changed my shoes, and threw on my race bib!
The Run – 10k (6.2 Miles) in 58:30
The Lavaman run starts with a lava field run, then on fast street sections, and finishes with an epic one-mile single track lava trail to the sandy beach finish line! It felt like a rugged off-road Xterra race and I LOOOVED it!
My run was slower than I would typically like but I will chalk that up to lack of training and having to walk single-file for a stretch of the lava. They even had volunteers “holding you up” on this section so you didn’t slip and plummet into the ocean. Gnarliest tri I’ve ever done and I already can’t wait to do it again!
Overall Results – 3:07:16
I was simply happy to finish this year and not go to the med tent. I know with a bit more proper training I can do much better next year, which is taking place on March 25, 2018. Registration will open next month (May) weee!
Let’s earn this medal together!
Who’s in for some Lavaman fun next year?!