Tomorrow is race day. It is still hard to believe. I’ve had several moments over the past few days that were big reminders of the race actually happening, but even then the experience is surreal that it is hard to believe. The last two days I swam on the course, and went out to the floating espresso bar for a coffee. Then I went for a ride on a small portion of the course. Molly was able to ride a demo on both days, so we rode together. I still haven’t seen the end of the course where there is a long up to Hawi, but I know it is there and have an idea what to expect. I’m not going to get into too much on how I feel, how prepped I am, and my race strategy because these are the things I’ve been working out in my head. It is not the time to look at what could be better. Instead I need to assess where I am at so that I can execute a good race. This is only my fourth Ironman, but I feel I’ve done enough racing and enough long distance that I have a fairly good idea how to execute the race. The biggest thing is adapting my race plan to the conditions and how I feel throughout the day.

I have started riding with Canari-Navy a few months ago, and am really enjoying the team. It is very mellow, and they ride with a purpose. Besides camaraderie, fitness, and the love of the bike, they have two major fundraising events for the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation. This weekend they are doing a two day ride which I am unfortunately missing. I am not EOD, and have never worked directly with them. The first EOD guys I remember doing anything with were Marine EOD guys that I went to dive school with. Since then I’ve had some casual interactions with them at the gym or while working as a nurse or physician. Here is an article from one of their sponsors. Below is a video that is also embedded in that article. It is a slideshow of EOD, showing you some of the stuff they do to keep our troops safe.

Over at Kona there are a number of military athletes competing. Here is an article about the military contention at Kona. If you look at it, you will probably notice that I am not mentioned. This is true for these other athletes:

David Haas (USN), Mitch Hall (USN), Nick Brown (USN), Lee Boyer (USN), John Marinovich (USN), Marty Taylor (USN), Michael Church (USN), Tim Downing (USN), Rob Ladewig (USAF), Eric Reid (USA), Louis Smith (USA), Ottie Taulman (USA), Logan Franks (USMC)

So, the article lists nine military athletes, but there are a total of 23 US Military athletes competing. I am not going to get into all the politics of this, but probably the biggest disappointment is that (I suspect) only the nine athletes listed in the article will be competing in the military division. After the race I’ll revisit this and we’ll see what actually happens.

There will be live web streaming of the race and athlete tracking available. The video usually focuses on the pro athletes until they finish, and then they show the finish line until the race closes at midnight. I have watched this before and it can be quite amazing. Watching the final moments of the race is always impressive, but can be quite the challenge to watch with the time difference. If I finish in 11 hours, it will be 9 PM in California, but the race end will occur at 3 AM in California.

The athlete tracking shows splits at each check point, and will usually give a division and overall placing at each check point as well. My race number is 937, but you can search for anyone by name. You can follow the race here:

http://kona.ironmanlive.com

http://tracking.ironmanlive.com

My plan today is to swim about 20 minutes and then go for a 4 mile run. After that it is just prepping all my gear, hydrating and resting. I have to turn my bike and gear in today between 2:30 and 5 because they don’t want the chaos of 1800 bikes rolling in at 5 in the morning. Race morning I plan on getting up at 3 am, leaving the condo at 4 am, race start at 7 am (following the pro start at 6:30).

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