Wednesday, 1 December 2010
we're back in Busso and it's more lovely than i remember; cloudless blue skies, calm azure ocean, long pale golden sandy beaches without a soul on them. the occasional parrot and crickets buzzing in the otherwise sleepy 36 degree afternoons. it' s really quiet in town at the moment, which our hosts Neil and Lorraine attribute to the heat - and maybe the flies! we're staying with the couple who looked after us so well last year when we were here for a good 2 1/2 week prior to steven's race and we're so pleased to see them again and that they are welcoming us back into their home after the amount that we ate, and piles of laundry that we got through last year!! this seems to be the Aussie way though - the local triathletes remember us and are greeting us like old mates. they really did make us feel very welcome last year too. i guess in a place like this, its great to have visitors. It's quiet startling how barren the area is even just a short way out of town...a few isolate farms and vineyards here and there but huge stretches of just....landscape.
we drove out to visit a friends of Lorraine's daughter who have adopted a little joey who's mother was killed. apparently if you run over an adult kangaroo, which happens surprisingly frequently considering the low volume o traffic on the roads and vast amount of space that the 'roos have to bounce around in, you need to look in her pouch and fish out poor little joey who's in there. maybe most people don't take them home as pets, but if you happen to live on an enormous plot a long way from anywhere, and happen to be just a little zany ...why not. it was so cute! he jumps around the garden and sleeps in a pillowcase hooked over the back of a chair at night ( just like mum's pouch). this one was tiny and had such soft fur - i do wonder how big it'll get though!
my race week prep is going well, i think. not too much work - a little less than Kona because of the greater fatigue that i'm carrying - but enough to get a bit acclimatized to the heat and get a feel for riding that flat, flat course. we swam the full course yesterday -something that i did not do when we were here last year, and was very apprehensive of. On a calm day (which unfortunately is not forecast for sunday!) it was really not as bad as i'd feared, so that's one less thing i'm worried about. the sea is pretty warm though and i'd say borderline for wetsuit optional .... not that i'd have much difficulty making that choice -there's a few stinger out there!
there have been some changes to the course since last year ,which i think improves the event for the athlete and spectators. The bike route is still 3 laps, but by adding on extra out & back section each lap is broken into smaller segments and avoids the state highway. The additional 'branch' of the course may add one more dead turn to each lap, but breaks the ride down into more short sections, which i find helps the time go easier and maintain focus. The run course is now 4 laps - and again each lap is a sort of T shape and so broken into short sections. you're never more than 3.5km from transition - great for support and makes the aid stations more efficient, which when you're relying on volunteers to stand all day in the baking sun, being bothered by flies and having to witness the sort of desperate deterioration of the melting athletes on the run course, is a good call!
The swim still goes around the iconic jetty which is sadly still unfinished!) , but now in the other direction. i don't think that'll make a huge difference, but suits the new placement of transition better. so, really the race is pretty much all-change, except for the fabulous venue, great weather and friendly 'local' vibe. i do hope that the race organization retains that nice low-key feel that it's become known for.
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