the first day of 'race week' and the transformation of the town has begun! Banners , flags and giant inflatables ....official bag check at the pier for the ever increasing crowds of morning swimmers and a lot more faces around. Its been ( another) day for bumping in to and catching up with old acquaintances and new ones that i've made through this year. After a short jog we swam a little later than usual and in the clearest water that we've had so far this week. its was quite amazing - you really do get a sense of depth. bumped into Yvette (Grice) after the swim, who managed to appear both very excited and very relaxed and as usual super friendly. having seen her in most of my races this year, and used her as motivation too, i admit, it's great to see her again in this setting!
after a relaxed breakfast with jenny and richard, i spent the rest of the morning shopping with steven. Dropped into the Blueseventy store to collect the pz3tx swim suit that Ryan had ordered for me, where we met Gina (Crawford) doing the same. she gave us a pretty scary update on the quake situation in Christchurch - apparently worst effected area is on the estuary very close to where we will be lodging over the winter. there have been 1200 quakes in the past 5 weeks - that's bigger than Haititi. struggled into the suit, which looks and feels great once it's on. i'm keen to get in the water in it and assess what sort of rubbing i might get around the arms. Steven bought himself a smart new aero helmet and i was tempted but refrained - for now. then we had a coffee in a nice quiet little arcade looking out to sea and watching the fish play in the surf
my ride today was just an easy spin, so i rode out of town along the Alii Highway. it goes up and up through a road block preventing trucks and mopeds (and apparently bicycles) passing - so its a great quiet road with fantastic veiws. it's blocked at the 'top' - must be a private estate or something. A 'guard' yelled something at me: "you don't belong here". dint know why that amused me so much - just an odd choice of phrase. No, i don't belong here. but its nice to come and check it out.
the town was buzzing this afternoon with more and more athletes checking in and checking out the course. it really is a great buzz and i still find it awesome to think about the fact that these guys and girls ARE the best triathletes in the world - all the super fit, super flash dudes you see one or two of at each race - all here, in one spot. some have been here numerous times, others have been working on qualification for multiple seasons, and finally made it. many of them know one another as long standing competitors, many are friends, the rest are to be checked out surreptitiously from behind a decaf in Lava java and google...
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