Riding from sea level to 10,023 was on the minds of over 200 competitors from around the globe, to participate in one of the most challenging cycle races on the planet. Cycle to the Sun. Organized by Donnie Arnoult, owner of Go Cycling Maui and Maui Cyclery, this event drew out some of the top athletes from Germany, Japan, Colorado and we even had a few of our local heroes. I believe one of the youngest entrants was 11 years old!
Donnie and wife Michelle did a great job of organizing this event and the volunteers at the rest stations were incredible. The after party was a feast, that included music and even a magician to entertain the kids and us big kids!
One competitor from Maui stood out. Former windsurf champion and my neighbor and friend, Alf Imperato. Alf’s impressive time of 3:22 gave him the title of “fastest man on Maui.” Alf’s training regime was quite intense, often seen at our gate at sunrise doing double rides.
I asked Alf if he’ d tell me how he trained, his goals and what drives him. Here’s what he wrote:
“Training for this year’s event was mentally one of the easiest contests that I’ve ever trained for — I didn’t have to do it for sponsors, prove anything to anyone or finish in a certain time for a paycheck. This ride was for me to better my time from last year. With that said, it WAS one of the most physically challenging training schedules I’ve ever had! The ride up the hill is only steep every step of the way, and breathing becomes an issue, especially when you get to altitude.
Over the last few months, I tried to focus on speed and average speeds for every climb throughout the course. Obviously, we all have good days and bad days, but it’s important to see gains and progress through your training (and each day certainly won’t be faster or better than the last). After almost nine (9) months of riding with a heart rate monitor and keeping records of mileage, heart rate, food intake and overall feel — I had a pretty good idea of how not to get hurt or over train. SO, the last two and half months before the ride, I put all that aside and figured the longer I could stay in my “CAVE OF PAIN” the faster I could go up the hill. It only seemed to come down to self-discipline to continue and increase how much you can put yourself through without cracking and giving up. That doesn’t just include pain in your legs, higher heart rates, being tired or pushing a bigger gear. It carries through to eating better, avoiding empty calories, getting more sleep, using time more efficiently, and keeping work where it belongs — at work. Our days are ours’ for us to ENJOY!”
Thanks Alf for sharing. Simply awesome and a definitely words from an athlete!
Here are photos and results to follow:
Paia to Haleakala summit