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Kona Diary


When it comes to the actual race, you can check my progress at www.ironmanlive.com My race number is 883. In the meantime, here's a little insight into the warm up to the big event (Remember the time in Hawaii is 23hrs behind that of NZ, so the diary may seem a day out!)

Friday 28th September
Arrived in Honolulu at Midnight. Travelled in my "SKINS", so got a few funny looks from fellow passengers (especially in the Air NZ Lounge), but they definitely help!!!

Saturday 29th September
First day in Hawaii. Decided to have a "holiday" on Oahu, so it was Waikiki Beach for the family for the first week. As the only exercise prescribed was a 1/2hr swim, there's an excellent lagoon which is sheltered from the big waves that's about 150m wide, so a great place to swim safely, temperatures in the low 30's.

Sunday 30th September
First chance to get the bike out a give it a whirl. Drove to the North Shore of Ohau and then cycled for 1hr, followed by a 1/2hr run. First 1/2hr of the ride was head on into wind and it rained heavily, but the rain was nice and warm! Pretty pleased I bought my training wheels as the Hawaii roads have their fair share of pot holes to remind you of home. Great introduction to the heat as the roads were hot as the rain dried off... Although after training in Oman and Singapore earlier this year, it was not as hot, so quite comfortable, but the temperature was only just about 30 degrees, however was great to jump in the warm sea to cool off after exercising. First time out in my new Asics Tri Suit (that was made specially for me) and it felt great.

Monday 1st October
First chance to put on both my Asics Tri Suit and BlueSeventy Swim Suit (as I'll be wearing both of these on race day) and do a 3km sea swim. The water was beautiful, clean and warm, but thanks to the strong winds a little choppy. Was good to get a long sea swim tucked away. My 9 year old son George joined me and he managed a 2km swim himself. Doesn't matter how far you swim out to sea there's always a tourist in the water on an inflatable lilo getting in the way. Went site seeing with the family to the east side of Oahu (looking for a suitable road for tomorrows 4 hour bike ride). Sneaked a 30 minute run in just before dinner, then sample some Kona Longboard Lager at a bar on the beach (when in Rome eh?).

Tuesday 2nd October
Up at the crack of dawn and did a 4 hour cycle from Waikiki to Mokapu and back. Was great to get out on the open road. This road was part of the original ironman course before it moved to Kona, so a nostalgic ride. Seems there were many seasons in one day ranging from blistering sun, to gusting winds and then a total soaking around the 3 hour mark. Still managed to get back to the hotel for 10:00am, then went off to the beach for some surf lessons with the kids.

Wednesday 3rd October
Up at 7:30am for a 1 hour run before breakfast. It was pretty hot first thing in the morning. Following a bit of research, I managed to track down the route of the marathon that made up the original run route of the first ironman, so it was another nostalgic bit of exercise. Already swimming at Waikiki (including another 1 hour session after breakfast) I must have done some of the "Waikiki Roughwater Swim", so that's those legs ticked of. Ready for Kona now.

Thursday 4th October
Nice early morning bike ride, cycling from Waikiki to Sandy Bay and back, nice 1.5 hour ride, followed by an easy run around the park in Waikiki for 1/2 hour. Easy training day today, so loads of time to get to the beach for some more surfing with the kids, also walked up the Diamond Head Crater, which was a great way to stretch those calf muscles.

Friday 5th October
Was supposed to swim the course!! But as we are not yet in Kona, decided to take the day off exercise (yes, I know Walter - Coach will understand) and go spent a day walking around Pearl Harbour and do a bit of site seeing with the family, especially as it's a relatively hard day training tomorrow. What a truly amazing experience Pearl Harbour was, visiting the USS Arizona Memorial, boarding the USS Bowfin Submarine and then USS Missouri Battleship, where the Japenese surrender was signed, signaling the end of the second world war and then went on to fight in Desert Storm before being decomissioned once again (bit like old Lardman making one more comeback!!!).

Saturday 6th October
Got up at 4:00am to listen to the second half of the RWC 2007 Quarter Final (England vs Australia) and then straight back to bed with a smile on our faces. Up again at 8:45am, this time we found a pay pe view American internet site and paid US$14.99 to watch the other Quarter Final and what a game!!! After breakfast, 30min swim in a rough sea, followed by 1.5 hour ride and then 30 min run. Thanks to the family acting as support crew I was able to do the three disciplines one after the other (last time all three combined before the big day). After lunch back to the beach for more surfing!!!

Sunday 7th October
Easy training day of 30min Swim and 30min run, so spent 6 hours running around Hawaii's water park (I'm sure the coach would approve). Probably wouldn't approve of the brusied ribs and cut foot I got surfing the day before, but afer riding the surf machine at the water park, I reckon I just about have the hang of it now... Last night in Oahu, had a great time with the family, looking forward to hitting Kona and catching up with some real atheletes.

Monday 8th October
Finally arrived in Kona. The place was everyting I was expecting it to be and more. Went for a 1 hour run on the run course and went down to check out the swim course (my it looked long). Was great to see the place, looked just like all the videos/tv clips and the nerves started to kick in, especially with so many elite athletes around you!

Tuesday 9th October
Got up early in the morning and went for a quick 1km swim on the course. There were hundreds of people on the course and a local coffee shop were serving iced coffee's from a boat at the 750m buoy. Drove to Hawi which is the bike turnaround and then cycled back. Was great to get out on the bike course and feel the strong cross winds that just came at you from all directions. My cycle was only 50km long, as I took an easy option of a lift from the support crew. Had my photo taken alongside 46 other NZ atheletes and participated in the Parade of Nations, representing NZ, such a humbling experience.

Wednesday 9th October
Got down to Ironman Village at 9:00am and registered. Have the wrist band now, so I know it's all real and going to happen. Went for a 1.5km swim, the water was so rough you couldn't see the buoys between strokes and people were actually surfing only 100m away. Rob/Kellee convinced me to go for a 30min run on the hottest part of the course to "savour the atomosphere"!!! Dropped my bike off for a pre-race tune up. Getting all nevous now... The place is so busy with cruise ships dropping of people who come to see the race, loads of spectators, athletes, truly amazing environment.

Thursday 10th October
Training day off, so went to Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook was killed and then on to the Hawaii Volcanoes national park... Travelled by car around Hawaii Island (Big Island) and saw the big volcanoe and lava flows and many other spectacular views. Went to the the welcome dinner and pre-race briefing it was a truly a great atomospehre.
 
Friday 12th October
Went for a 20min swim and 500m along the course a local cafe was giving away coffee on board a boat, so it was great to swim up grab a quick expresso, before swimming back.  Paid out us$60 to have the bike tuned up, so took it for a 20min ride, first time out with the race wheels on.  Later in the day took the bike and gear bags down to the transition.  The nerves kicked into gear as I walked around the transition area.  So salmon pasta dinner and in bed for 8:00pm (as it's a 4:30am alarm call)
 
Saturday 13th October
... well, you'll just have to wait and find out what happened...

 
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