20 March 2014

Dear B

A special lady is doing her very first Ironman in Melbourne on Sunday. She is special because she is kind, generous, modest and beautiful through and through.

She is also special because she has reached this milestone after starting in the sport of triathlon as a scaredy cat beginner and has developed poise and confidence as she travelled her road to ironman step by step.

It wasn't all plain sailing.  This debut was originally due to take place a lot earlier but a crash while out group riding resulted in time out due to the severity of her injuries and then a rebuild to this point.

Making the start line is a real achievement in itself, the race is the reward for all that hard work!

So I'd like to wish B all the best for Sunday and it goes without saying that we will be glued to Ironman Live and athlete tracker every step of the way.

I'd also like to offer a little last minute advice.  She is very well prepared and has all bases covered but just in case ....

Dear B,

1.     Enjoy the vibe, the hype and gathering freebies at the Expo.
2.     Sign in as early as possible.  It only feels real when you have your wristband  on.  Those sideways glances you will be getting are people checking (a) if you are competing or (b) if you could be in their age group.
3.   Enjoy star spotting.  We are so lucky that the best in the world remain so approachable and usually give freely of their time in the lead up to the race.
4.     Once you have your race bags, enjoy putting out your gear, then packing your bags, then unpacking them to check you have everything (this usually occurs at least three times).  Helps to visualize.
5.    Warn out the supportive dude in your life that there is bound to be an hour or so where everything is his fault.  It is ok to be grumpy, but do apologise later and then you can both laugh about it and move on.
6.   No adventurous eating during the last couple of days. Stick to basics and a tried and tested diet.
7.   Do know the course and do a walk through of transition.  Helps to have a very clear idea of where to go.  Walk from the swim exit to bike exit and then same for bike finish to run exit. Check where your race bags are located.  When you think you have it down pat, close your eyes, spin around twice and then see how long it takes to locate your bike rack (just kidding, but do have some easy to spot markers to help guide you to your bike).
8.  For some unfathomable reason, there always seems to be a lot of walking associated with the lead up to Ironman events.  Do wear suitable shoes.  Go for comfort and if that means living in your runners, do it.
9.    If attending, enjoy the Carbo dinner.  Some athletes skip this, but I think it is a pretty special part of your first Ironman experience.
10.   Stay off your feet as much as possible especially once bikes are racked when you too should definitely take a load off.  No last minute shopping expeditions.
11.   Don’t stress if you can’t sleep on race night, not many people can.
12. Race morning – check, check and triple check that you haven’t forgotten anything. Make a list or place everything at the door so you don’t overlook something important.
13.   Mental check as you leave - Timing chip on, water for bike, food, sunscreen, goggles, swim cap, etc
14.  It’s ok to be excited on race morning, particularly when you are being body marked.
15. Have a pre-arranged meeting spot to catch up with supportive dude before race start and then again after you have finished.  Saves you both roaming around looking for each other in the crowds.
16.   Be ready and waiting for swim start.  Don’t be that person still in the loo line when the gun goes off.
17.   The gun always goes off sooner than you expect.
18.   Smile for the cameras.
19.   Have fun.
20.   Thank as many volunteers as you can. 

    And thank you B, for allowing me to be part of your journey.  Seeing you reach this goal is going to be a special moment!

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