Bags and bike are packed and waiting at door. Kids have relocated to grandparents and cat at local vet. So quiet. Can't really believe we are off in only a few hours!
Ironman was ready to go 2 days ago. "Bring it on" he says after yet another training session - and then he remembers what he is up for!
Past Ironman events have been watched and re-watched, nutrition calculations have been made and purchases of just a few more essential triathlon accessories and extras are all in the past (how much for chafing cream? I exclaim!)
Next challenge is getting a guaranteed ride to airport in taxi big enough for a bike box (refuse to rely on local maxis taxis again!), glide through airport as everyone watches you maneuver box and bags (at least no prams and kids trailing behind!), get on and off 2 planes and through Chinese customs with bike intact! Then we can tackle Ironman.
Recently my girl friend and I joined the local triathlon club (thought we might give a few mini ones a try) and yesterday I asked my friend if she was getting the fairly regular chit chatty emails that now enter our inbox since we joined up. When asked wether the amount of them or subject matter was bothering her (I personally had deleted a fair few without much of glance) she replied - not at all! In fact she was enjoying them. When we quizzed her on this, she commented that she enjoyed getting an insight into a new community of people who have a passion for their sport and she could feel the comradery amongst its members.
When I reflected on this today I thought how true it is that the triathlon community, wether it is your own local club or the wider community of Ironman organisers and competitors across the world, is one of acceptance, friendship and encouragement. (am sure I would have come up with many more positive descriptive words if I was not so tired!)
We have made some great friends over the years through triathlon, and we have always felt welcome at events, supported and encouraged by other competitors and their support teams, and walked away from each event (wether as a competitor or a spectator) feeling as though we have just been part of something special.
As we venture to China tomorrow I know that even though we know no one else going, once we arrive we will be swept up amongst it all, welcomed into the Ironman China community, and leave a week later with special memories - and maybe even some new friends.
We also know that so many of our triathlon friends who won't be at the race - as well as our own family and friends - will be there in spirit sending vibes of encouragement and best wishes. We are already feeling it - thank you all.
I will do my best to post a few times (maybe even with pics) and don't forget to follow the race on Ironman Live!