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At the historic breakwater down at the harbor.

Heather at the Pro Pit - not sure what it is, but it sounds cool.

Race director Mickey Yamamoto, and old friend and training partner.

Our race mantra from the vending machine outside the hotel.


Where are our bikes!

Day 2 here in Japan started much the same as the first – very early. 3.30am for myself and Heather about half an hour later. The good part of this is that race morning should not be too much of a stretch. But – what to do so early. My morning ritual as always in Japan is to grab my change and do a sampling of the vending machine coffee drinks. Georgia blends seem to be the one for the moment.

So here we were – still with no bikes (they had not made it across on the prop plane the day before and were scheduled to arrive at 10.00am this morning). After running the past couple of days, we were taking a break today, the pool didn’t open till 10.00am and wetsuits were in the bike cases. So the obvious thing to do was pretend Heather was my dog and take her out for a morning walk around the harbor, and snap some pictures of entertaining signs and just generally enjoy the ambience of the town so early and quiet.

After breakfast at 7.00am, we had to enviously sit around and watch everyone else taking off on their bikes to ride. It was good to catch up with so many folks around breakfast – the whole crew seems to be staying here at the Downtown Hotel. Chris Lieto (he was also up around 4.30am), Petr Vabrosek, Nick Munting , Shane Smith and a few of the other Aussie girls- Belinda Halloran and Angela Milne.

By 10.00am we were dressed in bike clothes and marched down to the race office to find our bike cases there. We unpacked and assembled our bikes right there and then, in the middle of the office and headed out. It was AWESONE. The riding is wonderful – the roads are great and we were both feeling pretty peppy. A loop around the run course combined with part of the bike course and we were back after an hour and a half.

Registration opened just after lunch, so off to pick up packets. Then Heather was off to do a cultural exchange at one of the schools (more on that later). Time is flying by here and the feeling is that the race will be upon us before we realize it. But I guess the most pertinent event of the day was that we found our race mantra on one of the vending machines right outside the hotel. There is a drink dispensed there that in direct ‘translation’ is ‘POWER MY BEAUTY’. How can you go wrong pouring that down your throat. Since we are not clear what the ingredient list says, we have decided that the slogan is what we will stick with. Rest assured Heather will hear this from me at every out and back section during the race and there are at least three.