Iron Man Help Station: Lapakahi, A Success!

On Saturday morning, the 13th, Kohala High School students from all classes worked together to set up the Lapakahi refreshment station for the Iron Man Triathalon. With the help and leadership of our teachers Ms.Brown Ms. Neitfeld, and Ms.Ubilas as well as other adult volunteers from our community, we quickly set up an effective station for the Iron Man participants.

It was pretty slow at first. We were all waiting around for the action, then the first cyclist came racing down the small slope of the road towards Hawi! We all cheered loudly for the first set of cyclists. Then we patiently waited for their return back the other way. When they came back through, I don’t think they were very interested in grabbing our refreshments. They were the front of the pack, after all. We cheered them on anyway.

All day we cheered on the large (and small) groups of contestants as they flew by, and when they came back by us, we worked hard to get them the refreshments they needed. I was on banana duty for most of the day. People weren’t “going bananas” for the bananas at first, but eventually someone wanted one (finally!). I will tell you, it is very interesting thing, trying to hand a slippery banana to a cyclist racing past you, and a few got dropped..*cringe*. Many people ended up wanting bananas, unlike I thought, and that made me glad. One european gentleman went so far as to call me his hero for simply handing him that yellow piece of fruit.

The other things we offered the cyclists were Coca Cola, Gatorade, water, Red Bull, Cliff Bars, Oranges, energy gel, and energy gummies. The Iron Man cyclists were SO appreciative of our help, and they thanked us as they rode by. Many of them threw the shaka, waved, gave the peace sign, and smiled widely as they rode by. One guy even sent “hand kisses”. These responses made us volunteers very happy, and we were so happy to be a part of the race and cheer on these hard-working athletes.

The day was a bit cloudy, which brought the temperature down. Although, most of us still turned about 3 shades darker (or redder). I know I did! However, the weather was very pleasant compared to last year. It may have rained a little bit on Saturday morning, but last year we got ROASTED like hot dogs.

The “Kokua Crew” shirts were a nice, bright yellow this year! The color definitely reflected our attitudes throughout the day. Everyone was very happy and upbeat. I was so pleased with the volunteers this year. Last year, it took us a very long time to clean up, especially with all the discarded bottles. But this year, we had about twice the volunteers! The whole group really worked happily together as a team.

The kind and creative encouragements my fellow students gave the cyclists were amazing! A special thank you to our adult volunteers for being there, especially for the delicious lunch you made us!

We all had so much fun, and I hope more people will volunteer next year to join in on that.

The day was a HUGE success!