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© Richard Melik
Kona 2012: #GBKONA Diary #3
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Saturday 13th October 2012


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The latest update from Kona covers Friday, the day before the race, courtesy once again of Richard Melik (www.freespeed.co.uk). Short swim, coffee and checking out the pre-race faces at the bike check-in were the order of the day.


Friday in Kona - the day before the big race...

Friday is a quiet day here in Kona. The number of people down at the swim is less than on previous days, the bag drop area has gone and most athletes are happy with a quick swim to the Coffees of Hawaii boat and back, a round trip of about one kilometer.

©Richard Melik

Breakfast today was a good chance to catch up with the members of Team Freespeed Virgin Active who are all feeling good and ready to race. Fingers crossed for mechanical good luck for them and all the other British age groupers competing. On the way back past the expo we dropped into the Newton Running stand and picked up 'Rachel's Crew' t-shirts - all of the team know Rachel (Joyce) well and have trained with her over the last couple of years and are excited to see how she gets on tomorrow.

©Richard Melik

Soon after midday the entrance to transition turns into a frenzy of activity as athletes, media and spectators swarm around trying to catch a glimpse of the pros or friends who are arriving to rack their bikes. All the main contenders seemed in good spirits, some were serious, some joking and laughing. Once the gun goes off the joking will stop and one of the hardest to call races for several years will begin.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL BIKE CHECK-IN GALLERY

Most of the talk has been of a Crowie / Macca showdown, but don't count out the European stars - the Raelert Brothers, Marino Vanhoenacker, Dirk Bockel and Sebastian Kienle - as well as a third Australian, Pete Jacobs, will all be in the mix going on to the run.

On the women's side Carfrae, Steffen, Joyce and Cave are all strong contenders with Mary Beth Ellis a dark horse for a podium finish.

The forecast is for heavy winds tomorrow making the race even more intriguing to watch, but take that with a pinch of salt - I don't think they know from one hour to the next what the weather will be like on this island, it is so changeable.

The final touches are being made to the finishing chute, it gets bigger and better every year, most of the athletes are tucked up in bed by now with only five hours or so until the wake up calls begin.

#GBKONA 2012 Coverage


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