Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kona Dairies - Race Day minus 1

From Sergeant Sam: -

Carmen and I got up on time this morning and we were walking towards the swim practice area by 7am. There were lots of people already in the water since sunrise in Kona is around 6am. We dropped our stuff at the Gatorade tent as usual and tip-toed across the road careful not to trip over the construction of the finishing chute.

As we entered the water, Carmen recognized a girl from Singapore also called Leong Shawn who races in Malaysia. She had just finished her swim to the coffee-bar boat and back. Carmen reckons she is a weak swimmer and she will suffer if today’s sea conditions are similar tomorrow.

The chop had disappeared from yesterday but this was replaced by a significant swell which will not be good for those that suffer from motion sickness. What was more important, Carmen felt more comfortable in the water today and she seems less freaked-out about the swim. As we hung around at the beach after our short swim, we saw Alex Bok about to go for a swim. I had an image of this pale and unfit mat saleh that would find it difficult to swim in the sea conditions. How wrong I was. Hats off to Alex, he took off like a seasoned cross-Channel swimmer and that was the last we saw of him. I presume he turned back at some point ….. otherwise he’s headed for Los Angels some 5000 miles away!

To complete her last day’s taper, Carmen cycled back to the condo (8k) and went for a 10-15min run immediately afterwards. Carmen strategically chose the GU tent on the run course on Ali’i Drive as the turn-around point. Little did I know that I would end up carrying back about 20 packets of gel, 10 packets of recovery powder and 10 packets of energy drink and a free tee shirt and a turquoise pair of men’s underwear. Carmen had it all planed of course and I was the pack horse brought along to carry all the stuff back. I should have known better!

After a late breakfast, we started to get the bike and the race bags prepared which did not take too long. Bike check-in started at 2.30pm for Carmen’s race number and we got there early so that we could get back for an early dinner.

However, we found that hanging around the bike check-in was a good opportunity to see some spectacular bikes and to see some of the pros. We were lucky to catch Faris Al Sultan, Michaele Jones, Bella Bayliss and husband Stephen and Chrissie Wellington.

And full marks to Chrissie. I shouted at her to stop and pose for the folks back in Malaysia and of course…she did! Nothing seems to be too much trouble for her; she is truly a great ambassador for the sport.

The next challenge is to try and get some sleep before race day. The alarm is set for 5am and we aim to be at race start by 0545. Carmen’s race starts at 7am sharp (1am KL time on Sunday) so let’s wish her and Mr Yee all the very best for a great and enjoyable day at the World Ironman Championships 2009. We can follow them both on Just plug in their race numbers 1159 and 235 respectively. Malaysia Boleh!



Denis Oakley said...

Go Carmen!

sofiantriathlete said...

All the best. Brilliant stuff Sam and Simon