This is going to be fun! The enormity of this whole thing is just hitting in and will be landing in Kona in about 80 minutes. I come to Kona feeling ready but with a lot of respect as this is my first trip to the Big Island and it is a totally different race than anywhere else. At Kona finishing under 10 hours is not something different – it is the norm with approximately 20% of the qualified field breaking 10 hours. If you were to distribute this amongst the male field I would not be surprised if you get closer to 35%.
I am a lot fitter than going into Ironman CDA, mentally I am ready to succeed and now it is about a week of execution. On the flight today started to schedule my week to make sure I get enough rest and are ready come game time. One question I am getting asked is how do you expect to do, what are your goals etc. I am getting close to working that out but in essence that means to execute the run I know I can do. I nearly got there at IM CDA but faded a little bit more in the second half than I would have liked with a 5% fade.
As always the main goal on race day will be to have fun, as Clint put it in an email it is an honour to race Kona. I want to respect this opportunity and mentally make sure I do everything to push myself to the limit. To be able to toe the line in an event that has so much history and is iconic in the triathlon world and in some regards sporting legend with the annual NBC special that is televised around the world is crazy in some regards.
I remember watching the Kona special with my dad on the Wide World of Sports from 1991 or so onwards when Greg Welch was making a run until his win in 1994. At that point it seemed unworldly, both in the fact it was on the other side of the world from the outer suburbs of Adelaide and the sheer magnitude of the event. Something resonated with me at that point however and so here I am about to disembark into that world.