Quickly before I ramble on about the next last few days, if there is anyone who wants to watch the race and know anything about it, please go here to check out TRI247 round up of the GB athletes and the timings in the UK for the race.
OK. here we go.
There is so much going on in race week that we have probably missed more than we have done, however, I am here essentially to race so its not about tiring yourself out chasing around town for experiences. The flip side to this is that by the Wednesday in race week most of the orientation is done and as Friday is the most important day for racking it gives an opportunity to indulge in a few of the race week events over the next few days and maybe a mooch around town.
On Wednesday Bevan and John from IMTALK, one of my favourite podcasts, were in town running their now ‘iconic’ wetsuit aquathon, swim 400m from the coffee boat anchored off the pier, then run to Lava Java and back from the pier still in your wetsuit, its not normally for people racing but a bit of fun for supporters and fans of the show. With John crowned the victor they made their way over to Lava Java to meet a few of us.
Once we settled into Lava Java for coffee and breakfast I was interviewed by the boys about thoughts on the race and how someone with family trains and qualifies for the world championships, there are so many people that try to get to the island and never manage it and this sort of stuff can be pretty helpful. The interview is up on here and about 1hr 24 mins in, definitely worth listening to the pros before me and the other age groupers, the interview with Crowie is pretty cool as he has won here 3 times and knows his stuff.
A quick jog down to see Juliet for my last massage of the week. She works as one of IMTALKS epic camp masseurs and a local to the island, she knows her stuff. After that I had time to register, eager to check out the swag. The bag is ace and the free towel was well timed as I was about to buy one !! I am now officially able to race. One of the more important parts ticked off. While I was there I also bumped into Mark Allen (as you do) and popped into the 40th anniversary exhibition, took a few photos of the previous race posters I have done
A quick swim, lunch in Lava Java and then back to the condo for a chill out for the rest of the day. The girls had gone over to Hilo to the Volcano visitor centre and the munchkins were inducted into the official island ranger troops to help protect the area and its local beauty.
Thursday is the famous underpants run, a fun run started a few years ago poking fun at the serious athletes running around in their speedos up and down Ali’i Drive, this is now used to raise money for charity and is a pretty big deal in race week, as is our normal approach to things we went to watch but were late as the traffic was pretty bad getting into town so it was over before we even got a chance to park.
One of the things I have never done is get to watch Bob Babbitt interview the stars of triathlon during race week over at Huggos on the Rocks. Every day in the build he has around 8 interviews lined up in quick succession and depending on the day, depends on who you catch, its never busy and I even managed to drag the family down on the promise of breakfast. Dave Scott, Cam Wurf and Kathleen McCartney were all in the line up and made for good chat for an hour or so.
I also got to meet Laura Siddall – UK triathlete, Mike Reilly – the voice of IRONMAN, all while Millie stuffed her face with pancakes bigger than her !!
Once I had bored the family for a few hours, we decided an afternoon by the pool was the way forward as the girls were getting a little hyper.
My last ride followed checking all the kit once again.
The evening on Thursday brings the welcome banquet and race brief, over the years we have all gone but at $55 a ticket for non competitors its a tad over the price for a free meal, I popped into town and luckily bumped into Joe again with a few of the other Brits racing. Joe also writes a blog and if there is anyone on the island more excited that me, it would be him, catch it here. We chatted a bit about racing, listened to the Hall of Fame inductees, and then finishing with the race brief (which is pretty much the same as all IRONMAN race briefs) I set off home to get the nights sleep you need 2 days before the race.
Its now Friday, its race day tomorrow, I have one job today, get my bike and kit to transition and then relax. That happened mostly, the bike and kit part, I did manage a short swim and run as well but it was all about dropping off the bike and getting myself de stressed.
My final thoughts, firstly I wanted to thank everyone for their support, its great getting messages of good wishes and plenty of mantras to think about during the race, I will be very aware of the online support while I am racing and will certainly aim not to be shit ! Thanks also to Bikmo and XEndurance for their support all year, they have been a great help, and some would say for Bikmo, above and beyond the last 10 weeks.
What are my aims, to say finish would be a bit of a crap out, I have done 10.21 and 10.40 here before, the weather can always change things but lets say I want to go somewhere nearer to 10 hours or less, its possible if I have a great day but above all, relentless forward progression and never give up. All I can ask of myself.
Off to bed now, Kelly has the phone, I have all your good wishes. Night