Our first day the main goal was to pick up my bike from Fed-EX and make sure it was in one piece. It was and I built it and went for a short ride. With the race being on Oct 9th, we arrived early so I could try and get used to the heat and the legendary winds that make the course as difficult as it is. (For history, results, maps and other info about the race go to www.ironman.com/worldchampionship). As we got our bearings and checked out the area mom, pop and I played a fun game called “spot the Ironman”. It wasn’t a very hard game. Key givaways are shaved legs, compression garments, fuel belts, excessive spandex (which is worn while working out, drinking coffee, shopping, at the beach, etc.), visors, logos, silly looking shoes, TT bikes (most obviously) and of course the wafting smell of testosterone as they walk by. Of course not all triathletes fit into the above criteria but as a general stereotype it fits well. Click Here for Visual ExamplesOur second day we went on a drive to Waimea and up to Hawi (one of the few Hawaiian words I can actually pronounce-like this- Ha-VEE. To speak Hawiian as far as I can tell use a K or H slur a couple of vowel sounds together add another K, H or W and more vowels…repeat). The bike course leaves Kona and heads North on the Queen K(add vowels and consonants if desired-but most just call it the Queen K) Highway to the turnaround at the north end of the Island at Hawi. I wanted to ride back from Hawi, to get an idea for the heat and the winds I would be facing on race day. Soon after leaving Hawi the wind was at my back and there is a long gradual downhill for several miles. I was SCREAMING and it was scary. I was in my top gear flying, while trying to control my bike in the side gusts, managing a fine line between rumble strips and guard rails. For a practice ride it was intense and a little scary. That lasted a few exhilarating miles and then it just got hotter and the wind was from the side and I was having second thoughts on how bad the bike course was. Everyone says, “it’s sooo Hot and sooo windy! It’s like 95 degrees!” Considering I think 0 is pretty cold, 80 is HOT, and 95 is basically hotter than I’d experienced before, I was worried.