Live from Kona – Day 1 – Posted on CityFit.com
By Ken Chin
Ken Chin is a runner, triathlete, fitness ambassador and the manager of operations for The Running Institute in Chicago. Ken won a trip from Timex Sports to attend the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. He will be checking in and chronicling his experiences as the worlds’ greatest athletes prepare for Saturday’s race.
As I write this blog, I feel lucky to be in this rather envious position. Twenty-four hours ago, I was working the starting line at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon during what turned out to be a very sleep-deprived weekend.
Despite being bleary-eyed, I was up bright and early Monday to travel 11 hours to Kona, Hawaii for the Ironman Triathlon thanks to Timex Sports.
So how did I get here? A few weeks ago, I responded to a contest via twitter to help Timex with its social media in Kona. A few weeks later, me and four other social media mavens are mingling amongst the best athletes in the world. It was about 40 degrees when I left Chicago and it was 85 and humid when I arrived in Hawaii.
Seriously, pinch me; I’m still in shock that I’m really here.
Upon landing on the island, I linked up with one of my other Timex teammates and we headed over to our condos. Interestingly, the route we took from the airport was the same route the cyclists ride during the race. The only reason I knew that was because we’d see alien heads fitted in Spandex from head to toe flying by us while we were stuck in traffic.
After settling into my condo, I met up with the crew for our first group meal together at Huggo’s, which is right on the water. Our dinner fit the cliché of water crashing, umbrella mai tai sipping, Pineapple in my hand type Hawaiian dinner.
The mai tai and the five-hour time difference hit me all at the same time as I began to fade near the end of dinner. I woke up a bit as I realized that two sports medicine doctors that have worked with Dr. Michael Chin at The Running Institute were sitting right next to us.
I startled them a bit when I abruptly went up to their table and asked to see their passports. One of the guys was reaching for his wallet trying to pull out his passport before I finally led him on to who I was.
A hula lesson preceded our jet-lagged crew hitting the sack on what was a great first day in paradise.