Friday, October 3, 2008

Marshal Mitera goes to Kona

In a few days I leave for Kona to marshal the pro men's race first and then I will circle back to watch age groupers returning on the Queen K. It will be my first Kona as a marshal and my third Kona experience overall. It will be my 15th race as a marshal. This "ain't my first rodeo".

When I'm out in Kona, I'm rooming with two marshals from Australia and another from the states (and Chicago actually). I'll be sending you updates from Lava Java (with pictures) and posting them here.

Cheating is cheating and regardless of if you are the first pro trying to draft off of a media vehicle or the last amateur age group racer drafting off of both get a penalty. Don't put me in that position to penalize you for doing something stupid that you damn well know is against the rules. Don't know the rules? Why are you racing? You should know them for your own safety as well. I'd penalize my wife, my brother or any friend - break the rules and you just earned 4 minutes in a sin bin and keep your pie hole shut. I understand that sometimes you don't think or you get lost in the fog of Ironman fatigue - that happens. As do the consequences for that happening - accept accountability for what you did (knowingly or unknowingly) and move on with your race.

Now...I'm not a "prick" about it. I race too. The key is, "Is this person doing this to gain a competitive advantage?" Judgement comes into play here. That is why being a marshal is harder than you might think. Decisions made at a heart rate of 165 on the bike with a world championship you've trained a long time for on the line are totally different than a decision I make on a moto with a heart rate around 55. This is why my front row seat has a lot of rules and regulations that you have to observe and understand before they throw you out there with the "big boys".

Keep it clean and you'll have no problems from me.

No names mentioned but I've seen some of the "warm and fuzzy" (read: popular) pros play with the stagger rule, the draft zones, slip streaming amateurs on double loop courses; and just when you think you've seen it all is when someone pulls something completely new on ya. Just stay clean - you don't need to "push the envelop" of the rules to win or finish in the top whatever...just race like you've trained.

The good news is that I'll get to see Tim and Nikki Hola and meet their twin boys for the first time; I really like Tim and Nikki's family too. I'm looking forward to seeing them. I'm hoping to meet a Rachel Ross and a Bree Wee and there clan (or is it clans?) I am also looking forward to seeing Bob and Maryann Blais - last time I saw Bob was February and Maryann was 2006 in Clearwater. I'll meet Ryan Van Praet for the first'll meet him too...on the NBC show that will be in November. Ryan is a genuine guy and an everyday hero. He is fighting ALS with all his strength (lost his dad last year to ALS) and he is loosing his sight in his early 30s and will soon be blind. You will cry. I have several friends from Australia, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Japan and Egypt who are all racing (age group) in Kona and I can't wait to see them finish. Lastly, Jon Blais will be "riding with me" as I'll be wearing the dog tags Bob Blais gave me for the War on ALS out there. Jon Blais was at Ironman Wisconsin this year too. Additionally, I am thinking of challenging ELF to a shot drinking contest...expresso shots at Lava Java. I am a daily "depth charge" guy - double expresso (sic) and cream. Bring it on Elizabeth! I will also be one of the fat guys swimming, cycling and running out there; when in Kona right?

Safe travels all. For those of you not going for whatever reason (like or money) follow along here and on on race day.

I'll be blogging and adding more pictures too!

1 comment:

  1. Be sure to take mental pictures and beam them back to me so I can at least live this race vicariously! My back muscle says "hi."