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  • The ultimate'make it so' consol of toilets - a triathletes dream.

    The half circle pool makes for great lap swimming.

    T.K. Lee the hotel lifeguard.

    Murphy paying for the Pork buffet poolside - sweet.


    IM Korea diary.

    It has been 4-years since I visited Jeju Island for the Ironman Korea. Somehow Murphy Reinschreiber convinced me it would be a good idea to join him (he is on the race staff) and participate in the 2004 IM Korea to be held next weekend. Well after the long journey we arrived to the usual hot and humid weather - as we sit on the edge of a couple of typhoons moving through the region. Fingers are crossed that there is not going to have to be a change of plans come the weekend.....although the race staff are getting set for a typhoon plan B ala IM Utah.

    This time around we are staying a couple of doors down in a much smaller but wonderful hotel right on the coast. So cut to the first days events........I realise this next toilet commentary can truly be appreciated by my fellow athletes. I have to say it took some time to just get out the room, after trying to figure out the console and abundent options available for the basic morning ritual. Right above the paper roll is a console offering among other things massage, the rythym of the massage, the wash position, water temperature for the wash, the seat temperature and deoderizing for a ritual ,most triathletes are happy to squat in the bushes for. I am amazed that I got out the room by lunchtime with this kind of luxury. I am actually looking forward to race morning!

    Once out and about, a nice easy jog with Murphy along the coast, followed by a short ride up to the spectacular World Cup soccer stadium, which will be serving as the bike to run transition area. After the torrential downpour of the night before the heat and humidity was stifling and very Kona like. It was very easy to pass a couple of hours in the afternoon watching the Olympics. You have to love being in a country that just shows the events with no commercials and no stories and hype - 24 hours a day. We are totally spoon fed coverage in the USA. This is great.

    The afternoon event was again one of those 'only here in Korea' episodes. I headed down to the hotel pool which is shaped like a half circle, with the 'flat' edge being 25 meteres long, to make lap swimming possible. As I got set to swim, the hotel lifeguard came over and in a very limited communication relayed that he was doing the Ironman also. In his sign language he asked how fast I swam the 4K - when I told him under an hour, he was immensely impressed and settled in to watch me do my workout. Turns out he was so impressed - he caught me mid set and told me I had to give him a swim lesson. At this point he dissappeared to change and proceeded to get in the pool (white speedo and all) and start swimming with me.....never mind the kids and other guests who may have drowned whilst this was going on. So my swim workout disintergrated into a rather poor effort to try and teach Mr Lee some basic catch-up drill and get him to keep his elbows up. Only in.....can the lifeguard at a 5-star resort just up and jump into the pool for a swim lesson. As Huddle would was totally awesome.

    A little more Olympics with maximum coverage of the Korean Gold medal in singles table tennis, happy hour sampling the local brew and a pork buffet poolside, pretty much wrapped up my first day. Barring rain, and assuming I make it out the bathroom tomorrow, I am headed out to ride up toward the volcano. Stay tuned!