While this Kona spectacle has turned into a looked-forward-to event among, well, everyone on the island, there is actually a story behind the Kona Underpants Run.
My day started early as I biked to the Clif Bar base house at 5:50 to arrive by 6:10am to lead the Clif Bar media group (and my contact Lisa from Clif Bar) for a 4 mile from to town. The miles went by fast and before we knew it, we were in town just in time for me to take off some clothes to join my Trimarni teammies.
The walk to the official start of the undie run (behind the King K hotel) is filled with laughs as the streets are filled with lots of well designed (and some, not so much) underwear "costumes".
The UPR (underpants run) is a mix of enjoying running around with little clothes on, taking pictures and checking out what other athletes are (not) wearing.
Trimarni athlete Justine designed our Splish Trimarni suits (which I absolutely love) and Karel ordered his jean-inspired speedo from Shinesty.
After the run, it was time to cool off in the ocean for a swim to the coffee boat. The media girls (and a few others) from Clif Bar wanted to experience the fun of swimming to the Clif Bar coffee boat so I lead the group out to the boat (about 500 yards out). I was really proud of a few of the girls who had never swam in open water before!
While I just love swimming, this swim was extra special as we not only saw dolphins but the dolphins put on a show for us with lots of twists and flips. It was totally unreal and so hard to describe but it will go down as one of my top moments in life that I never want to forget. Thank you dolphins!
I love swimming but it's even better when you can get a little love from a furry friend. Thanks A.J. for making my day!
But then again, I'm not surprised at the goodness of our breakfast meal as Clif Bar takes pride in real, locally sourced, food.
These Acai bowls were amazing!
After breakfast, we were introduced to a few new Clif Bar products (coming out in 2017 - stay tuned!) and then I gave a nutrition talk at the Base Camp house regarding the diets of Ironman athletes, how Ironman athletes fuel before, during and after the race (and training) and a few tricks/tips of Ironman athletes. The media girls asked some great questions.
After the meeting, Karel and I biked down the hill to the Clif Bar base camp house for a lovely dinner with the Clif Bar family (including Gary Erickson and his wife Kit - the creator of Clif Bar)
Karel only stayed for a short time before heading back to our condo (on his bike) to attend the athlete banquet with Trimarni athlete Leigh Ann. Karel also stayed for the 8pm mandatory athlete briefing.
When I finally returned home from a full day of activities around 8:30pm, I had a chance to unload my box and bag of goodies from Clif Bar, including a lot of items from ROKA, Under Armour, Hoka, Zoot and Garmin.
Thank you Clif Bar for being more than a company that makes "products".
You make great tasting food, made with organic ingredients, to fuel active lifestyles.
You care about the planet.
You care about people.
You care about farmers.
You care about food.
You care about athletes.
My 5th IM Kona, as a first time non-participating athlete, has been a special one thanks to being here with my Clif Bar family.