Monday, October 12, 2009

Kona Diaries - Race Day Morning

From Sergeant Sam: -

Race day dawned with a clear sky and Carmen got to start with an hour to spare. So, all was well albeit she was a bit apprehensive about the swim. Her plan was to start at the opposite end of the start line to the pier and gradually merge with the ‘traffic’ along the line of buoys.

The race for all age groupers started at 7am prompt to the sound of a cannon being fired from the Kona pier. Boom! And then they were off, all 1800 or so athletes. What a sight that was! The sea conditions looked relatively calm although there looked to be quite a swell and a current pushing the swimmers out to sea. This is probably why no swim records were set this year.

I watched Andy Potts and a local guy from Hawaii come out of the water in around 44mins. How awesome is that? They were at least a couple of minutes ahead of the rest of the field.

With the athletes streaming out of the water, the next vantage point to watch the race was on Palini Drive, the hill climb on the bike course that takes the athletes out of Kona town. Wit Raymond was there whipping up the crowd of supporters and calling out the names of the competitors as they emerged from T1. This was a good place to catch the riders going relatively slow as they cycled close to the spectators, Tour de France style.

I caught Andy Potts the race leader at that time, Norm Stadler, a very determined looking Chrissie Wellington and a gaggle of Team TBB athletes. Not forgetting of course our very own Carmen. Well done Carmen, you did ok in the swim! And she looked comfortable and smiling on the bike (probably feeling relieved). Not long afterwards, Mr Yee came along looking good and smiling as ever. At 72 years young, Yee is an inspiration to us all…

With everyone out on the bike course, it was time for me to head home for a belated breakfast before the afternoon session begins that will go on until Carmen and Yee have finished.

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