Monday, October 3, 2011

Aloha from Hawaii - Home of the 2011 Ironman World Championship

TriGeeks Hawaiian Send-off for Mike

Nannette and I arrived here on Saturday night for the Ironman World Championship and are sharing the same house we had last year with Bishop Leatherbury and his son Rob.  It is great to be back.  The most exciting thing about being in Kona this week is being with the people this sport attracts. In addition to being healthy and in incredible shape, everyone here is trying to live their lives to the fullest.  This is one group of highly motivated and driven individuals who are disciplined, attack their dreams, and are enjoying life.  They are all “I can” people.  The “I can’t” people were not invited.
With one week to go, I am on a taper.  Wednesday was my last serious training day as I met the TriGeeks in Cartersville for a 40 mile bike and a 1 mile swim.  The two highlights were first, how excited Betsy Babbit Perkel (age 29) was in beating a 59 year old man up the last hill.  We were both thrilled.  Second, we had a great picnic lunch after our Wednesday “Brick” and my mentor, Fox Ferrel, the Mayor of the TriGeeks had arranged for everyone to surprise me and dress up Hawaiian style to provide me with some last minute support and encouragement.  What a great group of people and what a great journey it has been.

Our flight to Kona was packed with people flying over for the Ironman and they could be categorized in three different groups:  Athletes, Friends and Family representing the athletes personal fan club, and Volunteers.  This last group is the most interesting.  These were veteran volunteers that come to Kona for a week every year with no connection to any specific athlete.  They just want to be a part of the energy and play a critical role in the personal success of so many competitors.  The positive attitude in Kona this week is contagious and I guess they just want to be infected and contribute to this extraordinary environment.   
I will be updating this blog daily so please check back daily. 

Please visit my fundraising site and read about the great things the Getting2Tri Foundation is doing to help disabled individuals get back to life.

Mike Wien

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