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Jules Richards
Jules Richards

Parade of Nations

Triharder78by Triharder78Oct 18th 2012
Time truly is flying out here, i can't believe that it's Friday already! Race day is a shade under 72hrs away. I feel that I've acclimatised well, I've checked out the run course (flat and fast) and the bike course, first half is undulating and technical and the second half is flat and fast although if the wind continues the way it is at the moment it won't be all that quick, cycling into a 27mph headwind! Also having 90mm rims might not prove to be the best wheel choice but that's something I'm going to have to deal with.

People say about having four seasons in one day, back at home the weather can be changeable but compared to NZ it seems settled, yesterday we had all four seasons at least twice at different points during the day! It was more like 8 seasons in one day. The forecast for the elites doesn't look promising and with the course they've got to tackle I don't envy them, be prepared for a very cagey bike section. The forecast for the age groupers is a little better and I'm hoping the fact I'm off at 0700 might mean I miss the worst of the weather.

Had a massage yesterday from one the team therapists, just to iron out any niggles that might be lurking, I knew my calves were a little tight but I ended up having acupuncture to try and release a trigger point the size of a large grape, particularly unpleasant experience!

Last night was the parade of nations and opening ceremony, it was an opportunity to meet competitors from other nations and also get to know people in our team a little better. Staying in Auckland and not at the team hotel I feel slightly isolated from the team activities so it was really nice to feel like part of the team. All the teams assembled on North Quay and proceeded to the event venue behind a tradition Maori tribe and the NZ team, there was a lot of support on the route from locals which was great to see. I have to say the Canadians definitely stole the show in terms of uniform, every member of the team who came along was is full kit and they looked amazing.

The opening ceremony itself was started with traditional performances from the Maori tribe which was spectacular and reminded us all that even though Auckland feels like a Western city it's routes come from a very different place. We then had the Seb Coe equivalent give a speech to officially open the ceremony and representatives from the athletes, coaches and officials take oaths just like in the Olympics. I find its things like this that I hadn't thought about which actually make the event feel special and make me feel part of something spectacular.

The NZ Tri team then did the Haka, unfortunately they were at the other end of the venue to where we were so we couldn't see it, luckily the Maori tribe then got back up on stage and to close the ceremony also did one and then tried to get some crowd participation going with (as you can well imagine) some hilarious consequences.

Well, today and tomorrow are going to be rest days to see if I can't shake this cough that's been clinging on for dear life, even though its not effecting my ability to swim, bike or run I'd be happier in the knowledge its not going to rear it's ugly head halfway through the bike course! Then all that's left to do is a short bike, run on Sunday, rack up and then measure myself against the best age group triathletes in the world...no pressure then...
Parade of Nations
Parade of Nations
Parade of Nations
Parade of Nations
 
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