8. Kona is not a race. It's an event.
Many people come early and train and when you get there the first thing you notice is everyone is speaking a foreign language. It's the world championships remember? But no worries by race day you will find the Americans that show up Wednesday or Thursday. Thursday may be the last possible day to register I believe.
7. Be prepared for the worst race day conditions and if it's less than that be thankful.
I have done the race 6 times now and the weather is always different. Its unpredictable. I had people come crying to me "Luis no way I can finish that bike, I was blown off and had to stop". Then on race day it is all smooth sailing. Same thing can be the other way, you go ride and its perfect and wonder what the big deal is.
Then on race day its like a hurricane out by Hawi. Just know that it can be brutally windy, both ways on the bike and very hot and prepare for it with a good attitude, good hydration and nutrition. Make the wind your friend. Everyone it's in it. Leave time expectations aside. Just do the best you can.
6. Give the PRO's a little room.
If you have never seen the top triathlon stars just remember they have a race to do like you. They are people with feelings and anxiety just like you. They are not gods. They just happen to be talented at this swim, bike and run thing. Surely you can beat them at chess. Many set up times for autographs and such. its best to use that. Give them a little room.
5. It's not a beauty contest.
If you are not beautiful and do not have a 6 pack for abs do not worry. That stuff is skin deep. Just because they look fast it does not mean then can go fast. Be confident that you did the best you could given your situation and let it roll on race day. Many including PROs sometimes feel they did not do enough.
Come to think of it that is how I feel right about now. But many times things are out of your control. Just control what you can and execute using your head on race day. Your head it's your biggest asset. Let all those miles you have done for the past year take you to the finish line.
Please come back for part 2 tomorrow.
Luis Vargas is the co-founder of MarkAllenOnline.com along with The Grip himself. Luis met Mark in 1990 in Boulder, Colorado and has a lot of incredible (if not painful) memories of training with him. Still living in Boulder Colorado with his wife Kelly, son Camilo and daughter Sofia, Luis plans to race once again this year. Stay tuned!