10 hours to go
Well I managed to get some internet access so thought it relevant to post my last blog before I am in the water at 6:32 tomorrow morning with the rest of the other age group male athletes. Today was meant to be a relaxing day but how can you relax when you are getting ready for the biggest race of your life. The last minute things are being put into order including mixing your Gatorade in your bottles and ensuring you are well prepared with your nutrition plan.
So today started with me knowing that I had to take my bike down to registration and put it into transition. Transition was open from 1pm to 5pm with a compulsory race briefing at 5:15pm. The aim was to put the bike in transition earlier in the day and then chill for the afternoon before walking from the apartment to the the race briefing ready for 5:15pm. At around 2:30pm I put the bike on the car and thanks to the parking fairies I was able to secure a park close to registration. I registered, got my timing band checked and then put my inexpensive bike into transition next to some very expensive bikes. The bike position was a good one, right next to the swim exit so easy to find and easy to remember where to run to. I was tattooed with my race numbers before jumping back into the car and heading back to the apartment for that relaxing afternoon.
At about 3:30 whilst I was getting my gear ready for the race I had this dreaded thought that I had forgotten my race number belt. A small thing but any little item that is left at this stage could be a major drama. I could just pin the race number on me but the fact of the matter is, I didn't want to. I have pinned them on in the past and you can quickly pull your wetsuit off, with your race number leaving 4 big holes in whatever it is pinned to. I have a brand new racing suit that I was not too keen on doing this too so decided to do a bolt to the shops to find one. After a quick google search I found a shoe shop in Tauranga which may be able to assist. I jumped in the car and made it to the shop and found exactly what I was looking for, at the bargain price of $12. $12 to save a $280 tri suit...priceless!!!
It was back to the apartment before heading off to the race briefing and getting there with 5 minutes to spare. As we found our spots on the grass, I saw a group of guys chatting in front of me. One of them was my mate Cameron whom I swim with. I had a quick chat with him regarding the course and the weather forecast, saw his expensive helmet and sat back down with the family. Whilst sitting there I was watching Lachlan playing with a strangers feet before looking up and seeing my old Triathlon Coach from Melbourne, Oscar Carlson. Oscar was an awesome coach and the only reason I left him was to head over to Auckland with work. It was amazing to see him. This guy is over 70, doing a Half Ironman tomorrow and has a pacemaker!! We have a brief catch up and he introduced me to his crew that he had brought over to compete. It was weird to see him again but awesome to see him. I hope to see him on the course sometime tomorrow as I will certainly be cheering him home. Not long after that my mate Olivier came and sat down and we listened to all the ways that you could potentially be disqualified tomorrow. I listened intently and then it was time to walk back home.
Once home it was straight into the final pack. Pulling everything out of the bag at least 3 times visualising the transition and making sure that I do not forget anything for tomorrow morning. You have to be careful as you have to pack for what you are going to take into transition including a pump to pump your tyres, your running shoes etc and you also have to pack for what you need for the swim including goggles, swim cap etc and then you have to pack what you will wear to the race and after the race as transition will not be open until later in the day. The last thing you want is to forget to bring a second pair of shoes (especially on cold races) so that you have to leave your shoes in transition and then walk around in bare feet until the race has finished. Anyway it as all packed now. A large home-made spag bol dinner was had, plenty of fluids and now it is time for bed. Tomorrow think of me at around 12pm. If all goes according to plan I will hopefully at the latest be crossing the finish line at this time. Will give you an update later on but it is now time to see how these Vibram's go in their first Half Ironman.