Next Day: Slept in; my vital signs proved positive. I was sickness-free. My immune system was holding well, with no sign of over-training, and an absence of muscle soreness from the sports massage two days ago. I observed a few participants who were coughing, and I elected to avoid them for fear of, unnecessarily, catching a bug.
Thursday: Registration (with photo-identification required). There was no fuss about buying a day-pass (as you would with European races). The volunteers were in full force, ensuring we had a smooth and pleasant registration experience.
Arrival at race-fair: It was not easy to find a parking space at the Taupo Event Centre. I headed straight to the Registration-Tent, and was invited to sign the race-flag for charity auction (Cystic Fibrosis Association). The flag was, subsequently, auctioned off at the Awards Banquet.
Weigh-in: There was the prerequisite, pre-race, weighing-in (unofficially, with shoes and clothes on, at 76.6kg – just off Macca’s race-weight). I would be weighed again upon my descent from the finisher’s chute and into the Recovery Tent on Saturday evening.
Race-Kit: There was a goodie-bag included three (3) bags for Swim, Ride and Run; race-tag/sensor, race-bib (2), temporary tattoos (race numbers were pre-marked by participants on race-morning), box of Kellogg’s wheat-snack, kiwi-fruit, banana, and official race program.
Merchandise of the event: Director’s Chair (foldable); previously, it was a helmet-protector bag and slippers in 2012 and 2010, respectively.
I was mentioned in the official race-program as a fund-raiser. The highest amount raised by an Ironman participant was $17,000!
Overview: I met my friend 9-time Ironman finisher, John Cooke, Perth-based Singaporean lawyer at the fair; we had coffee at their world-famous McCafe/McDonald’s restaurant (it won the world’s coolest café with its real DC10 plane). He travelled from Perth via Auckland to Taupo (small plane of 20 passengers). We scoured the race-fair, where I discovered all Pit-Stop (quick inflation systems for punctures) were sold out not only at the fair, in Lake Taupo, but also in entire NZ! Instead, I bought two carbon-dioxide canisters (NZ$7) that I could use with my adaptor (bought at Ironman Korea in 2006). We did not choose to buy any race-merchandise. Our highlight was meeting Kiwi, Terenzo Bozzone at the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain booth. We had an autographed postcard each, and a photograph taken with the former-Ironman 70.3, world champion.
Pre-race preparation: The three transition bags were loaded, so I could check them in on Friday afternoon. These included my sports-gel for the bike and run. I opted to use another race-bib/tag, loaded with six packets of sports-gels (Hammer Nutrition).
Turning In: I slept earlier to reset my body-clock – a tough lesson I learnt at Vineman (non-M-Dot) Ironman-distance triathlon in 2007, where I veered off-course slightly when I fell asleep during the marathon leg. Can you imagine that!