These are the prizes you win at Big Kahuna. I have one of those bronze hula girls.
The first time I ever did this race in 2009 it was to be my first half-Ironman, but the swim got cancelled and it ended up being my first 56-mile bike + half-marathon race instead. It was still long and sucked. (My actual first full half-Ironman was the following summer at Barb’s Race, which I did with an injury and which prompted me to decide the half distance was not for me.)
I did Big Kahuna again in 2011 as my last race right before Steve broke his leg and before my surprise temporary hiatus from triathlon. It went better that time, but the half distance is still not my favorite thing.
This is the only picture of me still in existence from either of the times doing the race:
So why did I agree to do it again this year? Especially after Ironman and being a bum for the last six weeks and feeling terrible? Why do we do any of these things? It sounded like fun at the time. We want to see what we can do. Why not.
Of course, usually when I think something sounds like fun and I want to see what I can do, I’ve run farther than seven miles and ridden my bike more than a handful of times. But, that’s ok. Hopefully, muscle memory kicks in. If this was an Olympic distance, I’d feel confident that my muscles would remember what to do. But, it’s a half. And I don’t know that my muscles ever learned what to do in halves in the first place, so there’s not much to remember.