Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Karen writes: Support Crew

Kate is in there somewhere
I was completely exhausted by Saturday night.  Nothing to do with my training, everything to do with being support crew for Kate's Orca Auckland half Ironman.

But what a fun day. Up early and over the road to see Kate started on her 2km swim, the girls declined the opportunity to go back to the house to wait  and instead played in the sand as the sun continued to rise over a picture perfect sea.

Exiting the water, people behind
Then Kate was off on her bike, and I eventually managed to herd the girls home. A couple of hours of housework, well, actually, me tidying and then wasting energy trying to get the girls to tidy their own rooms. Then preparation for a long afternoon ahead at Kawakawa bay while Kate slogged it out on the hot road.

After lunch, girls, chilly-bin, sunscreen, hats, food, frozen drinks, and importantly a chair for me (I like to be comfortable these days, anything wrong with that?) and we drove off to Kawakawa bay.  The cyclists had all gone past Kawakawa bay to Kaiaua by this stage, and we had no problems driving along the narrow winding roads and finding good parking close to the finish-line. Whew, I had envisaged being too early and having to overtake one cyclist at a time for 30km.

End of the bikeride looking fresh
I set up my chair under a tree on the roadside to wait for Kate to come in at the end of her 90km grueling hill ride, the girls headed for the playground to be energetic.

We watched Kate off on her run, and then spent the afternoon talking, clapping and cheering anyone who looked like they could cope with clapping and cheering. When you do something like this you are reminded of how important the spectators are.  You tend to take ownership of a whole heap of other athletes and others take charge of your athlete(s) and it makes for a great feel and a lot of extra support. Eating ice-cream was another important part of the day.

Funny how you keep coming across evidence of just how small our piece of the world is. I was looking at sunglasses in a display having destroyed my longstanding favourite pair and got talking with the man selling them. Turned out he was from the West coast and of course had run across Kate.  I couldn't not buy the pair of purple sunglasses after that.

So Kate finished in under the time she had predicted, she can tell her story of the day, but from the spectator side it looked like she did a great job. And what a fabulous way to spend a Saturday. Here's hoping my girls are so used to their mum and friends heading off to do things like this that they think it is just what everyone does.