At mile 12 of the run he had to walk! Low electrolytes. Tapping into his ten years of triathlon experience, Ken knew how to pull himself out of his troubles. Up to this point Ken was having a great race. We swam great, 1:02 for 2.4 miles and exited the pier with a group of the best age groupers in the world.
Now it was time to jump on his bike and find out what the lava fields had in store for the day. With a slight tail wind going out, he settled into our race plan heart rate and cadence. At the half way turn around at mile 56, he was right on schedule to meet his goal.
Now heading back to town with a head wind, the mental games began. Sometimes the hardest part of racing Hawaii is just qualifying to get there. So this race brings the best of the best. These athletes know how to focus at the task at hand, for a VERY long time. In Ken's training we worked hard on finishing his long days with hard efforts. This really help him focus on the bike during the second half of the race, which catapulted him to a 5:12 bike split over 112 miles.
Ken is known for his very fast transitions and his bike to run was no different in Kona. After biking 112 miles, Ken was off his bike and running in 3 minutes. The excitement of the day caught up with him during the first five miles of the run. He averaged 7:33 minute miles, which was a tad fast that early. The run portion is where the race really kicks in and no mile is easy, but mile 12 was make or break it time for Ken. He dug deep and knew what he had to do to continue on with the race....WALK! He walked, taking electrolytes, sports drink, and water, doing whatever it took to get his heart rate back up. This took about about a mile and by the 13 mile aid station, he was back running again. I told him after the race, "it is easy to have a good race when you have a good day, and it is easy to have a bad race when you have a bad day, BUT it is not easy to have a great race when you are having a bad day."
Ken had a great race, the cumlination of 3 plus years in the making. He pulled the run together and ran a 3:45 marathon, meeting his wife and 2 boys at the finishline.
Ken, congratulations on your day and for your great focus on the process, which is your true talent!