Kona Diary days 7 and 8

Kona Diary days 7 and 8

Kona Day 7

So here I stand 7am in a pair of undies in a parking lot in Kona Hawaii

This can only mean 1 thing, the annual Underpants run. This is carried out every year on the Big Island a couple of days before the race. Its great fun and raises awareness and cash for local charities so its also for a good cause. This year is a little special though as the aim is to break a world record for the most people gathered in ! place wearing nothing but underwear. All the entrants have timing chips and numbers and there is a Guinness World Records referee in attendance to have a perv, sorry, to ensure fair play!!! I must say everyone gets behind this with the exception of a few sad sacks who insist on a swim or a bike ride. One hour of your day guys !!!!

There are dogs with undies on babies in strollers you name it its here. The event gets underway and we stare to potter down Ali'i Drive to the athletes village. The support is unreal. God knows what it'll be like on race day. Marlon is sat in Splashers Bar and Grill doing his David Bailey bit chunnering 'I don't get this'.

The funniest part of the run is two ladies who have taped their bits up with gaffer tape, but not taken the heat into consideration. Half way round the makeshift bra's start to fail massively. This causes them to do the rest of the run hanging on for dear like, funny!!. We miss the record by 50!! Shame on you swimmers and cyclists!!

The day is a full rest day for me so it is off to Hapuna beach where Marlon unleashes one of his legendary sayings. 'My face feels like its been bobbing for apples in a deep fat fryer' he has a burned face!!

Best bit of the whole day though is the fact that my 3 ladies arrive all looking very tired after 20+ hours of traveling. Still there are hugs a plenty. They're gonna love Kona!!!!



Kona Day 8

The nerves are starting to kick in now. Thankfully with having the family here now there is a lot to take my mind off things and keep me grounded. The day starts pretty normal for me. I go for a swim at Dig me Beach, straight into a bike on the Queen K and finally a run with a few pick ups on the run course close to the condo. This is a normal pre race day for me the ratios being 30, 30, 20.

Time for pancakes now. It never ceases to amaze me how may pancakes the girls can eat. I really do not know where it all goes. Still it sets them up for a day of body-boarding at Hapuna Beach. This is the best way for me to relax prior to checking all the gear in at T1. I'd planned for this and all the kit was packed and ready to go. We stay here till 2pm then make our way home for the kit check in at Kialua Pier.

Its a bit of a shock to be honest. I've checked gear in like this over 10 times now, but this is a little different everything about this place is iconic. The finish-line is now complete, all the billboards and barriers are now in place and it really does look like the Kona we watch every year on the internet!!

The checking process is superb. They take photo's of you all with the bike they survey all the bike and parts used, the ask if you have a coach, then, in groups of 2 a volunteer takes you right round transition showing you every inch of the place and telling you what to expect on race day. Royalty springs to mind. All this just adds to the magnitude of the event. Again only at Kona there are spectators everywhere some of which applaude you as you come out of transition. I've only racked my gear!!!

I find the family and go for tea of Chicken pasta pesto. Tonight is an early night ready for go time!!!!!



Joe Duckworth

I am a 49 year old airport firefighter. I am married to Johanna and I have two daughters Anna & Lucy (my main support network).