Monday, October 16, 2006

Shaken to the CORE.

This photo was taken by Kincaid Photo during an aftershock landslide as bikers passed the falling rocks.

What is harder to navigate, falling boulders or the unpredictable movements of other bikers and water bottles in an aid station?

Note: Photos courtesy of The Hawaii Channel

The majority of the world’s media picked up the fact that Kailua, Kona rattled and rolled yesterday, a few of them even mentioned the not-suprising fact that Ironman Triathletes were continuing to train during the aftershocks – while in the back of our minds we were all asking – what if the earthquake happened on the day of the Ironman?

How would 1,500 swimmers and 20,000 spectators evacuate the area in the event of a Tsunami warning? Or more importantly, how would the WTC stop the avid Ironmen and women who would stand their ground and say “I don’t care if there is a Tsunami, bring it on, I’m doing the Ironman.” I do wonder, if you were in the water during an earthquake would it be safer to swim out to sea, to avoid the wave build up, or back to shore?

Natural disasters will strike, and no matter where and when, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York - we’re never going to be fully prepared. As triathletes, living lives of daily preparation and planning, we can assume that most triathletes might just have kept on going, biked around the boulders, swam over large waves, and even tried to keep running if the earth was shaking. Now that would have been a sight for NBC – Ironman, during an earthquake, and the athletes still going. Think of the ratings! Forget the Energizer bunny – that battery complany should have an Ironman athlete as their mascot.

On the week prior to an event people plan their entire lives around – it may be a bit of a philosophical shocker to wake up and realize that the firm ground we find ourselves on is, well, kind of shaky.

The metaphors that we can apply to our lives and to this sport as a result of the quake’s proximity to Ironman are vast. Athletes were up and about training; others were sleeping while most were on there way to the island when suddenly the news appeared.

I’ll end this post with one simple question: Is racing in an Ironman not simply a planned personal disaster for your body, where you shake it and your soul to the core? ~