Thanks to athlete Michelle Hildebrand for this great read on some of the nitty gritty race specifics of racing in the prestigious Ironman World Championships!
All of us here at Solvang Tri Camps have been honored to see Michelle’s progression from her first Solvang camp in 2009, through to her 6th camp earlier this year. Her determination and dedication to her Kona goal was an inspiration and something we all suspected would be on the cards in due time!
Congratulations Michelle on achieving your goal of qualifying for and racing in Kona, very well deserved!
Michelle Hildebrand’s top 6 takeaways from Kona
1. The environment on race morning is indescribable so take the time to look around and soak in the small things like seeing the pros bikes in transition, walking down the red carpet steps into the water while listening to the drums, and looking back at the sea wall full of spectators before the swim start.
2. Racing in the Ironman World Championships is almost more mental than physical because of the long stretches of nothingness and lava along the Queen K on the bike and run that don’t provide the mental change up that other courses provide. I expected the heat and wind but not the mental challenge this course threw at me.
3. The extra aid stations on the bike are a godsend for getting extra bottles of water to keep cool but the length of the aid stations on the run is almost a curse because walking the entire aid stations eats badly into your run pace.
4. The run is hot but for those of us finishing over 10 hours, the energy lab and return trip to town are not too bad because the sun is starting to go down.
5. The wind on the bike is as bad as you’ve heard in spots but keep telling yourself that the wind is your friend and eventually you’ll start to feel it push you along.
6. The last mile of the run going down Palani, through town and down the finisher chute in Kona is as amazing as you can imagine!