Kona Diaries 2015 – Day 16 – Race Week Friday – Almost time for the big dance

Friday of race week things get as serious as they can without there being an actual race today. We went for an early swim (just before 7am) of probably just under 1km. The sky was blue, not a cloud in sight and very little wind.

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DCIM108GOPRO

Whilst Andy drowned Emma enjoyed her coffee

Whilst Andy was drowning Emma enjoyed her coffee

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The race area is in full swing now. The finish line area is being built up and I love that the finish line is exactly where the official sign for the Ironman is placed on Ali’i Drive.

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The official bag drop, goggle loan and free chocolate milk areas were gone and the pier is now out of bounds as the race transition area is being setup. It’s amazing how this place suddenly changes almost overnight into what you see in the videos and photos from the race.

The most exciting steps in Ironman!

The most exciting steps in Ironman!

Post swim we had a cracking breakfast at Splashers – which is over the road from the pier. The four of us ate here on the Friday before the race in 2013. It was nice to be back.

The breakfast of champions

The breakfast of champions

After a wander around the Ironman merchandise tent (we’ve hardly spent any money in here this year) we strolled back to the car and then headed to Island Orchard Florist. We’d ordered some flowers for Sharon and Emma’s hair a couple of weeks ago and were here to collect them.

Sharon seems to have shrunk to the size of a midget!

Sharon seems to have shrunk to the size of a midget!

It was great to see Amy and Michael and their ‘Ironman shrine’ – which if you read the ‘diaries’ from 2013 you’ll know that a photo they took of me is part of the display! Well – the shrine is back, the photo of me is there and also the London style Christmas card we sent them nearly two years ago!

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They’ll be running the official aid station outside of their shop on race day, which is about 2.5 miles into the marathon.

I then headed home to relax a little and get my bike ready for racking and also my bike and run transition bags – both of which have to be handed in this afternoon.

Saturdays breakfast, lunch and dinner

Saturdays breakfast, lunch and dinner

Post lunch we headed back to the pier with my bike and I went through to rack my bike. Having done this before I know what it’s like but it is really bloody impressive. As I ride a Cervelo bike I was given (my second) trucker cap (as they’d run out of mens t-shirts) and after seeing Katie again (of course!) I was personally escorted into and around transition to park my bike, hang my bags and generally get a feel for the place before it’s dark and gloomy at 5am tomorrow morning when I return.

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DCIM108GOPRO

Industry folk counting saddles, pedals, wheels, frames etc. to see what everybody is using in the race

The bike is racked

The bike is racked

These are the bike-to-run transition bags

These are the bike-to-run transition bags

Swim-to-bike transition bags

Swim-to-bike transition bags

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Guess who?

Guess who?

As part of my pre-race fuelling strategy (er, eat anything and don’t change a thing) we headed to the best shave ice shop in Kailua-Kona – the Scandinavian Shave Ice store.

I went for banana colada, mai tai and butterscotch flavoured concoction. It was lovely and the intense sugar rush will no doubt help tomorrow on race day.

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We headed home to the condo, relaxed and watched a perfect sunset.

Today there’s not been a single cloud in the sky about Kailua-Kona. OK, there’s plenty about three miles away up in the hills but nothing down here at sea level. With a bit of luck we’ll get a few clouds tomorrow but whatever the weather gods throw at us we’re all in it together.

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Posted in David, Kona Diaries 2015
2 comments on “Kona Diaries 2015 – Day 16 – Race Week Friday – Almost time for the big dance
  1. Emma says:

    As always a fantastic blog. It has been fantastic to share this week with you and Sharon in the build up to what I’m sure will be a great day tomorrow. I hope you enjoy the race as certainly I know I will enjoy cheering xx

    PS on a more serious note, I definitely need to do some proper sunbathing as the contrast in my skin colour between shoulder and back in the photo above us scary!

  2. Vera Darlington says:

    Up, up and away – it’s the big day! I’ll be thinking of you and checking in to see the event. All the very, very best of luck. Your mad Auntie Vera xx

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