An article in the fall, 2011 issue of the RockTape Quarterly Quarry magazine tells the exciting tale of this year’s Ironman Championship triathlon held in Kona, Hawaii in October. The piece focuses on how the guys (and gals) from RockTape helped make a difference for the competition’s hard-working participants. The RockTape Expo held at the triathlon had athletes lining up and happily waiting their turn for their professional tapings in preparation for the event. According to RockTape, over 200 athletes were treated to free tapings by a team of seven RockTape staff members. That’s quite a few tapings for each team member to handle, but handle them they did. The team reported that a popular RockTape application for the multiple-event competition was the company’s Fascial Movement Taping technique, which is designed to help athletes maximize performance when top-notch performance counts.
The annual Kona Ironman Championship attracts more than 1800 participants each year, the vast majority of whom are amateur athletes (with only about 100 being pros). A 2.5-mile open-water swim, a 112-mile bike race, and a 26-mile full marathon make up the grueling competition, which demands all the stamina its courageous entrants can muster. In support of these bold competitors, RockTape decided to not only offer free tapings before the event but also to cheer the athletes well into the last event – the point at which many entrants feel tempted to give up.
During the last event of the triathlon, the full marathon, participants run a hot and desolate course – 13 miles out to the Energy Lab (through Kona’s infamous lava fields) and 13 miles back. Realizing how hard this course can be for an endurance racer, RockTape team members set up what they called their “RockStar Station” at miles 11 and 22 of the triathlon course on the Queen K Highway. They chose this area precisely because it was so remote and desolate, which they knew meant the runners would sorely need encouragement.
Cheers and high-fives met the racers at mile 11, where RockTape team members – along with a contingent from Kona Bike Works and Garmin – lined the course. After passing their cheering section on the way out, the exhausted athletes knew they could count on seeing their Rock Tape cheering section again on the way back in – at mile 22 – which gave them a goal to focus on to help them complete the race.
Team members also felt good about being able to help runners more easily negotiate what they came to affectionately call “Hero Hill” – a 3% incline that runs for about one half-mile of the course. One member even used a motorized scooter to escort the runners up the hill, to the accompaniment of spirited cheering and high emotions. After the race, several athletes stopped by to offer their thanks for the team’s support.