It has been just over two weeks since my 8th place finish at Ironman Hawaii (insert me jumping up and down excited about making it into the top-10 again!). It’s now or never to post a few highlights from my day. This was my 7th consecutive year racing Ironman Hawaii and in that honor, here are 7 “Goody’s” surrounding the race:
1. Good Preparations - The saying “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Production” accurately describes my build-up and race at Kona for that matter. Its been a while since I have been able to handle a “proper” Ironman training load. Uninterrupted training, day-in-day-out, just checking off the boxes. For all of August and September it was: Swim, Bike, Run, Nutrition, Strength, Rest, Recovery, and Repeat in some order again. I made the choice to head to my hometown (woot woot) of Bend, Oregon and train with none other than Matt Lieto. My parents took excellent care of the Corbin Clan and Matt took excellent care of my training (and bike mechanical needs) with big-cheese Matt Dixon guiding the ship. I can’t speak enough for Tom, Betty, Chris and Matt (x2) - as they truly helped me to one of my more flawless Ironman preps. Thanks, guys!
2. Good support - Race week I was showered with good support from good sponsors. Trek was in the thick of the action providing me with a custom race-day ride (Hello! Dream come true!!! Thanks, Bill & Project One for all your hard work!!!). They also threw in a custom Giro helmet to boot. Mark, our mechanic, is truly a legend. You too, Ray. I can’t speak highly enough of the Trek Family, and it is just that Family. LOVE YOU GUYS! A big thanks as well to Saucony - Jess had us looking fresh with custom kicks. The CLIF Crew was in full effect as well with Eric being my personal escort down Ali’i Drive with a giant American Flag. Big Sky Brewing did up the custom beer again (always a hit). Also a big thank you to Bigrin Design (you are the creativity Queen, Steph), CycleOps (Steve), Mauna Lani (great fan support on the Queen K), Oakley (Mr. Welchie), Purplepatch (Baby Baxter), Speedplay, the SRAM & Zipp crew (Alex et al), Squadra (Dave, I love my new custom cycling duds), and TYR (the new custom goggles are rockin’). You all made my race week a memorable one.
3. Good story - I swam 2.4 miles. I biked 112 miles. I made it to mile 15 of the run and I hit the inevitable. A “rough patch.” Chris and I have a deal we don’t talk during rough patches during the marathon, so as I passed Chris on the Queen K it was business as usual, keep the head down, tick off the miles and wait for some coke to kick in. I passed my mom who was spectating up on the Queen K as well and let out a tiny pity party telling her “I’ve hit a rough patch.” I draw a lot of strength from my mom: a lady that is resilient, relentless, and sometimes stubborn (love you, mom) - a lot like me. While outside assistance is not allowed during the race, I was hoping my mom would take my words to heart and meet me a mile up the road to encourage me a long. And that right there is the end of the story. I never saw her again until right before the finish. Anyone that has done an Ironman knows that during the marathon any little bit helps. Ma P left me hanging. It had the potential to be a long 10 miles when all you want is your Momma’s smile. I am laughing about it now, and honestly, during the race I never even thought about it. Off I went into the Energy Lab, I turned the corner energy wise and all was back to good.
4. Good race - A fair amount of people asked what I thought about our own women’s start (for the first time ever). I loved it! I thought it was a great race, a fair race, and an exciting race. The top-9 women all finished within 20 minutes of each other after 9 hours of racing. I want to congratulate all the women that I started the race with, as we all pushed each other to great performances. Leanda was remarkable and a worthy champion in her own right. Congrats!
5. Good husband - Chris Corbin always knows what to say, and what not to say. I wouldn’t be half the athlete I am without his support, sacrifice, positive attitude and unwavering support. Not to mention we share a good time together every now and then.
6. Good people - A big reason I love Hawaii is the people you get to meet. Every athlete racing has there own special story that is inspiring in it’s own right. My list of good people with good Ironman stories could go on and on. One stood out in particular, and that is Fireman Rob. I met Rob through a friend as he was a “Kona Inspired” athlete. Rob was on the scene at 9/11 and has since then raced a few Ironman events completing the marathon portion in his full firefighter turnout gear - this includes a helmet and air tank. Rob was racing Kona for the first time and I ran into him before the race. I told him I promised not to complain about being hot once during the marathon, knowing what he was doing. To me, this is far more inspiring than my 9:32 finish. At mile 25+ of the marathon Rob and I crossed paths. I was headed into finish and he was just starting his marathon. I stopped in my tracks and gave him a pat on the back to give him some words of encouragement. It truly was a highlight of my day.
7. Good recovery - I seemed to have pulled up better than I ever have after the race this year. A large part of that is thanks to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. After the race, Chris and I ventured out to Mauna Lani and were spoiled to the tilt: good eats, relaxing beach time, a sunset cruise, Hawaiian cocktails at sunset, and a breakfast buffet that never ends. Thank you Mauna Lani, Bree, Robert & the entire staff for the royal treatment.
You can check out some race-week photos here.
You can watch a post-race interview here.
Lastly, thanks for reading, all of the race-day cheers, the online support & the great messages I received before and after the race. It adds fuel to my fire.
All the best and we will see you in 2013, Kona!