I've gotten a bunch of comments asking me why do I want to do the Ford Hawaii Ironman World Championships at a young age while I'm a man of limited means. Afterall wouldn't it be better to do it in my 30's when I could afford all the fancy toys and have money as no object and could really afford to go crazy on the island? Well upon reflection I have decided to post the top 10 reason why I want to do the Hawaii Ironman ASAP.
10. Young, Single and Free
My Dad's mantra to me when I told him to talk me out of doing an IM in 09. Right now I have no girl friend most of my student loans are on in-school deferment, so realistically all I have are credit cards, a private student loan, my Y membership, and car note. Times have been tough the last couple of months and I'm getting out of it. I don't have a family to worry about, major bills to pay. I have a job in a field where I can take time off in October ( if I go into education I won't be able to race or I'll have to weekend it not because of cash but to be at work on Monday or Tuesday, I forgot the race is traditionally on Sunday.) In essence I don't want to be like some poor 30 year old who qualified this year at Eagleman. The guy went up paid for his slot and his jaw dropped as his ever suffering wife put her hands on her hips and muttered "over my dead body!" he then returned his slot and ripped the check, I do not want to be in that position, work my ass off for years finally qualify only to have to give it up, because the board of Ed. needs me at work on Monday, or the wife/ girlfriend won't stand for it, or Bobby the fourth needs braces or Harvard tuition. Figure now while I'm unattached it is probably best.
9. Narcissistic about the race photos.
Ain't going to lie I'd like my first Hawaii finish line pic to be of me as a hot stud 24-29 year old racing the sunset rather than as a wrinkly old man covered in glow sticks ( although I would like that one too at age 60+.)
8. Easier to Qualify.
Let's face it youth is all about speed. Most of the guys I race against in Olympic and Half-Iron races are speedsters. If given the option of Kona or Clearwater alot more will take Clearwater because
a. it's cheaper.
b. they can put the hammer down.
I'm not saying it's everyone. ( as evidenced by the field at Ironman New Zealand. and 6th place at Eagleman.) Most people looked at me when I said I was doing an Ironman and the average was response was " don't most people do that in their 30's and 40's?" next to the standard "are you crazy?"
Also most of the "true athletes " ( note the quotations, how are triathletes not true athletes...that's like saying decathletes aren't true athletes.) are still in one sport focus. So in 10-15 years the former track, swimming, soccer, football studs will be doing this to keep in shape/get back in shape, upping the ante. Needless to say can you guess the age groups where it is the hardest to get in, and funny it seems to be about that time that we all hit our peak incomes/net worth.
7. I want my freaking Tattoo!
I made a silent promise to myself before I did IM NZ that I was not getting a Tat until I qualified for Kona. I qualify I'm getting a tat on my leg and no it will not be an "M-dot."
6. I'd like to be able to go pro at some point.
To go pro in the US there are 3 criteria 1 is to top 3 in 3 major races and/or finish within 98% of the winner's time calculated by some really complex math equation. Second is a spin off of this just win 3 major races, math equation be damned! Third or I like to call it the Bree Wee Rule, win your age group in Kona once again, math equations be damned!
5. If I decide to quit triathlon/ athletics any time in the next 10 years I'd like to say I did it all.
If the long rides become a chore, I'm just not feeling it in the pool, my runs are boring me to tears, my wife/girlfriend want's a family, I want to devote my time to making insane amounts of capital, I get diagnosed with a fatal illness ( hopefully will not happen), I give up the expensive sport to become a humble member of the Roman Catholic Clergy ( not happening anytime soon.), etc.. I would like to have the two finisher medals I have wanted since Childhood:
The Hawaii Ironman Finisher Medal.
Boston Marathon Finisher Medal.( growing up in New England this is a must have!)
4. You don't always need cash to have fun on the island.
Well alright there is a lot of natural beauty , volcanoes, great surfing (which means I need to learn to surf.) and beaches which means bring cooler, bring sun block and collaspe in the sun. Tried the snokeling thing in St. Croix but I just can't breathe doing it. In either case I can enjoy the island without spending too much.
3. A feeling of massive accomplishment.
The old adage states: To get to Kona you have to be extremely lucky ( via the lotto) or extremely good ( via qualification.) If I can qualify that would be a great testament to my fitness level and proficiency. Even if I finish dead last in my age group it would be worth it knowing I competed against some of the best athletes in the world.
2. Would I try to win my AG: Hell yes!
Claire sent me last year's winner's time, yes he is a good 1:45 to 2:00 faster than me, yes he and the other guys that podiumed have mad skill yes I got schooled by guys with mad skill in NZ, but to go into a race without giving myself a shot is suicide, I have to set my goals in prority and trying to win is #3 under just finishing and not needing extended hospitalization. If I go in defeated then I might as well coast through it, or better yet not even start, but if I can make myself believe I have a shot even a microscopic one then I will leave it all out in the lava fields with no regrets if I'm 1st or 50th. Good things come from total effort even if it is only knowing I gave everything...and if I think I even have a 1 in 1 Billion shot of winning I'll give it everything.
1. A combo of chips on the shoulder.
From a young age it was drilled into me that I would never be a champion.
In grade school they said I never be able to hop on one foot or run. Gee I can do both, quite well infact. In swimming I was solid but never really a contender for titles made it to state swimming trials 3 years in a row and all 3 times failed to make to finals, (when the last place seed loafed it in my event ( 500 free.) my senior year I was pissed I would have killed for that spot and missed it by 3 seconds.) My track coach telling me Freshman year that a state title was never in my future, ( granted I sort of knew it because to make States you had to be insanely fast, and at that point I was suffering trying to break 5:40 in the mile.), but to say never got my blood boiling, so yes sometimes I race angry, it gives me focus, makes me driven. If I can earn my way into a championship event it would end my curse of being " the kid good enough to get to the qualifier but not a "championship caliper" athlete." So yes that's what drives me, I live to prove people wrong, and to make a championship event on my own merit would kill years of doubt. In essence I want to prove to myself that I am good enough and deserving of this crazy desire.
So that's why I put this out there, one day it will happen and hopefully when I'm in a position to do my best and turns some heads doing it.