||KONA 08 / RIKAKO TAKEI
Aloha, My dream came true for on the podium at the Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Ironman World Championship 08! At the awards party, standing at the stage in front of the media, famous pros, VIPs, other qualified athletes and many people, it was the greatest moment in the history of my life. How can I explain, how exciting to be on the stage next to the winners of my age group, Terry Martin-Duvel(3rd), Juliana Nievergelt(2nd), Donna Kay-Ness(1st), who were former pros! I never thought I could stand next to my dream girls honest!! "Hey Guys, I could get the 'Umeke (trophy in the race) with my short legs & big head!" I shouted inside of me and felt like standing Mt. Fuji at that moment in time.
Looking all over the party space and a lot of tables from the stage where I was standing, reminded me of 6 years ago when I was sitting at the end of the table alone at the same award party. It had taken a long and winding road to the Kona podium. My tears were all out at during past training time but I would like to express my dry tears as appreciation to you all..
(Special thanks to Liz K., Alma L. & Cherryl R. who called my name from side of the stage at award party. Lydia S. (race supporter)& Sharon Y., Robert N., Brian S., Theresa U., Chris H.(race trackers), all staff at Triathlon Lab, Dennis L. of LASportsMassage.com, Nate Loyal who fit my bike at Helens Cycle., Roger M.,& "Playa del Ridazz", and "Power Bar team elite" and of course to all of LA TRI CLUBBERS! And more than 5000 people of VOLUNTEERS in the race for 1800 athletes event.
~Here is my race activity report~
Race day morning: Woke up at 2:30(started breakfast 3am (3cup of OJ, 3 bananas, 1/2bagle) left condo 4:30am, arrived 4:45 at Body marking area, checked my bike, gear, transitions, and LA tri people etc . Singing in the air, feeling the moment, everything was so smooth.
Entering the water I took the right side to start which was little bit easier for me to battle as contact sports in the swim course. People were nicer than last year. Didn't get any panda marks on my face.
T1: My bike shoes on the bike to start, I stayed calm, didn't jump to mount, and just left legs on the pedal to ride first conservatively.
Bike: I rode away to Queen K Highway from Kailua Kona area as fast as I could. Don't remember how many songs did I sing but tried to keep up my pace like my karaoke song. It was good feeling in the air till got 40mile point, 40 mile to 80mile point, I tried not to feel wind and chanting "Let's go Hawi (most windy part of the course area, turning point)" to stay positive or "Don't give up the fight" to encourage myself. Tried to wind surfing on the bike with Kona wind no matter how my bike lean 60 degree from the side wind unpredictable. Strong cyclist who had over 50-year-old tattoo on her calf on top of popular long socks passed me and disapiar. (later on, I found the lady was Laura Sophia (her total time=10:38 finished who was almost same time of Hillary Biscay who is pro and former la tri clubber,!). My nutrition on the bike was carbopro or powerbar plus 1 salt tab every 20min and had no problem.(3 times x hour=18times lunch!)
T2: Holly Cow, I did smooth transition, off the bike like a Chris McCormick pro!? (Be cool off the bike, didn't forget to put a lot of sunscreen).
Run: I ran with my octopas face, hard to get oxygen in the tropical heat. I realized I should have to keep on taking more energy during the run. Ironically, my nutrition was shut down. After 12mile out, my beautiful triathlon lab & power bar sign's uniform was changed to a diaper. I was a dehydrated weak animal who was chased by gozillas( another words, no time to go to rest room till goal )! When I heard every steps were closer, must have to check who was coming by turning my neck to figure out.. so many times! I had felt running power of legs were decreasing physically and psychologically...
To the goal: Lydia told me I got 5th before the finish line at Ali Dr., Neva Day who is my cycling goddess was there surprised and gave me high-five also. At the last step to the end of the goal, I jumped as much higher as I could, but Chris who watched the live said that was 2 inch only!
Announcement was in the air "Rikako Takei, You are an Ironman!" Read their lips of volunteers who helped carrying me, Elizabeth F. & Hunter (Liz K’s father) were shouting “Great, Grasshopper!” on my face. I was carried by stretcher to medical tent for 2 bags of IV and said "I did it & paid off~!" shared dry tears with joy. Full moon was on my smiling face. “Brag for the rest of your life”, somebody whispered in my ear.
＊Celebrating 30 Years of Ironman Memories Event (10/11/08)
Rikako Takei 5th place of 59 / Age 45-49 category 764th place of total 1731
112 mi. (6:03:11)
18.50 mph ave.