Today started early with a swim at 7am. This was the last chance to swim the full course, so I made the decision tto do so in my full race kit, just to get a last feeling of what it will be like on race day. I went out with a few others and we made reasonable time to the half way point, getting there in just under 30 minutes. The way back was a little slower, with the longest stretch being the final 500m to shore. Still, it was a good final long swim.
After a quick shower I made my way down to the race hotel for athlete registration. As with last year, I decided to get it over and done with at the first opportunity. A few others had the same idea, but the queueing was minimal.
Once through the initial registration process I was quite upset to discover there was no 'weigh in'. Instead, this will be done on race day morning. Having not weighed myself in the last 5 weeks I was curious to know what the number would be. Once again the athlete gift was a rucksack, although fortunately it's a much better one than we were given last year.
This afternoon I picked up my race rental wheels from Race Day Wheels, then set about cleaning by bike and getting it in racing order. I spent the better part of an hour trying to negotiate the workings of my chain's master link to connect it, so you can imagine the relief when it finally worked! The bike looks great and is ready to roll. Pics will be up in the coming days...
I went for a short mid-afternoon run, getting in some 800m repeats. It was a good time of day to go, as it was pretty overcast and cool. It was then time for the Parade of Nations, where all athletes parade through Kona, representing their country.
Once the parade was over the expo officially opened. There was a great atmosphere, with every stand and stall rammed with athletes and families checking out what was on display. It seemed that many companies had made a much bigger effort with their stands than last year. One of the big hits was the Specialized stand, with displays of their new bike, as well as their stand out professionals in attendance. Conscious of not spending too much time on my feet aimlessly walking around, my brother and I went to Huggo's for dinner and had a great meal overlooking the crashing waves.