Action and atmosphere

It’s been another brilliant day down at Hawrelak Park. When I get home I’ll have lots more photos to add but I think it’s worth posting this one to show how fantastically close we could get to the elite racing.

wpid-image-131.jpegWe were able to watch the elite ladies go through their pre-race rituals in the swim pen, the two-lap swim and exit, and then cheer them through six bike laps and the climactic finish to the run all within a few hundred metres walk. What a race to finish the 2014 World Triathlon Series.

I had a swim in an Endless Pool to calm down (and now I want one!), found pad thai for lunch and some more super-friendly Canadians to chat to, before watching the para-triathlon from the grandstand.

One four letter word sums up the day nicely; begins with E…

Bye bye bike, a swim and a rabbit

Lots of jobs today… First up, saying goodbye to our bikes which we had to rack 24 hours before we race. I had a minor mechanical when I went to let a little air out of my tyres and the valve on the front jammed open… I’d just made my way back out of transition with the wheel and got to the onsite mechanic and it finally unstuck. We pumped it up to race pressure, let it down… Everything seems ok. Fingers crossed for the morning.

After scouting the huge transition, entries and exits, we made our way to the swim familiarisation session. It’s going to be several minutes of extra running into and out of transition both times!

I practised several swim starts. Depending on where you end up on the pontoon, it’s either two steps or only one before diving in. I think it’s going to be a brutal few hundred metres to the first buoy.

I swam one lap. The lake is shallow, maybe 5 feet, beautifully clear, and chlorinated! It’s like a giant pool. The exit is back onto the sand, before the long run up towards the grandstand and then through and on to transition.

Next up lunch:

wpid-dsc_8185.jpgVery tasty! And yes, that is a rabbit in the background. :-)

wpid-dsc_8184-1.jpgThe rest of the day is going to be busy, with the GB team briefing, team photo, the official opening ceremony and maybe the pasta party with thousands of other athletes of all nations.

Can’t wait for tomorrow now. THIS IS GOING TO BE EPIC. (And live on the internet remember!)

Racing is live!

The first races of the 2014 Edmonton ITU Triathlon World Championships have taken place today. The aquathlons open proceedings, the same as last year in Hyde Park. This year I decided to miss it to focus on the tri, but my room mate for the week, Will Kirk, competed in the very first age-group race. He’s near the middle/front of the sweltering swim pen here…

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And here’s the view of the start pontoon, yup, all the races have a running dive to begin!

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Will was fourth in M20-24, just a few seconds off a medal. Hopefully some of his stupendous speed will rub off on me. :-)

You can watch the age-group races as well as the elites live: go to http://www.triathlon.org/live for the player and schedule (I’m off at 10:20 on Friday, that’s 17:20 in the UK, finishing an hour and a bit later, fingers crossed).

This is Going to be Epic.

Right, that’s today’s main task accomplished, check! Fifty or more of the GB team went out together on a recce of the Sprint Distance bike lap. It’s got one short sharp (8%) hill, a couple of corners to negotiate and a good out and back drag on a dual carriageway, 10km in total, so we see it all twice. It reminds me of the Bristol Harbourside triathlon course.

On the way back, I had to grab a photo with the week’s slogan: THIS IS GOING TO BE EPIC. It certainly is.

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