After days in Oahu and Maui, we finally reached The Big Island of Hawaii. This island is the home of many different climates and changing landscapes and is our favorite Hawaiian island. We stayed near the race course on the hot, arid northwest side of the island in Waikoloa. We drove just an hour more north to lookout over the Pololu Valley and the weather changed dramatically with rainy conditions at the higher elevation.
Our race course is part of the Ironman bicycle course. Surrounded by volcanic rocks on each side of the road, I raced on Route 19 just outside the Kailua-Kona airport. I had a lot of difficulty in this race breathing the dry air. I know I breathe like a locomotive train when racing the mile anyway, but this was different. You can hear me wheezing on the video throughout the race. I gutted out a 4:44 mile and successfully completed the 2012 Isles Mile Challenge finishing 7 island one-mile races, in 7 different time zones, in 7 weeks – all under 5 minutes. Thanks to our Big Island driver, “T,” keeping me protected throughout the race.
This was an amazing and intense tour. Next weekend back on the mainland, I will summarize the items we experimented with in 2012, the things we learned on our travels, and where we go from here. I turn the big 50 next April. Many people have been writing in letting me know what they think I should do for a 50th feat. Please feel free to let me know your ideas and thank you all for your continued support and prayers, it is much appreciated.