I wake up on Sunday morning to the alarm going off next to me. It is 4:40am and I have had a good sleep care of the Mercure Auckland. I turn off the alarm and head out to the lounge room to make my breakfast whilst Victoria and Lachlan stay asleep. I perform the same routine as two weeks ago as I prepare to make my way down to the Auckland Waterfront for my second Half Ironman in two weeks. The first thing I do is collect my Ironman tattoos from the table and make my way into the bathroom. I read the instructions and before too long I have a semi permanent tattoo of the number 146 on my arm and my age group on my right calve. I cover myself in sun cream to hopefully ensure that this time I do not get burnt. I then start the job of fueling myself ready for the race in 1hour and 30 minutes time. No porridge this time as we are in a hotel room and it is too hard however weetbix, hot milk and honey is on the cards. After finishing my breakfast it is time to get dressed in my clothes that I have laid out the night prior. Before long, it is time to collect the rest of my gear, put my drink bottles from the fridge into my bag and leave to go and get ready. I kiss Victoria goodbye and walk out the door grabbing my bike pump as I leave.
As I reach the Auckland streets at 5:40am I start to see what was causing some of the noise I could hear from my room earlier in the morning. There are people all around town in all states of intoxication and me walking to the waterfront in lycra with a bag full of gear. Let me just say that it was frustrating knowing that you were about to work your ass off for the next 5.5 hours and there were people still making their way home from Danny Doolans from the night before! As I am walking towards the race start I don't see any other athletes and begin to panic. It is around 5:50am, surely there should be more people heading to the race start. I head around the corner and begin to see people carrying bags as big as mine with bike pumps in their hand. Before I know it I am nearing the footbridge that we will be swimming under in around 40 minutes time. I enter transition and start to prepare my transition area ready for the race. After completing a race 2 weeks before and races in the past you start to learn how to set yourself up and today's setup was no different to two weeks ago, in fact it was identical.
It is around 6:10 by now and I start to put on my wetsuit. I have to ensure I have everything for the swim, everything for my transitions and everything else that I brought with me is going back into my bag which will be handed into the bag drop inside the convention centre. The last thing I do is put half a tub of vaseline on my neck to stop a rash from my wetsuit before walking out of transition to the bag drop and then make my way to the swim start.