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After narrowly making their previous night’s flight from Kauai to Honolulu, on the morning of Thursday, May 7 EPIC5 ultra distance triathletes Richard Roll and Jason Lester arrived at Oahu’s Waikiki beach–with everything but their bikes intact.
Written by: Mark Johnson
In the rush to make their previous day’s flight, Lester and Roll’s seat tube clamp bolts went missing. Support crew member Molly Kline said that after Lester and Roll completed the first day’s marathon at 5:30 pm, “we literally had 10 to 15 minutes to break down the bikes.” And because Lester is using a cardboard bike box, his ride had to be completely dismantled to get it on the plane.
Before the race, Lester noted that the logistics of organizing a five-Ironman event on as many islands was more daunting than the act of training for the event. This has proven true during the race as well. “We had six of us packing their bags and trying to get them on [their plane],” Kline recalls of the first day’s scramble. “We needed more cars so we could get all their packages to the airport. The race is the easiest part I think!”
But Roll, Lester and their crew rolled with these wrinkles in their first-time event; by 8:00 am the athletes were slicing through the bathtub-warm ocean off Waikiki Beach. At the time their intention was to push off the bike leg until after the marathon to buy their crew time to find a bike shop with the missing seat clamp parts. The on-the-fly leg swap wasn’t necessary. By the time Roll and Lester had the 2.4-mile swim in the bag, Honolulu’s The Bike Shop had come to the rescue with the needed parts. After fueling up on avocado sandwiches, Roll and Lester were on their bikes by 10:45 am.
Under partly-cloudy skies, 85-degree air temperatures and 15-20 mph winds, the two triathletes rode up the east coast of the island to the world famous surfing beaches of Oahu’s North Shore. From Haleiwa they spun back south through the middle of the island, finishing their eight-hour, 112-mile ride in Honolulu’s Ala Moana Park.
By 7:30 pm they were out on the Honolulu marathon course accompanied by 12 local runners. Without a plane to catch until the next morning, sleep would come easy after day two of five days of Ironmans.
Follow EPIC5 day three at Epic5.com/live and Competitor.com