Today’s Swim: 8000 meters
7:15am Off to the Pier
I arrive at the pier at 7:15am ready to meet Evonne Van Vlerken, Jano Soto and Jano’s wife Paola, we plan to swim to 2.4 Iron Man Buoy today, Paola will be leading us on her paddle board out to the 2.4 mile buoy. Robin Parsis is ready to swim too so we head down to the waters edge ready to launch. ” My coach wants a time for the course today”, says Yvonne as we are wading in, ” perfect, nothing like a stop watch to encourage a good clip in the water”, I think and with that, wet suits are zipped up and we are off powering through the water, the day is a beauty with calm waters, clear skies and a young sun in the sky eager to rise up and pump some Hawaiian heat into the day.
Our pace feels great, the four of us pulling away and dropping back like race horses in a pack. I like swimming with Yvonne, she has great drive, Jano has great enthusiasm and energy, you can tell when he trains he is excited to be out there and give it his all , Robin slices through the water fast with a big kick.
We pull up briefly at the Kings Buoy regroup, I turn to Yvonne ” what a funny pair we are, Pro Iron Man Athletes and an English Channel aspirant bombing along together”, we laugh and swim to the 2.4 mile buoy.
Time to swim for the shore
Turnaround done and we head back for home, I love the homestretch, there is bit of a current as we get closer to shore, the bay narrows dramatically, the water pulls this way and that, it feels like it doesn’t quite know which way it should flow, I like the challenge.
The last few 100 meters my mind is visualizing sprinting to the shores of France, no matter what I am gunning it until my hand hits the land, Jano, Yvonne and I tuck in tight as we near the beach, we close in on the final buoy building speed as we go, past the last buoy, the swim is done for most, but no stopping for me, there are legs of swimmers standing in the shallow waters, still no stopping for me, I wind through the legs in a full sprint until my hand hits the bottom, YES land, it never gets old to touch down at the end of a swim. I stand myself upright apologizing to the swimmers at my landing spot, opps sorry Kona Swimmers, party’s not over til I hit land….
The five of us gather round Paola’s board for farewells
Check out Paola’s fun clip of our Kona swim below
Kicking it in Kona with Yvonne Van Vlerken, Jano Soto and Robin Parisi
Back into the water…..
Then for me it is back out to sea for more laps to the Coast Guard Buoy, every lap I swim the more familiar the landmarks get, I now know every roof shape and color, the numbers of trees in each grouping, the fences and the hotels, finally it is the last sprint to shore and I earn my reward of a spot on the lazy beach adjacent to the pier in one of Karlyn’s deck chairs. Time to inhale lunch, then off to weight train.
What’s coming up tomorrow?10km from Keauhou Bay to Kailua Bay, Kona with Kate who is supporting me in her outrigger canoe, fantastic!
No Jelly Fish stings so far, will I swim 9 days straight in the sea sting free? I’ll keep you posted.
Closing Thought: Desire Makes Winners in every walk of life
Here’s to the winners from today:
- Yvonne Van Vlerken a.k.a ” The Flying Dutchwoman”, multiple sub 9 hour Iron Man Course finishes including a Silver at the Kona Iron Man Championships
- Jano Soto, multiple top 6 Iron Man 70.3 finishes
- Robin, pure FAST in the water