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Takei Rikako’s IRONMAN Finish!

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The following is our finishing Interview with Takei Rikako. We followed her journey to Kona: her training, her nutrition and her inspiration. You can start the series here: Meet Takei Rikako ( LINK https://www.phitenusa.com/blog/introduction-takei-rikako-a-56-year-old-triathlete/ )


How did it feel to be a part of IRONMAN World Championships October 13th?

I had a lot of feelings to be back to Kona after 10 years. I felt like Kona has been waiting for me. The night before the race, I practiced a bit at the field where they were setting up the finish line. When I pictured myself crossing the finish line the following day, I got tears in my eyes. I was very emotional.

What 2 or 3 things did you do to mentally prepare yourself for race day?

I looked at the ocean prayed to Hawaiian local spirits. I asked the sky, mountain and the air of Hawaii to accept me. Also, I took a hot bath to relax. I brought a hot spring powder mix to add to the tub.


What was the hardest part of IRONMAN 2018 for you?

The biking part.

For me, swimming was excellent, but the bike part, that was a struggle for me.

I believe that it was something I drank during the break after the swim.

I started throwing up at the point of 45-mile, and I had to stop at every rest stop to take a break. Also, it started raining hard furing the running part which made it even harder.

It was so hard, but quitting was not my option. Knowing so many of my friends including Phiten was supporting me and cheering for me, I couldn’t give up. I kept asking Hawaiian spirit to help me finish the race.


Any surprises this year for you? (performance, weather, etc.)

Weather. I know that it rains a lot in Hawaii, but it was my first time to race in such a massive rain storm. Eventually, the rain stopped, and the beautiful crescent moon emerged in the sky.


The questions we’re all waiting for … how did you do for the 2018 IRONMAN Championship?


I finished it!

Swim01:20:25

Bike07:22:42

Run04:47:54

Overall13:48:25*


I didn’t make it to the podium this year, but I am happy to get my finishers medal and T-shirt.


Will you be back for IRONMAN 2019?

I definitely want to be back! I plan to compete for one race next year to get qualified for Kona next year and compete at Kona at the year 2020. 2020 is the year of Tokyo Olympic Games, but it will also be the year of my personal Olympics!


Best part of Kona

For me, the best part of attending this year’s IRONMAN World Championship is the sense of accomplishment and friendship. I usually travel alone and attend the race by myself, This year was different. Many of my friends flew to Kona to support me. And there is a great sense of community at Kona. I met many of my old friends and made new friends... Everybody was so supportive and friendly and hugging each other. It was such a good memory!

*Source: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/i...

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