Aloha from Kona!
Perth is a long way from anything. I arrived in Kona about 24 hours after leaving home!
I had a great flight from Perth to Sydney on board Virgin Australia and then a long 6 hour stopover in Sydney where I took advantage of the Qantas Club (thanks to a complimentary entry I got my hands on) which was very relaxing! It was then on board with Jetstar for the long flight to Honolulu, before another 3 hour stop over and then my favourite flight, a 40 minute trip to the Big Island.
The decent into Kona was amazing, it looked like we were landing on another planet. I was in the lava fields, something I have been dreaming about for the last 5 years!
Kate Bevilaqua and Guy Crawford picked me up from the airport and took me straight to Lava Java for Lunch. From the airport we travel along the famous ‘Queen K Highway’, past the energy lab, up ‘Mark and Dave Hill’, Palani Road and to the Kona Pier. I have followed the Ironman World Championships religiously over the last few years, watching all the race recaps and training videos, to be here in person and see it all has been an amazing experience (and I have been here only 18 hours!).
We went back to our unit and I setup my bike (all in one piece thanks to my trusty bike box from XU1 Sports) and chilled out for half an hour. I had one mission for the rest of the day - stay awake. We went for a swim from the Pier and included a few 100m efforts in the session. The water here is so clear and there is lots of coral and fish which makes swimming very enjoyable! A quick stop at the famous Bike Works for some CO2 canisters and my first experience at a Walmart store before it was home for dinner and sleep… or so I thought! After dinner Guy and I went down to ‘Magic Sands’ and a swim. I love it here, 6.30 and it’s still light!
I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day – mission accomplished, I stayed awake!