Well, we are down to the last few hours before the big day and make no bones about it, the tension is rising! Carmen and I have just got back from the bike check-in and the scene was absolutely amazing. The number of helpers must be in the hundreds and they all seemed to know what to do. The swim course is all laid out and the starting line marked by an enormous Gatorade bike bottle sitting on top of the pier. Needless to say, Carmen had her eye on that bottle too but I convinced her that it is too big to go into my rucksack! As the athletes were chanelled into the transition area, all the bike companies had their reps counting the number of their name-brand bikes being checked in. I peeked over the shoulder of a few of them and I reckon that Cervelo must be the top brand this year. Cervelo were dishing out yet more freebies for those that had a Cervelo bike. Carmen was in her element and got yet more free tee shirts! Once we were done with the bike check-in, we hung around for a while to see the other athletes coming in. Chrissie Wellington came past to check-in her new P2C. She looked in great shape. Lets hope she has a good race tomorrow too.
Carmen and I then headed back to the apartment for an early evening dinner and we will be off to bed very early tonight. Our plan is to catch the shuttle along Alii Drive at 0430 that will drop us off close to the start. We all know and love Carmen as a quietly strong triathlete that gets the job done but she is understandably anxious about the swim and the 'washing machine' effect at the start. Her game plan is to hang back at the start and to pick out other swimmers that go at her pace and to stick with them or even draft them around the course. Lets hope her strategy works. Once she is out from the water, she is looking forward to the bike and run legs especially since the weather has been cloudy and cool every day since we have been here from 2pm onwards. So fingers crossed, she will have the same conditions tomorrow.
So gang, please channel positive thoughts Carmen's way tomorrow morning to help her have a great race.
You can follow proceedings on Ironmanlive http://ironman.com/ironmanlive and put in her bib number 1322 under the name Ban Leong.