<a href=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_qShhsiiHPIE/Spb3uijvbzI/AAAAAAAAAJk/EKAaWiD6RkA/s1600-h/Nicks+iPHONE+20082009+123.JPG”><img style=”float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 240px;” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_qShhsiiHPIE/Spb3uijvbzI/AAAAAAAAAJk/EKAaWiD6RkA/s320/Nicks+iPHONE+20082009+123.JPG” border=”0″ alt=””id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5374755584236023602″ /></a><br />I think the night before and up until we got to the Bolton Arena in my mind I wanted it very badly that I couldn’t show excitement in case it didn’t happen again, our AG only had at this point 2 slots and I was 6th, thats a long way to roll.<br /><br />On the other hand, if I did go, this was going to be expensive and could we afford it ?? the dilemma was don’t wish too hard, it might come true lol !!<br /><br />Sat at the table in the awards ceremony I was still trying to put across to anyone that was paying attention that it couldn’t possibly roll down to me but actually I was hoping like mad inside that it would. <br /><br />I had found out the night before that 2nd place Anthony Hough wasn’t taking his place, we then found out that Mark Stenning in 1st in my AG wasn’t going to take his via the power of the blogs. That meant I only needed one more. <br /><br />Let me briefly take you back to the night after the race and the next morning, the conversation was played out more than once with Kelly, we really didn’t plan for it this year, really, not that I couldn’t do it if I had a good race but I was resigned to the fact that 2 slots just wasn’t enough (we ended up with 3 at the end) but we inevitably had the conversation regarding ‘what if ….'<br /><br />We had a 3 month old child and it was a long way, it was too expensive for both of us to go and my mate Phil had already said he was going, nope, Kelly had decided it wasn’t for her, she had seen me qualify and was happy with it, and plus she had heard Kona wasn’t as good as other IM’s (really ? lol !!) At the end of the day we didn’t have the money but if I really wanted to go then she would be happy to let me.<br /><br />Fast forward to the 30 secs before our slots are read out, 2 guys are on the stage, so I know Anthony was genuine about not going from 2nd place, now what. Mark declined …, I needed one more. Javier takes his place in 3rd, lots of cheering, he was a friend of the guy that ran 38 miles the day before after taking in an extra loop of Bolton, lots of mirth over that one !<br /><br />Then 4th, he wasn’t there, it was like a false relief, a flood gate even but on slow release, then it started to build, I had wanted it for so long but still couldn’t believe it was actually happening, I hadn’t planned it like this, we had planned to qualify the year before and have loads of time to train again and save up, well you know what, f*ck it, I stood up and said yes.<br /><br />I really had only thought about the here and now, the money it was costing me for the slot, nothing more, that was a bad thing, in my mind I thought, if it gets too expensive at the end of the day I didn’t have to actually go, I could just lose the £350 for the slot. OMG, no, did I really say that out loud, what a disgrace to the triathlete world that would be, how could I take a slot and then not go and take it away from the person behind me, no, I would find a way.<br /><br />So, we are now 3 weeks later and this is the current situation. <br /><br />Kelly and Teya are both going, yes, the once in a lifetime has been realised by Kelly and she wouldn’t miss it for the world, it didn’t take too much persuading to be honest, my Mum and husband Roger are coming, Phil and Blairy, two good friends are also going. Thats my own entourage, how fantastic to have family and friends so far around the world when you compete in something so great.<br /><br />What makes this year an even better year to qualiy is I have a number of really good friends that will be there too, there is Jill and Andy Wilkinson, Jill qualified at Florida, she is a member of Chester Triathon Club and they are both good friends. <br /><br />Jeff and Julie Nagle, Jeff is one of my great training partners and very good friend, they were always travelling to support Jill but Jeff was doing IM Switzerland and I hoped would qualify as well but not this time. In their entourage is their two mates and then Jills sister Carolyn and friend Sian – who I also know. <br /><br />And then finally, my long time friend from Ireland, Mark Riseley and his partner Una will also be there, Mark qualified in Germany with a storming 9.18. Its also his swansong and will be good to be on the start line with him.<br /><br />We have the condo, the car, the flights and the travel arrangements sorted, it took a while but we are there, its not the cheapest thing I have ever had to arrange at short notice but I am selling stuff in the house like mad and doing overtime when it comes up, by hook or by crook we will be going and it won’t be hanging over us for years. I want to enjoy this for all the right reasons and getting there is step one.<br /><br />Lastly a few thoughts about the rolldown and how I feel, last year I missed the slots by 2, the year before by 1, both would have been a rolldown anyway and I said I wanted to qualify by right, I still hold by that, I would have loved to have come second or third in my AG this year but it didn’t happen, I am forever grateful that I have the chance and sorry for the guys that aren’t going for their own reasons (Anthony has a child due in October and I wish them all the very best) at the end of the day I didn’t really hesitate to take the slot rolled down and I was hoping by all the gods that 4th or 5th wasn’t there, maybe I got lucky, I think you make your own, I made mine by getting up that morning and going to the ceremony, talk about being the right place at the right time wooohoooo !!!!!!!<br /><br />I will update next about the training planned.

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