Kona Diary – Day 6

Family are on there way. 

I just hope they have a better trip than me as I was stuck in LA customs for 2 hr meaning I missed my connection which meant I had to spend the night and then arrive via Honolulu the next day.

5 years ago they made the same trip – so they already know what they are heading too and so will be so excited to get here. I just can not wait to they arrive.Family arriveThis was them arriving 5 years ago – lets see how they look when they arrive tomorrow

Triathlon, especially Ironman and even more especially Hawaii is a funny thing as it takes over your life and often leaves little room for much else. Dedication, commitment, motivation, hard training, financial investment. All for what? Well for the pro athletes its to try to be the best of the best, to make big money, to reap the rewards of all the hard work to take the fame and the glory. But for age group athletes why?? there is no money and there is little fame or glory but it is a massive achievement, this is Hawaii Ironman the most iconic race in our sport, not everyone gets to compete so those that do should feel honoured and feel they have achieved something truly special. But ultimately the only ones that really care about how you do are your friends, family and yourself. So I feel incredibly lucky that the ones that care the most are here to share the experience with me. For so many triathlon seems to be at the expense of their family, I am fortunate that my family are not only supportive but actively involved as all compete themselves. I really hope in the coming years as I get slower I can keep helping my boys and wife get faster. To be honest in some things they can already kick my butt now, and I love it.

Watch out the Hobson are about to hit Kona 🙂

Kona Diary – Day 5

Things are hotting up.

Morning swim is starting to get busy now and still over a week to go. There is a definite buzz that is increasing in intensity. But there is also this underline fear that the race draws close and it is going to be tough, maybe the toughest, we are going to suffer? Are we physically and more importantly mentally ready, we don’t know but we hope that we are. Time will tell. 20151001_081858One of the most feared element of the race is the drop into the Natural Energy Lap – this comes at about the 26km mark on the run and is normally hot hot hot – but once you come out its only about 10km home!! So i went running there today in the midday heat and made my peace with the Hawaii gods – now I am not afraid but actually looking forward to the Energy Lab. (well if I keep telling myself this I may be ok)

20151001_140229  The remaining Team Freespeed members will arrive today so looking forward to catching up with them all. And then only 2 days to my family arrive which really for me is the number 1 reason I am doing this race! This may sound wrong but I will talk more about this tomorrow.

wedding photo

Kona Diary – Day 4

Were are all the Dolphins? I seem to find myself constantly staring out to sea as I know they are out there and people keep seeing them and swimming with them but they seem to be hiding from me! Maybe they are threatened by my awesome swim speed!

Anyway I had a lovely ride this morning the first half went super fast as I was riding with Jodie and it was just great catching up with her. I have so much respect as she along with a few others a true hard core and have not got to were they are without a huge commitment and perseverance  and a fair amount of natural talent. Along the way I managed to help a damson in destress as she had a flat and her spare tube valve was to short! Then 1km further on we met a (what’s the male term for Damson in distress?) well we met one who turned out to be Tim Don – he was sitting in the verge and from a distance looked like he had either crashed or was a homeless person selling stones to passers by. As it turned out he had a mechanical that we could not help with but he had already sent back for a rescue party. But as the true professional he is he went out again in the afternoon to get his session done.

As I bump into people out here that I have known for many years but not seen for many years it really is special to be able to catch up again. But it also reminds me of the people that made my first trip out here so special back in 1994. Here is a photo that was used as part of a Speedo advertising campaign, with Robin Brew and Julian Jenkinson. Both played a big part in the sport around the same time as I was pro and both made the trip to Hawaii a very memorable one.

speedo addOh I aslo bumped into Alison Rowatt and Frazer Cartmel – so now Team Freespeed is up to 4 with more arriving tomorrow.

Kona Diary – Day 3

Another beautiful day here in Kona. Good night sleep followed by a bit of swimming / biking / running and even shopping! But not in that order.

20150929_064927

Heading out on the bike course with Charlie and Alain – 2 really motivated fast but chilled athletes. Think I best stay at the back for this bike ride:)

One thing that I have really come to realise is that this race for me is not so much about what happens in the race but about the journey to get here and then been able to share the journey with friends and family. I am fit and I do want to race well but this would just be the icing not the cake of what I hope will be an awesome experience.  So this next photo is one for my boys 🙂 special memories

Bubba Gump

Heading out tomorrow morning for what I have been promised will be an easy bike ride with Jodie Swallow – I know Jodie quite well and I also know that her easy is not quite the same as my easy!! But anyway it will be a great chance to catch up with her. Just for the record I will not be doing all of what she has planned.

Oh look its 8.30 – my bed time 🙂

Kona Diary – Day 2

So after just over 50 hours of travelling I did arrive safe and sound and very happy to see fellow freespeed team mate Charlie waiting to collect me at Kona airport. Even better my bike turned up safe and sound as well, which I was really not expecting!

To me Kona is a strange place and its hard to put my finger on why I think its strange, its not a place I would come for a holiday, its not a place I would come to train, its not even a place I would do any other race – but its special and it lovely to be back. 20150928_081320    Dig me beach – water this year is 2 or 3 degrees warmer than previous years

20150928_081934Freespeed team now up to 3 – 4 more to arrive – just a coincidence we all have the same blue seventy swim trunks

20150928_091921 The thing I had been most looking forward too – Breakfast at Huggo on the rocks looking out on the swim course.

 

 

Kona Day 1

5 years ago I came back to Kona after a 15 year gap and posted a daily diary (I think they call this a blog nowadays) but thought it would be fun to do the same this time around. I am planning to keep it short and promise to not include photos of food or sunsets!

So day 1 has not quite gone according to Plan as I have not actually made it to Kona yet! I managed to miss my connection in LA. I had 3 hours to get about 400m but never made it! The que for the customs was like been in Disney World but without thrill of the ride at the end! To make the time pass quicker you do get the PA announcement every 5 mins – Welcome to America 🙂

But anyway things could always be worse – we could loose the Rugby to Wales.

Thought it maybe fun this time around to include some photos of days of old, photos that mean something quite personal and special to me.Hawaii 1994 - waterworld

 

This was from Hawaii 1994 – descending down from Hawi. In the background is the set from the Kevin Costner Classic! Waterworld – I remember hearing gun fire and explosions as you biked by as they were shooting a scene. Not looking so windy that day.

Training Week at La Garenne

Anyone fancy a week of great but relaxed training with me here in the sunny Charente Maritime, our home in France? www.livingfrance.org Self catering accommodation in our well equipped charming French Gites September 7th to 14th (dates are flexible). To include the option of local bike sportive “La Gerald Simonnot” around the most beautiful Cognac countryside – no mountains but a truly challenging route which I have done the last few years. Options include 132km, 108km and 62km. http://www.ats-sport.com/index.php?file=fiche_course&id=3282&epreuve=La+G%E9rard+Simonnot (38 euros entry fee but includes a good meal after and probably a bottle of the local Pineau). Price for a week based on accommodation and coaching: £250 / person based on shared accommodation but own bedroom £200 / person based on shared accommodation and shared bedroom. Please email for prices if you want to bring partners or family members who will not be joining the training. Kids are also more then welcome. Optional extras include: Airport pick up Evening meals Group BBQ Entry to sportive Any questions and please message me. And if you know anyone else who may be interested please forward onto them.new pool

September Training or maybe just relaxing!

September is a great time to visit the Charente maritime region of France, the weather is normally fantastic, the roads are quite and it is just perfect for a late summer get away. So whether you want to join us for some late season training or just want to come for a relaxing holiday we have availability and at very good late season prices.

new poolDuring September I will be putting in some hard training in my final preparation for Hawaii IM so if you want to join me that would be great. But if you just want to take in some easy bike rides and visit some vine yards than we also have plenty to offer.

For more information please visit www.livingfrance.org