Twas' the night before Ironman...
Friday is always the eeriest day of Ironman week. You see nary a peep. Sure, early morning you have a few folks doing sprint efforts along Alii, trying to milk in that last hard workout.
This morning, I joined Donna on a short, easy 20-minute run along Alii, then a little swim at the pool. There, we ran into her TeamTBB teammate Chrissie Wellington. She asked me a favor to get the word out about a little something:
In an earlier post, I mentioned that Chrissie would be wearing a pair of pink Oakley Enduring sunglasses, a limited-edition version with funds that benefit breast cancer awareness. Oakley is donating $20 of the $165 price to the Young Survivalists Coalition, a group dedicated to improving the quality of life to young breast cancer victims. You can order them online at oakley.com
Chrissie wanted to do more. So for those in Kona Sunday after the race, you'll have a chance to win Chrissie's sunnies. Chrissie will be on hand (with many other Oakley-sponsored athletes) with her race glasses at 1 p.m. at the Oakley Rolling O-Lab. (If you've been in town near the expo, it's hard to miss the MASSIVE truck and trailer booming reggae and rap. That will be the place to be.
Then her glasses go up on the auction block.
Want what could potentially be the race-winning glasses? Be on hand and bring your checkbook.
I forgot to mention yesterday that I ran into Terenzo Bozonne, who is in town with Specialized. Two nights ago I was invited to the Specialized House to join Macca, Terenzo, Peter Reid, at a Specialized Riders Club event. Good food, good beer, good company, good time.
Specialized also gave me a binder with their white paper findings of the Transition versus the benchmark Cervelo P3. It was interesting. I believe these have been posted at Slowtwitch, but as soon as I can get a digital version, I want to post this.
Anyway, Terenzo was signing autographs at the Saucony booth, and had a wrap on his right hand. And that hand was swollen and scratched. What gives, I asked?
Well, seems that a ride to breakfast saw him hit a pothole and go over the bars. He thinks he broke a few bones, but said there's not much he can do about it anyway, "I just gotta get on with it."
Meantime, he had to used that tattered hand to sign autographs. He insisted pulling me into his shot—with that bad hand. With Clearwater coming up on his radar, I hope his worst fears aren't realized, that it's just badly bruised hand better heal up fast.
Time to shut down... today I'm taking photos of the pros bikes as they check in their bikes. Tomorrow I'll be on the back of a moto shooting the race, sticking mainly with the women's race.
My picks: Could go a few ways in the men's side. If it's windy as hell on the bike and the packs disintigrate a bit, I like Normann. He looks soooo cool at the pro press conference. He said "I feel like the old guy, like Jurgen Zack here." No way. It's all the same guys as years past, and he's beaten them all.
If it's like last year, it is gonna be another battle between Macca and Crowie.... with the mental edge to Macca.
Women? Chrissie, hands down. It'll be a battle for second, where I like her teammate, Erika Csomor. After that, a scramble.
And I look to Donna to simply enjoy the first race, have fun, and do her race. Whatever place that put her is fine with me. She's done unbelievable work training with the strongest team in the sport and she goes well in the heat. If she goes like she did in China, just does her race and keeps it steady, it'll be a rewarding day. She ran into Michellie Jones this morning, and that was her advice: do your own race, don't worry about anyone else around you. Good advice from a champ.
A last bit: after my test of the Cervelo P4 yesterday, I saw Zipp designer Dave Ripley at the Zipp booth across the way, and spied two sets of Sub 9 disc, littered with autographs. Click on the image and you'll see Emma Snowsill, Andy Potts, Belinda Granger, Desiree Ficker, Terenzo Bozonne... a ton of sponsored athletes. I believe one will be for the office walls at Zipp HQ in Speedway, Indiana, but with the other, they're going to be doing a fundraising draw. This would be a very nice wheel that you'd never want to ride!
Before checking out for the bike check-in, I want to wish all those racing the best of luck and best of experiences tomorrow.