MAHALO, KONA!

Somebody pinch us! Kona 2014 has come and gone. Really, our time on the island was like a dream–a whirling dervish dream of awesomeness, full of incredible people, places, performances and non-stop fun. We’re still hanging onto the aloha spirit that infused our week in Hawaii, so before we officially call Kona 2014 a wrap, we want to take you on a photographic recap of the good times that were had by all, SOAS-style.

This was our virgin venture into expo-ing in Kona, and WOW was it a success! Sure, we were thrilled to sell quite a lot of product, but even more important were the connections we made. We met so many women–and men–from around the world, from diehard SOAS fans to folks newly introduced to our products. It was a fantastic experience to meet everyone, to learn about their journeys to Kona, to “talk shop” about the passion behind the brand and to have on-the-spot fashion shows as we helped a number of women find their perfect sizes and styles of SOAS gear.

A major focus of our expo booth was our custom Kona gear–limited edition kits, trucker hats and visors that really POPPED with color on race day!

For the second year running we had the honor of outfitting the Triathlete Magazine crew for race week. Maybe you saw them cruising around the course in this custom gear?

Who doesn’t love a party–especially one with a backdrop like this? On Thursday evening of race week we teamed up with the Triathlete crew to host a sunset get together for our industry friends, ambassador athletes and anyone else ready to celebrate at Triathlete’s Ali’i Drive rental house. Between the NUUN cocktails, the Kona Brewing Company beer and the stellar company, it was one heck of a night!

Where do we even begin when talking about our ambassador athletes? These ladies rise to the occasion of representing the SOAS brand, and then some! They are the spunkiest, sparkliest, sassiest, sweetest group of girls we could ask for, and having so many of them together in paradise was the highlight of our week. Six of our athlete ambassadors raced the Ironman World Champs–Gina Crawford, Lectie Altman, Maria Simone, Julie Hunziker, Marie Sorrell & Lori Sherlock–and several others were in town to enjoy the race festivities and cheer (special thanks to ambassador Jen Garcia for many of these awesome race day images).

Spending time with these gals really underscored the importance of our team. We LOVE these ladies! (And a special shout out to Lori Sherlock’s husband Brian–an honorary SOAS athlete–for making the hottest expo day much more bearable with a special delivery of otter pops!)

The SOAS ladies rocked the Kona Underpants Run in our bright color-block bikinis! 

A special surprise awaited all of our Kona-qualified athletes–custom kits for race day! And really, is there anything more badass than having your name emblazoned across your bum?

Then, of course, there’s Gina–make that 8th PLACE PRO FINISHER GINA CRAWFORD! We’ve enjoyed working with Gina throughout her first year as an official SOAS athlete, so spending time with her on the Big Island was a perfect way to cap the season. Her phenomenal race day performance–where she battled through a stomach bug and managed to work her way through the field with a killer marathon to make her mark in the top ten–gave us all a reason to raise a glass. Congrats Gina! 

Early in race week Gina spent some time doing a Q&A session and meet and greet that we co-hosted with Rudy Project (watch for video from the event coming soon). Then we kitted her out with her own custom race gear, including a one-of-a-kind speed jersey. What do you think–a future in-line product, perhaps?

What else went into Kona race week? In no particular order, there were plenty of mai tais and vino, late night strategy sessions and girl talk, early morning runs, acai bowls and sweet potato fries, and–when all the work was said and done–some fun in the sun. We’re all jazzed up and inspired by the experience, and already plotting an even better Big Island presence next year. Meet us there for mai tais?

Mahalo!

- The SOAS Crew