Arrived in Hawaii. I'm excited to compete at, dare I say it — Kona!
This has been a 4,668 day journey, and I’m in the home stretch. I’ll share a bit of the journey each day, via this blog, and on social media. (RahlowJenkins on Facebook and Instagram, and XXLTRI on Instagram). For this first installment, I thought I’d share a bit about me, a few events leading up to the race, and my race goals.
- 6-3, 249 pounds
- Bi-Racial (Black, Scottish, German)
- College All-American boxer (Heavyweight, obviously!); adult hack hockey player (goalie, defenseman)
- Navy veteran (Naval Academy ’95, Surface Warfare)
- Father of three (They arrived in Kona Tuesday!); Boys & Girls Club Kid, Michigan Wolverine (MBA ’11); Omega Psi Phi (8-03, Tail, Skullcap Killer)
How’d I get here?
- IRONMAN Legacy Program (WI 07, FL 07, AZ 08, LP 08, CDA 10, TX 11, NOOGA 15, FL 15, MD 16, NC 16, LOU 17).
- Along with those, I’ve been an unofficial finisher at CDA 09 (17:04); NYC 12 (18:30); COZ 15 (17:00:12. Yep, missed it by 12 seconds); FL 16 (17:01).
- And then there are the DNFs, Utah 10 (bike cutoff first lap); Utah 11 (bike cutoff second lap); COZ 11 (DNF bike); CDA 15 (DNF Bike); Vine 16 (DNF bike); Boulder 16 (DNF bike); Boulder 17 (DNF bike); AZ 17 (DNF T2).
- That’s an overall IRONMAN record of 12-8-4. Kona Will be start line No. 25
- PR: 14:37.
- IMWC Kona Goal — Finish in 16:59 or less.
On Jan. 1, 2006, I jumped in the pool.
At the time I was over 350 pounds (I owned a pizza restaurant and lived on the stuff!). I set a goal to complete all the IRONMANS in North America (There were only a few at the time!) and to race Kona.
Over the next 21 months I got in shape, worked myself down to 270, and then raced IRONMAN Wisconsin. There will have been 4,668 days between that first jump in the pool and swimming up to the start line in Kona.
For a little more about those first few years, here’s a TV Interview after IRONMAN CDA 2010.
With that background, my flight landed around 2 p.m. Sept. 30. I couldn’t check in to the Airbnb until 7 p.m., so I took a drive to Hawi to lay eyes on the bike course. Given my bike DNF history, my biggest concern is always the bike course. The course itself is beautiful, windy, hilly, hot ... you’ve read all that I’m sure.
My belief is that it is doable. No massive climbs like Utah, no crazy downhills like LP. A steady day, with lots of hydration and attention to nutrition should do it.
I also took a little time to visit a beach along the way and drive the energy lab portion of the run course. Hot. No shade. More hot. My lord it is hot. I’ll have to manage this race day.
Arizona 08 has me prepared ... but my oh my.