Fulfilling A Decade-Old Dream: Triathlete & Kona Local Brandon Mailhot
Kona Welcomes Back The Ironman Championships
After two years, we are thrilled to welcome back the athletes along with their families and fans for one of the most exciting and demanding races on the planet: the Ironman® World Championships. During the month of October, our small town of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii is transformed into the global center of endurance athletics, where thousands of triathletes swim, bike and run along the rugged coast of western Hawaii.
In our next Ironman interview, we are proud to feature our Team Kona Coffee & Tea sponsored men’s athlete, Ironman World Championship Competitor and Kona local, Brandon Mailhot. Read the in-depth interview below about how Brandon recovers from an injury just a month before race day, what athletes drink at Kona Coffee & Tea…and you do not want to miss Brandon’s tips for aspiring athletes at the end!
BRANDON MAILHOT - Overcoming Injury and Fulfilling a Dream After 11 Years
KCTC: What does this event mean to you, being so close to home?
I live in Kalaoa with my wife :) (she made me be specific!) and racing in the Ironman World Championship has been my dream for 11 years! This is the championship of all championships. I remember seeing my very first World Championship here—and as a spectator I was in awe of all of the athletes. Even though I had never competed in a triathlon before (or could even really swim!) I knew that’s where I wanted to be one day.
This race is extremely significant to me because I get to race for all of those that have supported me every step of the way in this crazy journey—my friends, my family, and my community! So many people are a part of my story, so that’s what really makes this special.
KCTC: Race day is almost here. How are you navigating your time?
I had an injury at the beginning of the month, so I’ve been working with many talented folks here in Kona trying to get me rehabbed and able to race! I am humbled to have the dedication of those folks to help me heal! With that, I have been doing a bit of training each day, putting my feet and spirit on the course, and relaxing with family. I am staying focused and positive!
KCTC: How long have you been competing in Triathlons? What is your motivation?
It’s been 11 years of learning and competing. My motivation—I don’t want to be like everyone else—I want to see what my actual limits are, and I am always striving to find my purpose.
KCTC: What is your favorite drink at Kona Coffee & Tea?
Easy—the Kona Bullet (a hot, drip coffee blended with grass-fed butter and coconut oil)—a great cup of coffee after a long workout really hits the spot! This is my go-to for all occasions.
KCTC: What is your favorite part about Kona?
Kona is a perfect training ground for a triathlon- in one day you can experience multiple elements (rain, wind, heat, sun, etc). Training in Kona has been a spiritual experience for me, as I have a deep respect for place and history! “Race with gratitude” has been one of my mantras this year, and I am grateful to be allowed to train here
KCTC: What is your favorite part about the Ironman World Championships?
My favorite part about Ironman World Championships is that it is great to have so many top athletes from around the world get to experience the aloha of this place I am blessed to call home.
KCTC: Any tips or advice for someone just getting into the triathlon world?
-Be consistent with your training.
-If you are consistent, you will continue to build day after day.
-Don’t look at each individual session as if it was “good” or “bad,” try to do better than the day before. You’ll have some days that feel good and other days you won’t be happy about your training- but you have to stay consistent.
-Train with others to help push you - there is power in having a positive Tri community.
-Finally- it’s not swim/bike/run … it’s swim/bike/run/NUTRITION. Practice with nutrition to find a strategy that works for YOU. It’ll make or break your race!
We are proud to sponsor Brandon Mailhot as a TEAM KCTC competitor and a resident of this island. We want to thank him for his contribution and wish him good luck on race day!