Aloha from Oahu! We arrived safely on Christmas around 4:00pm local time. We were quite surprised to find out that Waikki Beach is quite the tourist area. Very busy and very Japanese. Most menus are in English and Japanese and there are very few Americans here. Tokyo is not a far flight from Oahu. We have also noticed quite a few people from Australia and France.
It is absolutely gorgeous. I am not sure that I have ever seen such beauty! We are trying to pace ourselves, but being the energetic outdoorsy types that we are, we cannot seem to sit still. We went to Diamond Head, a gigantic crater that was a "45-minute strenuous hike each way". This turned out to be a 12 min 45 second jog for me that felt like a crossfit workout. An Aussie challenged me up 1,000 stairs at the end, and with my HR nearing 180 BPM, I beat him to the top and took off. Just when I thought that I was going to puke and pass out simultaneously I saw this:
Jason and Kellie will start Epicman tomorrow at 7:00 am local time, 12:00 pm EST. The race will consist of a 7.2 mile swim, 336 mile bike, and 78.6 mile run. The race format has changed a couple of times in an effort to get the racers and crew together for the night portions.
The swim will be a 1.4 ish mile loop that they will do 5 times and then go back out for the last section to make it 7.2 miles. It takes place at Ala Moana Beach Park, which is a fantastic venue for the swim. Kayaking is not allowed, so I will be on a stand up paddle board for the majority of the swim, providing nutrition as needed and making sure Jason stays on course as he heads back in (half the loops he will be swimming as the sun rises )
Jason will then leave the park and take off on a very scenic, quite challenging 105-mile ride around the island. We are driving it now and it's breathtaking. I will be driving the loop with the RD Jason Lester to make sure Jason stays on course (roads here are pretty tricky, they all have at least 5 vowels, only 2 consonants and seem to be spelled the same).
Once the 105 mile loop is done, Jason will do a 2.8 mile loop 80 times. This will should start Thursday evening and take us overnight. By now the crews will be together and I will be able to get some sleep.
The final portion of the bike will be a short 7 mile trek back to Ala Moana Beach Park for transition.
The run consists of a 9.2 mile run out of the park. Then 7 9.2 mile loops. The run finishes with a 5 mile run to Kapiolani Park.
I am tired just typing the course out!
I will be doing my best to keep everyone updated on Jason and Kellie via FB and twitter, however, keep in mind that there is a 5-hour time difference and that I will be on a paddleboard for 3 hours at the beginning, and then pacing him for a large chunk of the run.
The amount of courage and preparation required to get to the start line of something like this is so impressive to me. All of these athletes are incredibly talented, tough, and dedicated. I am so excited to be able to participate in something of this magnitude.
There is still time to place you bets for Jason's finish time. All proceeds will go to Humble Heroes. Humble Heroes is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to assisting Police Officers and Firefighters that have been injured in the line of duty or fallen ill. Most people don't realize that many police officers work extra jobs to make ends meet. If they are injured while working, they don't get any extra compensation. Police Officers, Fire Fighters (and teachers!) are some of the most under-paid, under-appreciated people in our communities (APD hasn't given pay raises in over 8 years!!) These are the people that we depend on for safety and protection in times of need. Please try and do your part to help them in their time of need. More information on how you can donate can be found here.
Mahalo nui loa in advance for your makana! (Thank you in advance for your gift!)
Jason, Kellie, Chet the Jet:
May you have a wikiwiki race, enjoy the journey and don't forget to SMILE!