It was great to be back at Kona and I quickly slipped into the daily rhythm of swimming on the course each day followed by breakfast with friends old and new. It’s great to have time to hang out with like-minded athletes and exchange stories from the season just coming to a close and speculate on who would win the 2015 edition of the Big Dance. As race day approaches you can sense the daily ratcheting up of energy levels to the point that by Thursday I stayed away from race ground zero and the near hysteria surrounding it. I felt surprising calm which in a way was a little disconcerting; a little nervous anticipation is usually a good thing.
The weather forecast see-sawed all week and you could usually find one that suited your preference. Race morning I walked down to the pier observing little movement in the palm trees but waves that were a little noisier than I would have liked. My pre-race routine is well practised and I was quickly through the melee of athletes checking and rechecking their bikes in transition. An almost irrational paranoia descends on athletes as they try to settle their nerves and reassure themselves the bike is indeed as they left it and will, as usual, make it round the 180k course.