Not suprisingly, I don’t get all that much sleep, mostly tossing and turning… actually I’m surprised that I sleep at all.    I have 3 alarms set between 4 and 4:15 just to be sure, but I wake up relatively clearheaded for this time of morning.  Hop in shower to wake up, then walk down the hill to the HoJo’s restaurant which has opened early to provide us and other athletes staying there with a buffet.  It’s good to eat with my teammates; people seem upbeat and calmer than I expect.  Breakfast sounds good even at this hour, and I fill up on some pancakes, fruit, cereal, and coffee… there’s plenty of time to start digesting before we start.   Many of my teammates here are ironman veterans, and so there’s good energy from them… calm and focused.


Back to the room to grab the things I need to take with me, and mix up my Sustained Energy  (a liquid carbohydrate & protein fuel… you sure wouldn’t drink it for the taste even if you give it a little flavor with a gel, but it works well for me and many other long-distance athletes, it’s easier to get enough calories in on the bike this way), and put on a good luck Hercules temporary tattoo from Sandra.  Head out with Martha.  We’re getting a ride down to the start with Sandra, Marc, Sara, and Dave, and there is a brief moment of panic when the car keys go missing, but soon we are on our way.



Martha goes to meet up with my family, and my final preps include pumping up bike tires (teammate Kurt Reiner—who is racing in Canada, not today-- appears mysteriously with a pump… only athletes and a select group with special passes are supposed to be in the transition area, but Kurt has somehow managed.)  Load the food onto my bike.  Put the wetsuit halfway on, walk out a surprisingly long distance with Bella and Marcy to drop off my special needs bags, find my family & friends group for a last set of pictures and good luck wishes on my way back to the swim start.  Have a couple of friends help me zip up the wetsuit, and find teammates Ed Juarez & Denise Top just before we get in the water.



Transition area          

In transition area, pumping up tires              Heading for the swim start                   Craig zips up my wetsuit



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