Meet Crocs man Efraim Manzano
Written by: Herbert Krabel
Date: Wed Oct 17 2012
Slowtwitch: Thank you for your time Efraim.
Efraim: No problem! It is an honor to be interviewed by slowtwitch.
ST: Are you settled in back at work back in Honolulu?
Efraim: Yes! Right after the Kona Ironman I went back to work right away, need to save vacation time so I can get paid when I go race elsewhere!
ST: What do you do?
Efraim: I’m a cook at the Westin Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki.
ST: What shoes are you wearing and what color are they?
Efraim: Crocs! And they are white.
ST: Are you known at work as the Crocs guy or is that unique to triathlon?
Efraim: Yes even at work I’m known as the Crocs man!
ST: When did you race a triathlon for the first time in them, and was it then only during the run?
Efraim: I think I started racing in Crocs in 2007 and yes only on the run.
ST: Quite a few folks seem to think that you are getting money to race in Crocs, but that is apparently not so.
Efraim: No money from Crocs! But they are kind enough to give me free crocs here and there!
ST: When did you start to bike with them?
Efraim: I started to bike in them at the 2011 Ford Ironman Arizona. After doing 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship last year with regular cycling shoes, my feet starter hurting at mile 40 because of swollen feet and the rest of the 112 mile bike ride was so painful so I decided to make a comfortable cycling shoes, so that’s how the first cycling Crocs came about.
ST: Did you change anything about the sole to mount the cleats?
Efraim: Yes, I yanked off the sole of my old cycling shoes where the cleats get mounted and glued it to the Crocs and sewed it for reinforcement.
Efraim: Yes I always get a comment from my fellow competitors, they always ask me if its comfortable and I always tell everyone that is the most comfiest cycling shoes and running shoes in the world!
ST: Do you think you might start a trend?
Efraim: I already have. Some of my friends here in Honolulu are trying to follow me and they are running with Crocs when we have a race here.
ST: It looked like Chrissie kissed your shoes during the run. So I guess spectators noticed too.
Efraim: Yes! I guess the spectators can’t miss the yellow Crocs! Ok this what happen with the Champ, when I was running my first 10k of the marathon of the 2012 IM Kona I’ve run across the 4-time Ironman Kona Champion Chrissie Wellington, when she saw me she screamed "Are you the Crocs man?" and I said "yes Champ." She then walked towards me with her hands up in the air and I thought that she’s going to high five or high ten me or something, but to my surprise she just knelt down in the middle of Ali’i Drive and kissed the Crocs, amazing! She is a really a down to earth Champion! Love her!!!
ST: Were there any other interactions?
Efraim: She’s so awesome for taking a picture with me after she kissed my Crocs and gave me some motivation to continue the race.
ST: You biked 7:22:29 and ran 5:15:38 this year in Kona. How much faster would you be in regular cycling and running shoes and without stopping for hugs, kisses and admiration?
Efraim: I think I would be slower still with regular cycling and running shoes. I biked over 7 hours last Saturday because my full carbon wheels cracked in half and the tire blew up while I was heading to Hawi approximately 30 or 40 miles into the 112 miles bike ride. I almost crashed and fish tailed all over the road but managed to get the bike under control and stop safely. I waited for the tech van forever but thank god they showed up and helped me get back to the race. I can always run faster with Crocs than with running shoes.
ST: What is next?
Efraim: My next race will be the 2012 HURT Peacock 100 kilometers Trail run next week Saturday 10/27/12.
ST: Anything else we should know?
Efraim: I will be racing also at the 2012 Ford Ironman Arizona on 11/18/12 then the 2012 Honolulu Marathon on December then the HURT 100 Miles Trail run on January and 2013 Boston Marathon in April. God is God!!!
The highlight of Friday in Kona is the bike check-in. Athletes lined up as early as 11:15 am even though it does not open officially until noon. Enjoy these images from the day. 10.12.12
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