As each finisher in the Olukai Ho’olaulea race came to shore, they tossed their paddles, leaped from their boards and sprinted to the finish – sometimes on wobbly legs. Not so for our friend, Deja Howard, we had met earlier in the week at Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport where we’d rented our SUP gear. Splashing toward shore she added a quick “thank you” to the volunteer hauling her board out of the surf and with her trademark grin she started the sprint to the finish going strong.
The energy expended in the run from Maliko Gulch had to be killer. Ed and I took our time heading on up to congratulate Deja thinking she’d need a few minutes to catch her breath. Not so!
By the time we made our way through the crowd she’d located a fellow paddler named Peggy and they were into re-hashing their race already. Peggy, it seems, had been right on Deja during the entire race – sometimes they jockey-ed for position but they spent the run neck and neck. Deja was quick to thank Peggy for the constant push, “I wouldn’t have booked it so hard if you weren’t right there on me the entire time.”
Graciously, Peggy smiled and they continued on – now about the wind, the waves and the fun. Although both women were obviously strong competitors (having placed in their respective age groups) the journey was the WIN!
If you have the chance to visit Maui, swing by Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport and plan to talk story with the team. You can schedule a lesson and enjoy meeting new friends there. It’s that kind of environment.
Until next year, we plan to practice our technique and maintain those smiles – it’s the way to go!
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