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Race Report: Swim, Bike, Run to the Altar

16 Nov 2015
by Rich Heidal

by Rich Heidal

After breaking my collar bone during Ironman Wisconsin 2014, I ended up out completely for the off season. And due to complications, 2015 was pretty much out too.

Luckily, I had other things going on in my personal life to keep me busy.

Before I started doing triathlons, I considered myself a runner. I still enjoy the sport as a standalone, and funny enough, it’s how I met my wife (with a little help from Team Podium).

We met while I was running with a team with some Team in Training friends at a Ragnar Trail race.

Elizabeth was on a Nuun team with some friends which included a Team Podium member, Jesica. Who knew that the girl taking the picture of Jesica and I sporting our Podium Multisport hats would end up my wife?


Jesica and me. Elizabeth was taking the picture. Really…who knew she was the One? 

I knew I found my running partner for life after weeks of running dates turned into months of real dates. Once engaged, Elizabeth knew that running would be a part of our wedding details and you can read all about that here. One of many awesome things about Elizabeth is that she is currently running a half marathon or marathon in every state. It just so happened that the honeymoon spot we had considered had a race scheduled while we would be there. She talked me into running the Maui ½ Marathon while we were in Hawaii.

Most people thought we were crazy when we said we wanted to run a half marathon on our honeymoon. Personally I felt luckily to be running in paradise with my new wife.


The race started at 5am- which meant a 4am wakeup call for us. The good news is that we were less than a mile from the start so it wasn’t too bad. After our breakfast we were ready and we headed to the start. We got TONS of compliments on our bride and groom running outfits. Elizabeth planned the whole
thing and it was genius. 


Elizabeth and me before our Hawaii Honeymoon Half (say that three times fast!).

The half marathon was an out and back and the marathon was a point to point, so our start line wasn’t
too big. 

There weren’t corrals, so we lined up more towards the middle. This race was purely a fun run for Elizabeth as she planned to run at my pace. Let’s just say, thanks to my shoulder injury and slow recovery, she is minutes faster per mile then me at this point. 

The first few miles went by quick- it was pitch black and hard to see anything. We ended up passing a lot of people the first two miles. I started out too fast for sure but had to keep it going for Elizabeth. I was thinking to myself, she is going to kill me for not being in better shape. Haha!


Looking strong the first few miles

The course was fairly quiet. There was only one spot of entertainment with bongos and dancing that we hit right before the turnaround.  

It started to rain as the sun was coming up but it felt refreshing to me. At this point there was no hiding my condition level. Elizabeth knew I was losing steam. She just stayed with me and did a great job at keeping me happy, hydrated and moving (her words). 

The last 3 miles were painful but I was thinking about the rest of our honeymoon. You can do anything for 3 miles when you’re in paradise with your dream girl. We crossed the finish line hand in hand.


A small shift in my facial expression from the first 10 miles. Elizabeth remained very supportive to the end.

Fun Fact: If Elizabeth had run her regular pace she would’ve placed. Sorry honey, I know how cool it would have been to place in a half marathon. You’re have many more chances.


Finishers picture: we had to get moving…lots more fun to be had!

We grabbed our medals and mini Jamba Juice smoothies, fruit kabobs and ice cold towels. Awesome best post-race treats.  There was a post-race party with beer and pizza and music but we left before it started. We had plans to do the road to Hana and with an early race start and a finish by 7am, we were on that road by 8:30am for a long day of fun.

This was one of the slower races for me but will rank as one of the best having completed with Elizabeth.

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