Saturday, April 17, 2010
A big First Day 04/16/2010
Out the corner of my eve I saw a gentleman whom I felt like I knew; or at least had seen before. He had an amputated right hand and a prosthetic leg. I walked up to him and asked “Sir, what’s your name?” “Jason Gunther” I had a huge smile. “Sir, it is an honor and a pleasure to meet you.” He asked where I recognized him from and I’m sure he knew I was going to say Kona 2009. He was featured on the 2009 NBC Kona Ironamn. He, unfortunately, didn’t complete it but it wasn’t because his heart wasn’t in it! This guy is a fighter. We laughed and joked and I was, again, inspired by this gentleman.
We cleared the expo around noon, went to the hotel to grab my swim gear, and then I was off to swim. I went to transition area of the event. Guess who I saw cycling the route in her SkinFit outfit! None other than "The flying blonde Dutch girl," Yvonne van Vlerken. Unfortunately, some time ago she decided to keep her ponytails tucked in because it made her more aero dynamic. The pink SkinFit gear and bright blonde hair gave her away immediately; and the accent as she yelled at her fiancé may have been an indicator too! She was very pleasant and smiled while I attempted to take her photo. She won the inaugural Ironman Cozumel which is the Ironman I am scheduled to do this year. That was really cool to see her.
Now I am not the guy to get start struck. In my career as a soldier and police officer, I have met two presidents, and countless, countless musicians. But, you show me a professional triathlete, I become a 12 year old boy at a Michael Jackson concert! I’m not kidding! I yelled, Yvonne we love you babe!” Ooooooh uhhh yeah. Babe is my gf’s pet name and she wasn’t so happy about that lol. Well, at least I got a warning about calling Yvonne babe instead of a right hook hehe.