It’s Race Day!

Still 5 hours to swim start but if you want to track Gary’s race progress today.... Here you go and if you want his real time, GPS location, you can track him here (it only works for the race not all the time!)  On the second map, you will need to put his bib number in (1731). 
He starts at 10:58am Austrian time, which is 9:58am in Ireland, 6:58pm in Sydney, or 4:58am for the US east coast! I’ll also do my best to keep the updates coming both here and on the He Runs, I Cook Facebook page– (like it if you haven’t yet!)

Click here to see live race updates!

  

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Let the adventure begin!

On my way to the airport and we’ve already passed the first hurdle…. The bike fits in the Uber car…. Just!!

Fingers crossed the luggage gods smile upon me and I’m under my 30kg allowance…otherwise it’s $100 per kg and I’ll have to wear layers onto the plane!   
   

The Final Countdown…

Fun Fact:  The Final Countdown is a song by 80s group Europe.

(sorry if you actually clicked the link and watched the video, it’s not a great song or video unless you’re into 1980s hair bands and men with leather pants and makeup).

Fun Fact #2:  The Runner leaves on Thursday for Europe where he will compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Austria

Super Fun Fact:  I’m going with him

I’m excited because I’ve never been to Austria or Germany, and to be honest, I would never have put Austria on my list of places I’m dying to go. No offence to any Austrians who are reading this but if this opportunity hadn’t come up, I don’t think I would ever have planned a trip there.  But now that it’s less than 2 weeks away, I’m getting really excited to see the country and already feeling like we’re not going to be there long enough.  There is a lot to see- castles, palaces, natural wonders, art museums, musical attractions, you name it…. but we’re going there for the triathlon.  The Half Ironman (or 70.3 if you’re in the know) World Championships are being held in Zell Am See, Austria and that’s where we’re off to.

**You may remember that The Runner qualified for them back in December last year, if not, well you know now!

Obviously, I’m proud and excited to see The Runner competing in the triathlon itself- it’s a huge achievement to qualify for the World Championships of anything let alone an individual sport like triathlon that pushes your body to its limits.  I mean, I thought I deserved a medal for walking/running the City to Surf last week and I didn’t even finish in the top half of competitors!  (Actually, I did get a medal, but everyone did so….)

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Anyway– qualifying for the World Championships – and in a sport that requires 5-6 hours of exercise at once, well, to me that’s just off the charts!  He’s been preparing for it for months and I’m excited to see how well he does.  It seems like it was not too long ago that I accompanied him to his first triathlon up in Maitland, NSW (near the Hunter Valley- my main reason for going).  In fact, it was 5 years ago and much has changed since then.

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He’s come a long way and Austria really will be the culmination of years of effort and training on his part.  Austria will also be the first time his family gets to see him compete-and I’m thrilled that they’ll finally get to see him—especially on such a big stage.  A big downside of living so far away is that our families often miss the medium sized events—the things not important enough to come visit for, but that are big events for us nonetheless.  It will be great for them to be finally see him race in person– especially since this is SUCH a big race.

I’m also excited to see what a World Championship race is like.  We’ve been to so many races over the last 5 years of so many different sizes and varieties, that I’m excited to see what this one is like.   We’ve been to races like Maitland where there’s barely anything (or anyone there) and others (like Noosa) which are full blown multisport festivals with lots of sponsors, lots of people, television cameras and a whole city full of triathletes.  I’m expecting Zell Am See to be next level.    First of all, there are 12,000 age groupers (every day competitors) competing on the Saturday before the big race on the Sunday.  The Sunday race is the one you had to qualify for.  So, there will be about 14,000 athletes  and their supporters, sponsors, and other curious onlookers.  You have guess there could be 50,000 people there over the weekend- which is a lot.  Now I don’t know a lot about Zell Am See, in fact 12 months ago I had never heard of it, but 50,000 people sounds like a lot.  According to Wikipedia, the town of Zell Am See has a population of 9,573; so, 50,000 triathlon related people will be pretty noticeable.  I’m predicting a lot of shaved legs (on the men), ironman calf tattoos (also on the men), and a lot of talk about nutrition, transition, and lots of other –itions.   But I’m excited to see the spectacle—and I’m excited to see an Alp….

Actually can you see just one Alp or do they come in groups?

I don’t know because I’ve never seen one.  As much as I hate snow and cold weather, I’m super excited to see snow capped mountains (even in the summer) and excited to see what a real Alpine ski village is like (but so happy that skiing is not on the menu!).  For a girl from DC (the flattest place ever) who has moved to Sydney (the least wintry place I can think of), seeing an Alp (or multiple Alps) is a pretty big deal.  Even for me, a girl who HATES the Sound of Music (yes, I know, it’s weird and a long story), I’m excited to see the rolling, green hills and majestic mountains of Austria.   I’m kind of also excited to stand on top of a) hill and twirl around and sing….

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Ok, maybe not,  but I’m definitely getting excited for our trip!

Greetings from Penrith!

That’s right this weekend’s adventures have taken us west for the Western Sydney 70.3.

Not a lot to report yet, except that it is hot. Super hot. Like 33 degrees Celsius (or about 97 Fahrenheit!). So tomorrow could be….well, a bit uncomfortable. The race takes place at the same place as the Olympic rowing from Sydney 2000….but there’s little shade and very little to do….oh well, time to carb load!

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Another Sunday, Another Race

Greetings from the Nation’s Capitol! No, sadly I’m not home for Christmas in Washington, DC. We’re in Canberra and it’s 5:35am and we’re here for the 14th annual Canberra 70.3 half Ironman race.

If you’ve never been to Canberra, it’s worth a trip for a weekend if you don’t have anything else to do. I’m biased when it comes to Capitol cities and on a scale of 1 to 10, Canberra is there somewhere. It’s not Washington, Paris or London but it’s well laid out and well planned. Even amongst Australian cities, I can’t say it’s in my top 4 but I have to say watching the sun come up over Lake Burley Griffin is pretty special.

But that’s not why we’re here or why I’m up before the sun. A half ironman, if you’re new here is just what it sounds like. It’s half an Ironman. So 1.9 kilometers in the water, 90 kilometers on the bike and a half marathon (21 kilometers) to finish!

For The Runner it will be an exciting day pushing himself to his limits and taking in Canberra’s best landmarks. For me, well not so much. It’s a day of watching, waiting and wondering if there’s any good coffee in walking distance— so far unlikely! Luckily, I do have a chair and a newspaper and late checkout at the hotel which is only a 2 minute drive away. Hooray!

Wish us both luck and see you at the finish!