Meet Patrick Evoe – an unequivocal non-blob as a professional, sponsorship-sporting, money-making triathlete whose name has no real business appearing on this Blog . . . or does it? I caught Pat through a re-tweet of a blog post he wrote. When I saw the title I couldn’t believe my eyes: Why I didn’t take my Kona slot. To appreciate my stupefication, you’ve gotta get hip to what Kona is:
“Kona” refers to Kailua-Kona. a city on the island of Hawai’i. Since 1981 it has been the location of the Ironman World Championships. (The race originated on Oahu in 1978. Lear more about it, or just be inspired by every-day all-around bad-asssery HERE.) Unlike most triathlons, even of the Ironman designation, you don’t just roll up to Kona because you think it would be cool to combine a race with your next vacation. Generally, you’ve got to qualify for Kona by winning a place in some other qualifying Ironman (or possibly by placing in a qualifying half Ironman). Your only other option is to miraculously clinch one of 200 lottery slots allotted for Iron and half-Iron finishers. Thus, every single athlete at Kona has finished an Ironman (or half) before. And all but 200 of them (that’s 1,600 badasses, if you’re keeping count) have PLACED at their qualifying events. According to Ironman.com, “To get to the starting line in Kona [that’s the STARTING line] you must either be very lucky . . . or very talented.”
Which brings me back to Patrick Evoe. He is very talented. He got invited to the starting line of Kona 2011 and he passed. Why? Reading through Patrick’s August 15, 2011, blog post, I learned a little something about how the other half (the PROFESSIONAL half) lives. He discusses the fact that as a sponsored professional athlete, he no longer has the luxury of doing races just because they look like fun. (Setting aside, for now, the fact that he looks at a full Ironman as “fun” . . . ). More interesting than that, though, is the fact that what really comes through in Patrick’s blog post, what he spend 2/3 of the post getting at, and what hit me right between the eyes, is that Patrick is just not ready this year. He thinks his swimming needs some work.
It dawned on me suddenly that Patrick Evoe, though nothing like a blob in any way, is really not so different after all. He wants to do more, he wants to get better, he wants to set goals, and he wants to do work. Just like blobs everywhere, Patrick Evoe appears to be a work in progress. So what if he’s passing on Kona in order to kill it there next year while other blobs are passing on dinky ol’ sprint tris to PR at a lil’ baby half marathon in the fall. Reading Patrick’s blog reminded me that we will always be working, it will never be easy, and we will always want more.
In the end, it’s all relative.
I e-mailed Patrick Evoe prior to publishing this post to get his permission to associate him, even passingly, with mere mortal blobs. Check out his response: