Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hawaii Ironman Blog Day 5: “The University of Triathlon at Kona”

I went for a run early this morning, and I was looking at the various sponsor’s houses along Alii drive, and I thought back to my old college days. In my analogy, Kona is like a little university campus. Alii Drive during Ironman week reminds me a lot of “fraternity row” in my college town. So I took some pictures to share with you.

Each “fraternity house” -- or house rented by various sponsors who didn’t snag a booth at the expo -- decorates their abode with banners, tables of free samples of their product, or other give-aways. The Zoot fraternity house, for example, even has some “celebrities”, well known on the college campus, but maybe not to the outside world, stop by at certain times. Andy Baldwin was there as I walked by today, but I’ve already met him.

And then, of course, is the central gathering place, or student union, known as Lava Java here at the University of Triathlon. Students at the University enjoy wearing their favorite fraternity’s gear at the student union, letting everyone know where they belong.

Lisa Wei-Haas, our triathlete master friend, told me when she dropped her youngest son off at college this fall; she felt he finally found his “tribe”. I smile when I think about triathletes, who sometimes stick out like sore thumbs in the world of unfit, unhealthy, and overweight “normal” Americans. Here in Kona this week, they can definitely fit in with their tribe.

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