Abu Dhabi Diary - Day 3

After a frustrating night with less sleep than I would have liked, I headed out on the bike for a very quick spin, getting in some short intervals above race pace.  As soon as I finished the ride, I jumped in a taxi to get myself to the swim start, which was all of one mile down the road.  The day before the race I like to be as lazy as possible, so any unnecessary walking is out.  After having a look around, I bumped into Matt Molloy, who’s also racing the long course.  I only had a short swim scheduled for the morning, so I swam the short course (750m), which gave me a chance to check which buildings to site for during the swim tomorrow.  The water is around the 20 degree mark and all indications are that it will be a wetsuit legal swim.  I’d have been happy either way to be honest, but the wetsuit will make times a bit faster.
With training done for the day, I was just in time to catch breakfast before the end of service.  The new 2012 race kit is ready to roll – tomorrow we’ll see how fast red really is… I then spent some time getting my transition bags in order, ready to head down to bike racking.  
The back drop to transition is pretty impressive.  This is the first race I’ve done that has a real ‘big city’ feel to it, and although there are compromises that come with that - such as difficulty cycling in the build up to the race – it’s really quite amazing to have the chance to race here. 
Unlike most Ironman races, you’re not given a time slot to rack your bike, so you can show up any time during the day.  I got there just after 11am and didn’t have to queue at all, which is always good.  Once I chose my spot for the bike (again, no numbered racks, but you are allocated a row), I hung up my transition bags.  Another point of difference with the transition is that there’s only one tent, so both swim to bike and bike to run bags are racked on the same peg.  Also, there are benches below the bags, but space could get tight if there are lots of people around you.
With the work for the day done, my mum and I had a leisurely lunch.  The whole race has had a very laid back feel to it, and that in turn has helped me stay relaxed.  My wave starts at 7:05am local time, which is the first wave after the professionals.  This should leave the bike course wide open, so I’m mentally preparing myself for a lonely day in the saddle.  Tomorrow’s gonna be fun!  Race #82 for those that have the chance to track the race online through www.abudhabitriathlon.com