These IRONMAN® World Championship First Timers will toe the line on Saturday in Kona with HOTSHOT® at the ready. Let’s get to know them a little better . . .
At around 6:30pm on April 22, 2017 I was running with my hands up in the air and the biggest smile across my face as I heard “You did it Juhi. You are an IRONMAN!” for the first time. My goal during IMTexas was to put my love of endurance to the test and complete my first IRONMAN. I never would have imagined I’d qualify for Kona, the triathlete’s dream race. I knew I had to extend my IRONMAN training for another 5 months as I prepped for the big day, but I couldn’t be more excited to prove to myself what else I can do.
Over the past year, I moved from Maryland to Texas and began my IRONMAN journey. Training for IRONMAN Texas had its ups and downs but I stayed motivated with my eyes set on just completing my first IRONMAN. In my mind, training for Kona should be no different than training for IMTexas. I was wrong.
For IRONMAN Texas, I was training in the fall and winter months, but for Kona I had to battle the Texas summer. I’ve run in summer heat, even in the middle of the day, but the Texas summer was a whole other beast – and one I had underestimated. I’ve never felt such scorching heat and it drained the life out of me. My long slow runs were not only slower than I’m used to, but there were plenty of times where a 13-mile training run turned into 10 miles and my 16-miler turned into 13. I was short of breath, my legs cramped, and I had never had so much pain as an athlete. In June, I ran a marathon with my eyes set on qualifying for Boston. At mile 16, I was nauseous, my right foot, left shoulder, and sides were all cramping, resulting in me run-walking the last 10 miles and missing my goal by almost 30 minutes. My body wasn’t broken, but my sprit was. I started thinking: Am I overtraining? Maybe I’m not the athlete I once was or thought I was? I didn’t understand what was happening; but that’s when I was introduced to HOTSHOT.
There was no harm in trying it so I took my first HOTSHOT before one of my long runs, and although it was still brutally hot out, I didn’t have any cramps and was able to finish. Before each of my long runs, I took a HOTSHOT and, every time, I was able to finish. HOTSHOT helped me train better. At the end of August, I gained the confidence to sign up for another marathon as a last chance effort to qualify for the 2018 Boston Marathon, and if I didn’t qualify, it would be just another day of Kona training. I chugged a HOTSHOT before the start of the marathon and 3 hours, 25 minutes, 28 seconds later, I crossed the finish line, now a Boston qualifier. HOTSHOT gave me my confidence back. While being extremely excited about heading to the Big Island for IRONMAN #2, I am also a ball of nerves not knowing what to expect, but I know I can rely on that tiny, spicy HOTSHOT bottle as I battle the brutal Kona heat and aim to hear “You are an IRONMAN!” again.
My name is Kristine, and I'll be in Kona representing the IRONMAN Foundation as the #1 fundraiser in the Americas. Racing in the World Championship in Kona is such an honor as a "back of the pack" triathlete. Two years in the making and I still cannot believe I will be lining up with the very best in the World.
I have been competing in triathlon for over a decade & not long after starting, began preparing for my first IRONMAN event in Western Australia, 2008. Initially I was only ever a 'participant', but after a couple of years I began to get more competitive. With this comes an increase in training volume and race day intensity.
Since taking things up a notch, I started experiencing disappointing, race-stopping cramps. I always finished my races, but was limited by cramping. I have cramped towards the end of IRONMAN bike legs & just last year at IRONMAN WA 2016, I was on track for a massive PR, only to have my quads cramp up halfway through the marathon. I ended up walk/jogging to the finish.
HOTSHOT has been a game changer with regards to stopping my cramps. I take it prior to my long training sessions & have used it in racing with excellent results.
I raced a very hot & humid Bin Tan 70.3 in Indonesia in August 2017, using HOTSHOT prior to & during the race with no cramps whatsoever. Even better, I qualified for the 70.3 World Championships in South Africa for 2018.
As a very fortunate Legacy athlete, I have been preparing for the 2017 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. The last two weeks I have been training in Kona, using HOTSHOT before & during my long sessions - with no cramping. It goes without saying, I'll be using HOTSHOT on race day.
Good luck to Juhi, Kristine & Adam and all the other HOTSHOT Ambassadors, first timers and athletes in Kona!