**Two parts to this post – firstly, some tracking info, and then a summary of the day before the race**
I wanted to do a quick post just in case anyone other than my Mum & Dad would like to follow along on Saturday. I also wanted to say how absolutely overwhelmed I’ve been with the number of messages of support and all the good luck wishes I’ve received. For someone who considers himself quite a selfish person, I don’t really feel like I deserve the attention of so many amazing friends, members of family or even just acquaintances from social media.
When I’m roasting away out on my bike on the Queen K tomorrow I’ll certainly be drawing on those messages to spur me on and keep on trucking. I would buy you all a drink when I get back, but I’m already bankrupt from this trip.
John Levison from the Tri247 website has put together a brilliant article on how to track both the professionals and age-group athletes over the course of the day;
That explains everything much better than I ever could. In summary though, the best ways to track are;
- Live TV coverage on the IronmanNow facebook page
- The ‘IRONMAN tracker’ app from the app store
- I’m hoping Katie might have a chance to update my Instagram story with a few updates, but I want her to enjoy herself and have a few cocktails so don’t hold us to that!
- My race number is 2280.
The professional race starts at 5.35pm UK time on Saturday, and I should be underway at 6.05pm. If you get a chance to watch the race, I’d recommend it, it’s just absolutely nuts.
This one is a tricky one. After qualifying at Ironman UK, sporting director Paul Burton and I sat down and put together what we thought would be an achievable set of goals.
However, since arriving, I’ve realised a couple of things. Firstly, I’ve never experienced conditions quite like this. The heat and humidity is absolutely insane. I could completely blow out in the heat and be walking for miles on end. I don’t plan to, but I just don’t know how my body is going to react.
Secondly, this week I’ve rediscovered my passion for triathlon, and realised that I’m doing this for fun and because I love it and everything about the community that comes with it. I’m so privileged to be here racing in the World Championships with some of the best athletes on the planet. I’m determined to spend the entire race with a massive grin on my face and (at least try to) love every minute of it, however tough it gets. I absolutely cannot wait to get going.
That being said, I’ve always been someone who likes to put the cards on the table for all to see; it motivates me if others know what I’m shooting for. It’s most likely that I’ll swim between 1:10 and 1:15, based on recent training and swimming this week in the ocean. The bike is so dependant on conditions; the wind could be blowing an absolute gale or be relatively calm. Something around 5 hours would be good – anything below above expectations/I’ve gone too hard (haha).
One of my main goals is centred around the run. I’m yet to have a good ironman marathon, and if I can still be running strong in the closing half of the race, I’ll be delighted. Passing people in the final miles is a wonderful feeling, and if I get it right on race day I hope to be experiencing that exact feeling. Offer me a 3:15 now and I’ll snap your hand off.
Top 25 in the world (in my age-group) and I’ll be buying the beers for the next year. Failing that – ‘DCL’ – don’t come last. I’m sure there will be tears if I’m lucky enough to be running down Ali’i drive and towards the finish line. I just want to do my family, friends, coach and most importantly, myself proud. Then Katie and I are going to be drinking all the beers. Who knows; I might even have a hangover.
Day 4 – Kona Eve
I thought once I’d grown out of Christmas, I’d never again get that feeling you used to have as a kid, knowing that tomorrow was the big day. Scratch that, it’s back!
My body clock is inching forward day by day, and I managed to sleep until 5.30 this morning. I had a bit of breakfast on the balcony watching the sun rise over the sea, waiting for sleeping beauty to awake from her slumber.
With the bike fixed and back in my possession, I took it for a quick spin down Ali’i drive to check all was well and good; fingers crossed we seem to be good to go. Bike don’t fail me now.
Katie and I headed into town for a quick splash in the sea, which resulted in a near fall-out as I came up behind her and pretended to be a shark. That might come back to bite me.
We then had yet another wander around the expo, this time trying out the rather swanky Normatec recovery boots. If I had a spare grand or so lying around, I’d definitely buy a pair. Unfortunately, I do not.
Back to the apartment so I could wander around in endless circles putting stuff in different piles and attempting to pack my transition bags, which have to be handed in the day before the race. The 4th discipline in triathlon is logistics; probably my strongest of the 4.
After a spot of lunch and some super-chill time, we made one final trip into town to go and rack the bike and hang my bags in the transition area. In Kona, all the bikes are set up on the pier. I worked out that overnight there will be around £12 million worth of gear on that pier. I hope they’ve got some good security guards.
I walked into transition with 3 time defending champion Daniela Ryf, who looked all business and ready to go. She asked me for a photo with her, but I had to rush knowing Katie was waiting for me.
With all the admin and faff done it was back to get the feet up and get ready for the big day ahead tomorrow. An early dinner and an early night beckons. See you on the other side.