Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kona Race Report: Pre-race

Independent observers confirm that I was surprisingly calm the morning of the race. Mostly.

I woke up around 3:45 after getting about 2 hours sleep (as expected.) The hotel was adjacent to the transition area, which was FANTASTIC. I was able to drop off my Special Foods bags, go to body marking, pump up my bike tires, and then go back to my hotel room after. The only issue I had was that I exited the hotel through the wrong door and wound up going through all the stages backwards, against the flow of people. At one point they wouldn't let me go down a path the wrong way so I had to climb through some bushes to get back on track. No biggie.

They made a HUGE deal about not putting sunblock on your arms because it would interfere with bodymarking. Fine. I got inked with unprotected skin. They use crisp stamps to mark the numbers, and then do some touch-up work with a Sharpie but it still looked a little flakey to me. I was well-prepared and brought my own Sharpie with me, so when Team Wedgie showed up around 6am I had them fill in some of the gaps. By this point it had been over an hour since my original numbers had been stamped on so I assumed it was safe to apply sunscreen to my arms.

I admit I don't use sunscreen often enough, but when I do use it I put it on THICK. So I sprayed on a heavy layer of Panama Jack Surf 'N Sport, Continous Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50+ (I can't find it in stores in L.A. and I ordered it online for Hawaii because I like it to much.) About 5 seconds later I looked down in horror as I watched thick streams of black ink run all down my arms.

I'm not sure if the fresh Sharpie ink was running or if some chemical in the sunscreen started stripping off the letters but my arms were a MESS. Fortunately, some fast action (and handy kleenex) from Teresa Annie and Stephanie saved the day. They were able to a fantastic clean-up job with my race numbers.

Naturally I wanted to go to the bathroom again, so I was able to simply run back up to my room. Amazing. Later we ran into British Stuart who was waiting in a long line to use the hotel lobby restrooms, so we just sent him (and apparently his entire tri-team) up to my room as well. I never had to use the port-a-potties before the race. The only person it didn't work out for was poor Scott, who wanted to use my bathroom but wound up taking the wrong elevator bank and never found my room. As far as I know he's still holding it to this day.

Check out just part of the Team Wedgie support crew. And make special note of the AWESOME Mountain Dew pants that Craig and Jana gave me. Correction - the pants that CRAIG gave me - Jana has disavowed any association with the pants (as have most people who have seen them.) But they're still awesome.


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