We are barely scratching the surface of Ironman and already it's intriguing, engaging, enlightening. The intrigue surrounds the speculation of who will win and just how fast can the champs go. No one is betting again the man and woman who earned the titles last year. But that doesn't mean the rest are laying down and playing dead. Possum maybe, but certainly not dead. In fact, in Macca's NBC interview today he sounded as good as anyone I have heard before the race. I won't spill the beans of what he said (you have to wait until December for that!), but safe to say he is on top of his game. And he is just one in a small army of gents that have the guts, credentials and experience to make Craig Alexanders job a pressure cooker.
The engaging part is finally seeing all of our MarkAllenOnline athletes after a year of training. Forty are ready to go out there and do the job they have dreamt about for quite a few nights now. We have our breakfast with them Thursday morning. More on that in a few days.
Enlightening would have to be some of the crew who is here who are superstars in their own right, but perhaps for reasons other than shear speed. One was Rudy Garcia-Tolson, a double lower limb amputee doing his first Ironman Hawaii. He has world records, gold medals, and lots of bragging rights. We spoke with him on the flight over. It certainly won't be a piece of cake for him to finish, but with his guts, he is taking something that even a few years ago would have been thought of by some as absurd and turned it into an inspiring athletic dream.
Woven through all of this is the underlying reason we are all here: there are 140.6 miles of ocean and lava just waiting to be covered, and lots of sun, wind and potentially even rain that can add lots of texture to this venture. Easy and rewarding rarely cover the same moment in time. Yet here at the Ironman on the Big Island its because they don't that we all look forward to being touched by the unknowing and the unknown of what Saturday will bring.
Catch you tomorrow,