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London 2013; Misty eyed optimist?
London 2013; Misty eyed optimist?
With the season over for 2012, sights are now set on the ITU World Champs in London in September 2013. Qualification race booked at the Dambuster in June, so 7 months of graft awaits!

Auckland - First Impressions

jamesrunchmanby jamesrunchmanOct 16th 2012
You know, this whole world champs thing hadn't really fizzed on me too much over the last couple of months, I have been fairly calm about the whole thing. I am not saying that I have been confident or arrogant, just chilled out. However, since arriving at Auckland Airport yesterday my attitude has changed somewhat. Moving through passport control I started to notice different nationality track suits in the line; Mexican, Aussie, Canadian, Chinese, Czech, American, I have to say that I was a bit overwhelmed! Not overwhelmed in the "X Factor emotional explosion" sense I hasten to add, more of a "moment of clarity" kind of thing. This is the bloody Triathlon World Championships! Stuff me sideways!
This has only been magnified by what I have seen in the city since arrival. The team hotel is buzzing, there are athletes from all over the world everywhere around town, athletes out training, restaurants full with people in team colours, signs on every street corner and junction informing the public of the impending traffic disruption etc etc. We went down to the finish chute to recce the grandstand and the transitions yesterday afternoon, this only got the juices flowing more? To coin a phrase from a well known insurance advert - THIS FEELS EPIC! Can't wait to get racing now!
I have met some great people too, from an array of professions and walks of life; a school teacher, bin man, ex pro footballer, students , ex RAF Jaguar pilot, lawyers, bakers and I think there might be a candlestick maker in the team somewhere! Experienced world champ vets to newbie team members like me, all with a common aim, it is actually very humbling and a real privilege to be part of it.

Just cycled the bike course; nice, very smooth Tarmac! But a few cheeky hills added in to make it interesting. The route back to the city is nice and flat although there us a bit of a headwind. We shall see how it goes but it looks gooooood! Found out that Monday (race day) is Labour at in NZ, a bank holiday and they are expecting huge crowds! All this, and an audience too!
By the way, Auckland is a pretty cool place; stunning views and scenery and a beautiful bay. Haven't had a chance to have a mooch around town yet though. If I were to describe it in a sentence, I would say - "a smaller more personal version of Sanfrancisco but without the trams"!

Off to watch the aquathlon world champs now and squeeze a sea swim in this afternoon. Oh the life of the international athlete!!!!
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