Todays picture is one of the few “landmarks” on the Queen K – I’ve passed it numerous times over the years and it never fails to make me smile.
Today has been an absolute classic Kona day, the sort that brings me back for more. It started nice and early meeting friends for a swim. Out to the halfway point, across to the permanent halfway marker (which seems to be where the dolphins hang out) and back. And yes, at the permanent buoy we saw a lot of dolphins though other than a single jump and spin which the others saw but I only saw the splash it was not at very close quarters. Swimming out I had both Kerri and Mel on my feet, they are both strong swimmers and I think we’ll line up together at the start. Both are coached by jo and have qualified this year for the first time. It’s a credit to Jo to have two qualifiers in only her second year of coaching. Both Kerri and Mel look on great form having swum and biked with them both. I reckon they’ve got an excellent race ahead of them.
As we swam towards the permanent buoy I decided to try and drop them, I put a very VERY determined effort in and I swear I got a gap at which point I eased up and they got back on. Mel confirmed the gap though Kerri still denying it … if she doesn’t fess up by tomorrows swim I’m going to make an even more concerted effort to drop them at some point ;o)
Swimming back Mel decided she should finally swim somewhere other than my feet so I only had Kerri on my feet as I approached the 1/4 mile marker. There was something floating in the water which I almost swam into – it was a turtle. Kerri and I treaded water watching it for a while when I spotted Roger and waved him over. He was swimming straight for me and thus was on a collision course … he didn’t see it and I had to stop him. The turtle then, incredibly gracefully, swam to the bottom. What a lovely thing to see.
We regrouped and headed to Tantes for a long leisurely breakfast.
I chilled for a bit before heading out on the Queen K with Kerri. We went as far as the Scenic Point (the second land mark on the Queen K). I was riding really strong and felt very good indeed. I was stunned find Kerri still on my wheel after such a solid effort. We took some photos, Kerri blagged drinks and a banana from the Hanes Tour guys before we headed back to a coffee shop where we met Mel, Roger, Brett and Pete.
I dropped in on the Oomph! guys on the way back to pick up my race kit.
They’ve done me proud – white full zip top with little pockets near the shoulders for ice plus shorts all with EverydayTraining logos. They also had a swim speedskin for me, an Oomph! cap and some Oomph! arm coolers. The latter I put on for the ride back. They are white and have pockets for ice at the top. I only had warm water in my bottle but our soaked them with that and set off – immediately my arms felt cool ! I was well impressed. Originally I imagined these only for the run but I think I will wear on the bike. I will post up more pictures over the next few days and give a review of the speedskin once I’ve swum in it.
I headed for a run with Kerri off the bike. Phew! I felt good running which was a relief after yesterdays run. We kept a decent pace whilst chatting the whole way running out onto the Queen K before heading back along the final 2 miles of the run.
Finally time to get to work on my tan. I know that many readers have been following eagerly my attempts to get a decent tan. The reason for this is that everytime I’ve raced here despite my best efforts (which I admit are worst than most) to avoid getting burnt on race day (and yes I do apply suncream on race day) I’ve ALWAYS had some bad sunburn. It seemed to me the best approach is to build up a tan AND apply suncream. However, I’m not a fan of sunbathing or sun cream so I sunbath briefly without suncream. It doesn’t take long here to get some sun so I started with about 20 minutes each side ;o). Today was a little more confusing with the sun coming and going so I rather lost track. Assessing the damage just now I think there isn’t any !
Following this I went with Mel to help her chose some vibrams. That was a long haul ! Enough said.
Finally we got to dinner – Bongo Bens again – as good as ever.