303’s Coverage of Kona, Why? For You and Us–all of Us.

By Bill Plock, President of 303Endurance/Triathlon/Cycling

People often wonder why 303 goes to Kona to cover the IRONMAN World Championships. Or ask why 303 even exists? Who we are and so forth. When Sandi Weibe crossed the finish line last year wearing a shirt we had given athletes from Colorado, it just seemed so clear and that picture pretty much answers our why. We go to Kona and to the local school yard bike rallies, local triathlons and crits and everything in between as much as possible to help make our endurance community that much better. That much more connected and simply that much more celebrated.

At arguably the worlds most prestigious endurance event, stories unfold, missions come to life and the triathlon world converges in a showcase unique to the sport. It’s the place to be.

We are there to celebrate the journey of the 52 Colorado athletes racing on October 12th. We want to tell their stories. We have asked each one of them to share their journey and hopefully in the next 10 days you will read and hear many of them.

If there is one gesture that defines the reason, it is our offer to each athlete of a handmade Christmas Ornament designed and made by Glassmith2. They are a second generation engraving company based in Boulder and they make the age group awards for IRONMAN.

Braden Todd, Owner of Glassmith2

But more, they are a couple, Alison and Braden Todd, with kids and a dog and an entrepreneurial spirit trying to make a small business succeed. They are great people and Braden is a sixth generation Boulderite. Braden’s great grandfather was the first person ever graduate from the University of Colorado. It’s this kind of connection that we strive to bring to the endurance community.

When Sandi crossed the finish line wearing a shirt, not really designed to race in, I was so touched she wanted to represent Colorado, just like we do. In such an international atmosphere, to see our logo cross the line meant a lot.

Khem Suthiwan
Rich Soares

We try to make it fun, we work hard. We interview all kinds of people, give you podcasts to listen to all week and find stories and cover the race. We try to share the experience of the island and bring you more than just recap of who won. We strive to share the culture, the atmosphere and the friends we see and make along the way. And Khem Suthiwan’s food scavenger hunt was a big hit last year—lets see what she comes up with this year.

We have Rich Soares’ awesome finish line interviews and podcasting excellence and Kenny Withrow’s artistic views through the camera–he also on assignment for a major publication so we won’t have him full-time–dang it!!

We have great sponsors that make this possible with some outstanding exclusive discounts to offer you from Clever Training and BASE Performance, and a chance to win a frame from Blue Competition Cycles and much more to be announced soon. Check out that deal on an indoor trainer from CycleOps. We have a landing page that shares not only the names of who is racing, but a place to find articles and podcasts, sponsors specials and some fun stuff–and of course the sponsors offers and more https://303triathlon.com/kona2019/

We will be bringing you events all week and feature stories on people like Beth and Liza from Crested Butte, check out this video on them from NBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA5AJCtQRaY

Kennett Peterson with Mike Reilly at IM Boulder 2019

We just finished a podcast with professional Kennett Peterson of Boulder as he prepares for his first trip to Kona, keep an eye out for that. He gives some really great insight on what he is thinking and feeling heading into his race and some other thoughts on being a pro triathlete.

Simon Butterworth winning Kona

Locally we have some the best resources around to offer you tips if you are racing. One such person (“lad” is a better word in his Scottish accent) is Simon Butterworth has offered three major tips for racing in Kona. That article will be published soon. Very interesting tip about waiting to drink at least 30 minutes after the swim to let the sea water invariably “drank” settle in.

But settle in, follow us here, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, grab a cup of coffee, a beer, a friend and enjoy our coverage.

Aloha,

The 303 Team!

Jeannete Sörensen Hickok

1. What are you most excited about in competing in Kona?

I started racing Ironman in 2011. I have chased my dream to qualify for Kona for over 10 years and it finally happened. I’m excited to just be there to breathe in the atmosphere, and compete with the best in the world.

2. What is your favorite career IRONMAN memory so far?

My 10th Ironman for sure. I had worked so hard with mental mindfulness that I was going to win my age group. I came out of swim almost last, not sure what I did,
but I was 18 min slower than I normally do an Ironman swim. I was so angry at myself, but I quickly changed my mood and reminded myself that anything can happen in an Ironman.
The race was not over. I biked in my time and got 1st place on the bike. it wasn’t until around mile 9 I was told by friends I was first, but that has happened before on my ironman races.
They all catch up with me and pass me. But this time I kept telling myself, I was number 1, and no one was going to take it from me.

When I was a mile away I could relax, although, I kept looking over my shoulder, I knew I had won and was going to KONA!!
What an incredible feeling, I will never forget!! 🌺

3. Is this your first time competing in Kona and if no how many other times have you done so?

Oh Yes, first time!!!!

4. If someone were watching that is new to the sport, what would you tell them is the coolest thing about being a triathlete and competing in this venue?

I would tell them triathlon becomes a lifestyle. Age doesn’t matter. Triathlon is not only about racing, it’s the journey and the camaraderie you find within the triathlon community.  Your confidence will grow and you start to look for more to challenge yourself. The ability to achieve something bigger than you could ever dream to accomplish is powerful. There is no limits.

5. What do you think is the hardest thing about doing an IRONMAN?

Commitment, never give up!!  Family support (although, I never had a problem, but I know many that do)  Positive Mindset; “Believe in yourself.”