Wednesday started of with a swim and breakfast with Pete Jacobs courtesy of Shotz Sports Nutrition. This was a lot of fun as you would expect. We meet some more Australian age groupers (and some we already know) who will be racing Kona this weekend. Gregory Farrell was like a giddy school girl when he had the chance to get his photo taken with Pete, Angus McGilvray didn’t need any prompting to get up on the rocks for a model shot for one of the US tri mags (this guy must have 0% body fat). Caitlin Bridgland, Wes and Rhiannon Snipe and Ollie Allan and Sarah Grove from Tri Alliance in Melbourne were also at the breakfast.
Our next stop was a few miles up Alii Drive where a media conference was about to take place. Announced was the new ten year deal signed between Chris McCormack and Challenge Family. This is an exciting partnership with many benefits to both. Click here to read the full details.
A quick swim hosted by our friendly supermarket driver saw us spend the next hour cleaning deep cuts and picking out sea urchin spines. Lucky we had one Aaron Richardson with us who quickly used his skills teaching medical training to fire fighters to the test. Aaron will be racing Saturday and is riding one very hot Ridley time trial bike. Aaron qualified in Cairns with a 14th overall and a time of 9:17.
On the subject of Cairns Brett Carter has been training up a storm with Team TBB and should be even more devastating than he was in Cairns. Brett finished 7th overall in Cairns and will be stronger this weekend.
We bumped in to this years overall winner at Cairns David Dellow who was walking back from a function with the female race favourite and partner Caroline Steffen. David is very relaxed going in to Kona. He said that never having done this race is giving him an opportunity to race without the pressure that would normally be on. We think David may surprise a few and have been thinking this for a while. He did an 8:15 in Cairns in hot temperature with a 2:48 marathon.
Caroline seemed very relaxed. After the 11am press conference tomorrow she will be switching all outside communication off and will start to relaxed for the next couple of days. She feels that the main women to watch will be Mirinda Carfrae, Leanda Cave and Rachel Joyce. Steffen said that everything that needed to be done to perform at her best at Kona has been done.
On the way back after dinner we past a familiar and surprising figure sitting on the rock wall opposite Lava Java. Chris Kemp had just flown in to Kona from Sydney to enjoy the race and watch a few friends race. Kemp has had a frustrating year. He has proven that he can swim and ride with some of the best 70.3 triathletes in the world and we also know he is one of the fastest runners over 21kms. The problem this year has been an achilies one which has caused Chris all sorts of issues. There is scar tissue building and it keeps flaring up.
He has connected with an expert in Neutral Bay, Sydney who feels that it can be addressed. Chris will focus on this before racing the Auckland 70.3 in January then tackling Ironman Melbourne. This will be his first Ironman race.
We walked the final block to our hotel with Chris Legh and his lovely wife. Chris has had an amazing year this year which has seen a return tom some very good form in 70.3 racing. There was a patch during the season when things slowed a bit but then he got his second wind. Legh had a great win at Lake Stevens 70.3 this year.
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