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  • On the deck of our fabiola 'digs'.

    Roch suffering in the last mile of the Bike PATH 10K.

    Amanda Gillman (MIchael Lovato's honey) wins the 5K.


    Welcome to Kona 2003.

    It’s one week to race day….the 25th Anniversary of the Hawaii Ironman. The multisports crew is all in town. Roch and Heather arrived earlier in the week (Wednesday), whilst Paul and myself opted to be close to home until the last possible moment (the fallout of too much time on the road this year). Nonetheless it was great to hit town, and feel the spirit and energy in full swing. The hard bodies are all over the place running and biking up and down the highway and Alii Drive (some in their speedo’s of course, much to the delight of Roch and Paul).

    So lets get up to speed with the goings on this Sunday a week out. It was a nice easy and short swim for myself, Heather and Lori. We were up early so beat the main crowds at the pier. Upon exiting though all the talent was starting to congregate. Roch and Paul headed out to participate in the Bike Path 10K/5K, which is run up and down Alii drive. They opted for the 10K, and the subsequent naps on the couch pretty much said it all.

    Then it was out on the bikes. Lori, Heather and myself cruised out of town. Lori has resurrected her Cheetah bike, and was looking very aero on the machine. It is amazing how riding such a noticeable bike attracts people. Before we knew it, we had the company of a small group riding with us, most of the guys pulling up to chat with Lori. Fortunately we left at around 9.00am…an hour earlier, what seemed like the whole of Germany in one giant pack went rolling out of town onto the course.

    Lori and Heather, turned around at the airport, having ridden a good portion of the course on Friday (this was just a recovery spin for them), and I continued on alone out toward the Waikoloa. As usual the winds were there and it was hard to figure out whether it was a head wind or a tail wind… I just decided it was a constant side wind..

    Pretty much the rest of the day is just feet up and relax. We are ensconced in a ‘killer’ house this year right in front of one of the better surf breaks. I feel as if we have an ongoing surf movie right off our deck. It is hard to get Paul’s attention…..I think he feels like he is in Nirvana. It was good to see that Jurgen Zack was in his usual office (Lava Java) holding court all afternoon, and Nina Kraft was also there having her usual lunch.

    Late afternoon and it was time for my torture session, a run with ‘pickups’ (translate all out Marion Jones sprinting for me) with Heather and Lori. I am sure it must have been quite a sight to see us hammering down Alii drive…Heather leading the way, Lori and then myself dragging of the back. All I could think about is how much fun we make of others when we see them doing exactly this. At least we weren’t in our speedo’s!

    So as the sun is setting, Paul is sitting on the deck with a nice cold beer, the surf is bringing in some sets up to 10 feet….he is on the phone co-hosting “The Competitors” radio show with Bob Babbitt (interviewing the legendary Julie Moss, who will be wearing a blue faux denim top with blue hot pants, trimmed with gold for her race outfit….the important stuff)….I reckon if he was any better, he wouldn’t be able to stand himself.