Firstly, I’d like to say, “thank you” to everyone that has supported me, whether you made noise about it or not.
So, a new post has appeared on this page – yes, that means that I’m still here and I didn’t drown! 🙂
Finding myself unintentionally standing near this race’s namesake and his gang started at the pre-race swim class on Friday night was the first of many times over the weekend, to the point where it almost became more normal for him to be around than not! The class was run by the legendary swim coach Paul Newsome of Swim Smooth who’d come from Australia especially to do this class…more, significantly, about Paul later on.
I’d been advised not to swim the evening before to make sure I was fresh and the wetsuit dry, so my attendance to watch this class after walking the bike course to check the course and road condition was about building a relationship with the lake.
Heading off to the dinner that I’d booked weeks before when booking the hotel in one of the hotel’s four or more restaurants, I soon recognised one of the voices in the large group at the biggest table. With an inward grin, I got stuck in to the menu, and wow, lovely food.
After dinner I walked down the hill to the lake and spent some time in thought and getting comfortable with the lake.
Heading back to the hotel, I asked at Reception whether I’d be able to get into the hotel during the day and was told that that information was in my letter. Upon telling them that I didn’t know what letter they were talking about, they presented me with a welcome letter that I should have been given at check-in, with apologies. This letter said that we would have limited access to the rooms until 1630H which seemed fine for me.
Then it was time for a hot bath to loosen up my legs, a stretching session and sleep.
I made the mistake of switching the TV on while stretching and finding that the film ‘Senna’ was on, but after a Deep Heat rub and stretching, I disciplined myself and stuck the TV on sleep timer.
Race morning, I woke up well at six and went to get hot water to make green tea. It helps the body absorb nutrients and has a refreshing, cleaning effect so every day starts with this and a supplement shake before breakfast.
Heading across to the communal breakfast I checked with Reception that we’d be able to access the room until 1630H and was surprised and disappointed to be told that we had to check out at 1100H. When I said I’d be in the middle of the lake at that time, they kindly said they would allow me until 1300H. Not what you’d expect from a five-star hotel.
Without clear information on where breakfast was held, I asked a group of guys who then shared a table with me and told me that they were giving free muscle recovery sessions and invited me to go to their tent for treatment before the race.
While we ate and chatted, the triathlon legend Chris McCormack wandered into the room and got himself some juice before sitting down. It was so surreal to see him here, and he was so unassuming, happy to sit by himself until his friends turned up.
After hunting down some muesli and yoghurt with forest fruits (blueberries are another religious breakfast ritual), I was pleased to find smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. There was no way I was going to touch the grilled meats!
After breakfast, I strolled past Chris the legend sat by the door and went to get myself together for the race. I was glad to have woken up early enough to do all I needed to, get into breakfast as soon as it started at 0630H and have time to relax a bit in my room and take time before having to rush out.
Putting on my sponsors’ branded clothes over the race suit, I took my gear out to register, pump up and rack the bike and prepare my transition area, remembering to put the bike in a low gear.
Coming up by the end of Monday 14th July…Race Report part two: my first ever race! …um, and second ever race!