The Ironman World Championship race is tomorrow, Saturday. Yes, tomorrow. Less than 24 hours away. Actually, I’m writing this at 5:30pm on Friday, so in 12 hours time I’ll probably be crapping myself somewhere in the transition area on the pier in Kailua-Kona! I cannot wait! But first we have Friday to get through.
I could have had a lie-in this morning but seeing as though I’ve been up and out of bed before six in the morning every day since I got here (what kind of holiday is this!) I thought I ought to keep up the unbroken streak. 5:45am alarm, coffee on the lanai and then we headed off to the pier.
I didn’t really need to swim today but my ace support crew (well, they’d better be ace) of Andy and Emma arrived last night from the UK and we had planned to meet at the pier for a 7am swim. It was lovely to see them. They’ve come here especially to support at the race which is unbelievably lovely of them. In fact, they’ve never been to an Ironman race to support. This could be a good one. I hope I can put on a good show for them on Saturday.
We met, we kissed, we cuddled (and that was just Andy and I) and then Emma licked me. I believe it was some sort of good luck message from Kirsty back home. It was lurvely.
The three of us then togged up (or down in my case) and hit the ocean. We swam to the boat. We drank coffee. Andy and Emma got some cool Coffees of Hawaii swim caps and then we swam back to shore.
After a refreshing cool shower at the outside showers we went over to Splashers for breakfast. Hawaiian sweet-bread French toast, poached eggs and bacon hit the spot. So much so that I skipped lunch!
We then strolled around the expo and seeing as though Andy and Emma had just arrived managed to blag some freebies from the stands. Another successful mission.
The day before the race I should be keeping off my feet a bit so we headed over to Huggos to watch Breakfast with Bob (and Paul). We arrived just as an interview with Ironman CEO Andrew Messick was finishing. The next guest, Kathleen McCartney was milling around and came and had a chat with us. Kathleen won Ironman Hawaii in 1982. She didn’t realise she’d won at the time as she had just overtaken Julie Moss who was crawling on the ground just metres from the finish line. The 1982 Ironman broadcast of the Julie Moss/Kathleen McCartney finish on ABC Sports put the sport on the map and it wouldn’t be what it is today without the events of that day in 1982.
We had a great chat and her advice to me was to shave my arms. Yes, my arms. Apparently the feeling when you swim is just amazing.
I’ll take her word for it!
The four of us sat down and watched a lovely interview with a lovely woman. It was really interesting.
Post interview Sharon and I headed home whilst Andy and Emma bartered a few more deals at the Rudy Project sunglass store! They then came round for a chat and a drink and then headed off to the beach.
I packed my transition bags (swim to bike, and bike to run) and then headed to bike racking. The finish line area is really taking shape now. I look forward to seeing the finished product on Saturday. When I run/walk/crawl through it.
As you head into bike check-in I saw one of my favourite volunteers. I’ve completely forgotten her name (sorry!) but I’ve seen her loads of different times over the past week or so. She picked me out, checked my bike and gave it a special green M-dot sticker. She then kissed her finger and passed it to the sticker. She told me to think of her, ensure I took on my nutrition and hoped for a tail wind behind me. It was lovely. Update: Her name is Katie. She’s still lovely.
You then pass through the Kona bike count people. This is a group of people who tally up every bike that takes part in the race. The count the different brands and components in use - bike frame, wheels, saddles, pedals, power meters, helmets, handlebars etc. etc. It’s nuts. This is all used for marketing purposes.
The bike is racked
When I come out of the swim I’ll be grabbing one of these bags. My bag.
I then run down this chute to the end of the pier to collect my bike. After the bike ride I run back up here to collect my running shoes.
My running shoes are here… somewhere!
Bike transition - Kona!
The finish area is getting there.
After bike check-in and racking was complete Sharon and I headed home. We watched the sunset, I caught up with Thursdays blog and wrote this entry. An early-ish night for me is on the cards but I’ve no idea how I’ll sleep. We’ll be heading out at about 4am Saturday morning (3pm UK time Saturday afternoon) and heading down to the race.
It really really is nearly here. The sun has just set, it’s getting dark and when I next see the sun rise I’ll be swimming with a couple of thousand other people in the biggest, baddest and most awesome triathlon race in the world - the Ironman World Championship!