Congratulations on making it to the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, here are some things that made my time on the Big Island enjoyable. Sightseeing...I have a few favorites...
- Take a trip toward Hilo to see the tropical botanical gardens. That is the
green side of the Island so enjoy it. Eat dinner in Hilo before you drive
back. If you drink coffee then you won't want to leave the island without
some Kona blend.
- On your way to Hilo, drive up the Queen K and see the Lapahki fishing
village and the birthplace of King K. You will also go by the Travel Channel
's best beach in the world.
- Volcanoes National Park. It's absolutely breath taking.
- While you are over there, go to the Place of Refuge, it was very spiritual
for me and I spent a quiet few hours walking around and taking in the
- The little white church that Mark Allen prays in was a must stop for my
spiritual rejuvenation also. It's on the course and running by it reminded
me why I was there.
- One more day trip is to go up to the Parker Ranch and tour his art museum.
- Everything is very expensive so get used to shopping at the Costco for all
your needs. Then you'll have money for the fun things.
- If you have a credit card then you will be able to get some package deals
from the vendors in tourist stands.
- If you have never been to a Luau then don't miss one. I believe the
Passport Club members get one but if not, spend the money.
- I enjoyed seeing all the world-class athletes shopping on Alii Drive during
the 2 weeks prior. I also had the pleasure of getting some of the all-time
greatest like Paula and Dave Scott to sign my poster. They had signature signing at the shopping
- Get down to "dig-me" beach at the pier every morning to loosen up with a
swim. It's a must see each and every morning to get the feel of the energy
surrounding Ironman. They put the buoys out so you can actually do the swim
- There are some races surrounding Ironman, a 5K the week before and an
underpants race that is very funny.
- You shouldn't miss the parade the day or two before the event. There will
be a schedule and I would recommend doing everything on it.
- I don't remember the restaurants but after 2 weeks there wasn't anywhere I
didn't eat. I returned to the good ones.
- There was a yogurt shop that had a new flavor everyday and I ate one each
day. I tried not to gain weight but I have a tendency to stuff my feelings
when I am fearful.
- There was a concert for Ironman that the locals went to also which was fun.
I ran into an old friend from San Francisco.
The awards dinner is a must; it was a tear jerking moment for me. The slide
show is awesome! I saw a photo of me swimming (at the turnaround) and
giving the hang loose sign, the crowd roared, it was very cool.
- For your spectator friends and family, on race day I recommend standing on
Alii Drive near Uncle Billy's Hotel so you can see both the runners and the
bikers and still be in walking distance of the finish line for when the
first finisher comes along. You won't be allowed out on the course with a
car so plan on walking for your race watching.
- Make sure you make it to the finish line before midnight to reveal in the
excitement and see the last finisher.
- Remember to thank each and every one of the hundreds of volunteers for
without them, you could easily not finish.
- And last but not least make sure you buy as many souvenirs as you can
afford. Don't leave the island with any rocks, coral, shells or anything
else you aren't supposed to. The customs might not find out but the Gods
will know and you are going to want to return.
- There are so many things to do and I had two weeks so you might want to make
a plan. I am glad I didn't train heavy or surf since I had a surfing
accident that would have prevented me from participating. I took it easy
and I also recommend a snorkel trip that includes lunch.
- Have fun and remember to stay in the moment. The present moment is the only
moment you will ever be able to experience peace and joy.
"Life shrinks or expands in relation to one's courage" Anais Nin