I admit, I have the best job in the world when spending 10 days in Hawaii is considered a work trip. If I ever say otherwise, you have permission to send me hate mail!! But seriously, work and play was all intermixed here with the activities (okay, the beer mile was more play than work……okay it was all play.) so I will recap some of the highlights below:
If you needed me from 8-5 during the week, I would have been at the Smashfest Queen booth! While I’ve had some experience with “expo life” at Bad to the Bone events in the past, this would take it to another level as a multi-day experience. Of course there’s no one else I’d rather share in these days with than the Smash women – Hillary, Cameron and I rocked the days. #boom
There’s not too much to say here – I would just watch the recap video for yourself here! Clearly this should be a goal race for all non-Kona racing athletes. Seriously though, really fun time, and a root beer division for those who want that. All good fun!
The “other” race….
Turns out, there was this other event going on that week too – who would have thought? It was actually really great for me to see the World Championships unfold, as I watched from the sidelines. While I have raced there twice as an amateur, I know all too well that the pro race is drastically different from the age group side of racing. After watching the race this year, I think that is especially true in Kona! It was really eye-opening for me to see the race unfold as it happened. To feel how much hotter it is out on the Queen K when the pros are running (compared to when I was out running as an age grouper). To see how much the swim dynamic is changed with a pack of 40 women as opposed to thousands. To see the bike dynamics, again vastly different when the numbers dwindle in the pro packs and there aren’t thousands of age groupers around you. All good stuff to keep in the vault!
The last of the work related business was putting on a TriEqual event: Equally Ambitious. EA was a thought that we had a few months back. After going back and forth with WTC so many times trying to get #50womentokona we distracted ourselves from the temporary insanity with some discussion on how to make more women turn pro. If more women are doing triathlon (something we are trying to help through Equally Inspiring), in theory eventually more women will be eligible for a pro license. And if more women accept that license and race in the pro field, with an equal number of male and female pros (or at least close!) there would be no way to argue that equality in Kona shouldn’t happen.
Of course, that line of thought is extremely optimistic, and quite long term, but hey – channeling energy to something positive was definitely helpful to me through the year while we continue to fight for #50womentokona.
Equally Ambitious is a program that we hope to evolve into a mentorship program, or series, where current professional females are accessible to elite amateur females. They can hear how the women made the decision to race pro, what that life really is like, and ask them, well, anything they want – from sponsorship to struggles of the lifestyle. As someone who recently lived through the “pre-pro–>rookie pro” years, I know that there are A LOT of questions and concerns that go on in this time. I have been fortunate that my coach not only went through the same stuff, but has a huge network of others that she’s introduced me to help me through; others are not that lucky. But there’s no reason that they shouldn’t have access to answers, especially if it will help inspire them to take racing to the next level! And thus, Equally Ambitious was born. As we tested the waters in Kona, there are no doubts we will continue this program.