Success: Lavaman 2014

By April 18, 2014 Training 8 Comments

Some have expressed an interest for me to post an update on my trip. So here you go. Before I proceed I want to say AGAIN how grateful I am to those of you who supported me financially on my first tri venture. It was an experience of a lifetime and I’m super honored to have raised $4,732.71 toward cancer research. With that said, I’m happy to report

I did not drown.

// Those of you following my journey know I was anticipating a drowning death. Haha. // Here’s a recap of race week…

After a few last minute workouts (at about 50-70% intesity) I hopped on a plane to Phoenix—drank about an entire carafe of Cave Creek Coffee—then zipped to Kona. Yep, I was feeling it. #legit


I met up with my dear friend Esther Oppong in Kona. I like to say I have a couple fans in my life. But hands down she’s my biggest fan // aside from my mother, of course //. And I’m hers. #biggestfan


We enjoyed the view for a while. #nofilter #hairylegalert


Friday was a pretty chill day. We got groceries, toured the resort a bit and walked the run course. This is the part of the course almost to the finish line. It’s about a half-mile of lava rock and sand at the end. #beautiful


After getting our first look at the transition area, I went and picked up my bike from the shipping area. Was good to see her after being separated for nearly two weeks. 😉 I pumped up her tires then took an hour ride down the bike course with the team. Unfortunately I don’t have any pics of this ride. #goingtoofast #watchforsemis #windwarning #needagopro

Saturday morning was our practice swim. I got a feel for the buoyancy and temperature of the water while practicing not to drown. One of my favorite moments happened here with my swimming buddy, Amber. We had been in the same lane for the past couple months at the pool. We saw each other sick. We saw each other tired. We also encouraged each other // well, she encouraged ME anyways //. So after we finished our practice, a sense of accomplishment had occurred. It was extra special for Amber as she decided to call it quits during the swim last year. This year she would overcome and cross the finish line. I’m so proud of her.


Later that afternoon—got my race number!


That night was our Team In Training Celebration Dinner. Teams from all over the country were present. But I didn’t care… I was focused on other things. #broccolioverboard


Last minute transition setup to make sure I had everything ready to go. #check


Race Day

Am I #legit yet?


I’m in there. #ipeed


That’s me running by the guy picking his nose. #workitout #feelsgood


Thumbs up! Finally in my element. How is that chick in front of me and TEXTING?? #passonleft


Just enjoying every moment! #awe


Now I’m hating every moment. Haha. Not really. #pushtothefinish #hairylegalert




Final Times

Swim: 35:47
T1: 02:45
Bike: 01:19:31
T2: 01:20
Run: 47:32
Total: 2:46:40

While the Lavaman 2014 has come to a close,

it’s only the beginning of my tri venture…

Many thanks to Esther for her support and for taking the majority of these images! #paparazzi

With a grateful heart,


  • Michael H says:

    Great job, Chris! You are definitely #legit.

  • Tara says:

    #Ipeed???? TMI 😉
    Otherwise…. wow. Super cool. Great photos – Hawaii looks like a beautiful place to do a tri! I mean, if you’re gonna have a near death experience, do it in paradise, right?? 😉 Congrats on NOT drowning. Congrats on finishing! and with good finishing times too!

  • Esther says:

    We need to frame that picture of us. It’s my new favorite. #HawaiiNextTopModel

  • David says:

    Great job, Chris!!!!! Love the pics and the humor! :-) Your talk of Esther made me think of Edwin McCain “I’ll Be” and his lyrics “…I’ll be the greatest fan of your life…” Nice to have special friends like that!!

    I def think a drowning death would be one of the worst. I was a swimmer, though, so I didn’t fear that very often. Glad you didn’t drown!!

    Did this tri journey teach you or challenge you personally beyond the physical demands on your body? Did you walk away from this a different man in some way?

  • Chris says:

    Hey, enjoyed the update. Congrats on this huge accomplishment. Very inspiring. So what’s next for ya? Are you going to keep it going?