Saturday, March 1, 2008

Rob Duguay 23 years old You are an Ironman!

Ok so Mike didn't get my age right ( 22 years 11 months but what are you going to do.)...but he pronounced my name right which was cool. I came in at 11:13. 42 doing the "Blazeman" log roll, after PR-ing on my marathon (3:50 and change). I'll have a whole long winded race report posted when I get back, also Catherine has some action shots from the bike and run so those will be posted shortly. No Kona slot unfortunately, but I'll see how roll down goes granted it's an early season race so there aren't many qualifiers from other races, but hey there's always the lotto...that and I think I might be making this one a yearly event ( granted I hope to work out my finances better next go round....

Some things I learned about Kiwi culture

Coffee is instant coffee. ( Depending on who makes it.)
ALS is referred to motor neuron disease down here so the War on ALS togs on the bike got some blank stares.
House is as big here as it is in the US.
Flat White=Awesome.
Lamb lasagna is actually quite good.
a $2 dollar coin down here is about as big as a $1 dollar coin back home ( It was confusing on the first day when I handed the clerk a $5 and she took the two coins out of my good thing no pennies.)
L&P soda is world New Zealand
The first question I kept getting from a lot of guys was if I was going sky diving or bungee jumping after the Ironman ( sadly I suffer from a deadly fear of heights.)
Drivers on the main highway rank somewhere between NY drivers and Massholes. ( like the mini van that barreled through the road block near the town pool.)
The guys at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation rock!
To get into the left grandstand at the finish line there is a two drink minimum.
It isn't windy down here until there are surfers on the Lake.

Also to answer some questions:
I spotted Jo Lawn after an interview also she races in a Speedo so she was kind of the easiest female pro to spot on race day. She actually lapped me as I came into start my second lap of the marathon. I also bumped into her at the med tent after finishing.

On a completely different not I bumbed into Luke Bell at the finsh (He DNFed with a bum knee)
So I've got a nice photo of that.

Alright that's enough for now, I've got to break down the Bitch Stomper and pack up for the flight home tomorrow.

The Latic Acid Filled Ironman.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Less than 24 Hours to go....

"My Heart's beating...My Heart's beatin and my hand's a shakin....."

That can best describe how I felt a race briefing this morning....the nerves are hitting, the distance is becoming real, and the fact that they're expecting rain and a 21 mph head wind isn't really helping. Since I've arrived they've been predicting rain and wind so at this point I'm chalking it up to their full of shit like all forecasters, I still put plastic bags on my bike just to be safe. An interesting thing happened on the way to the Expo I bumped into 6 time Women's Champ Jo Lawn as she was giving an interview so I have a nice candid photo .Yes I feel like a big shot on this trip!

Also included are pics of the staff at Taupo times

The girl on the left is Catherine (NZ's hottest photographer) the girl in the middle is Danielle, and the man on the right is Simon, sports writer and beer and Rugby Connoisseur ( To the guys at HEAT if at all possible we need to ship these guys some Hooker Ale!) Today will be spent not worrying about the race, special needs bag, cramming down more gels, sports drink and Bonita products as possible, the weather or how I might be cussing out rain and wind tomorrow Lt. Dan style from Forest Gump. I plan on sitting on the beach and meditating or forking over some coin at the local arcade to relieve the pre -race jitters. Tomorrow I feel ready to go....hopefully mother nature will co-operate. That's all for today...I need to go put my feet up.

Also anyone wishing to follow the race live
go to the official Ironman New Zealand site and it will direct you to Ironman live .
Like I said I just need to go and take a preverbal cold shower...when I get back home I'll have a nice month long rest before getting ready for the summer season and an epic duel in the land of the crabcake. Also anyone looking for a good "Kona-esque atmosphere without having to worry about Lotto slots or being hell on wheels Taupo is a really good pick.

The Soon to be Ironman

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I am Registered......

Well its official I have my armband and I'm ready to go. Also I have my photos from the trip over and I will post them.

Driving in from Auckland

Yes the kiwis have a cool sense of humor.Jude, Judy Ann and the Girls receptionist at the Times. sadly I do not have a pic of Catherine , New Zealand's Hottest photographer. Yes I said it. So today I went down to the Expo after dropping off my bike at the Times for safe keeping. I plan on getting pics of Marian, Catherine, Danielle, and Simon the Sports Guy. The Weather has started to cloud up so now I am sort of praying the rain, or will at least hold off until I'm off the bike on Saturday, it can pour when I'm on the run for all I care . Today is my easy to non-existent day, I ran 5-6 k Yesterday, 5k in a little fun run which I did at goal race pace (8:30-9 min miles) and a mad dash back to the Hotel to shower because Catherine, Simon and some of the Young Staffers took me to the pub. I was good I only had one beer, and a burger, hey,my nutrtion hasn't failed me so far, hopefully it won't on Saturday, although I have 24 hours for it to clear my system. Well I've got to get back to the grind, pick up the bike, find a TV and start playing the i-pod. Race day is less than 48 hours away so I'm hoping for good weather and a good result.

Cheers .


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's like Connecticut only Warmer...

That's the impression I got from my first taste of the bike course. Chip seal, down hill, windy, driver's not giving you any room but the shoulder, It felt like I was doing the Pat Griskus Olympic Route *tear* *sniff* The ride through Taupo during training was trecherous, especially at one point were they were doing road work. I had gotten dropped off the back by our riding group and suddenly found myself on the run course, after meeting up with 2 guys from our group doing their pre race inspection of the run course, I tacked on an extra 10k of riding and got on to the bike Course. It was about this time Blair, our Kiwi cycling God, caught up with me. He started pointing out turn spots and trouble areas, including on lovely 25mph well I took it at 25 he was going about 35 descent that drops to a nice little left hand turn. When we started hitting the back half I panicked braked on a couple of hills that looked like they were going to be steep edge of the world looking Down descents, but once I started going down it I wanted to kick myself for being a coward. Anyway the ride out to the turnaround is a hammer fest! One small little hill that I took easily in the saddle, but other than that it was kick it in the big ring and pray nothing gets in your way. ( Angry good first Iron for you....well at least the first half of the bike...we have to go all the way back up into town.) I have decided that the aero drink will be getting used due to the fact I was nearly dehydrated yesterday because I couldn't fight winds, traffic, and grab water bottles at the same time. I have been adopted by the local Paper, The Taupo Times as their Ironman, so on Thursday they're running a full spread on me, so that's pretty cool, ( Simon, Marian, Catherine) You guys rock! ( Also Jude and the girls in the office you also rock!) ok covered my bases.
Lake Taupo is beautiful, crystal clear blue water, and 67 degrees making it optimal for wetsuits.
So All in all it looks like it's going to be a good day in Taupo on Saturday, as long as traffic's controlled and it doesn't rain until after I get off the bike, the weather's been warm and dry so far so I'm hoping it stays dry for a couple more days.

The Sun Soaking Triathlete

Ps. Pictures will be posted but I need to up load them to my lap top and then my usb disk so I can put them on the net.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Around the World in 24 Hours or Bob-o Made it to Taupo.

Man that sounds like a crappy title for a blog post, but what the Hell it’s the truth.

Phase 1 The Angry Express:
The Angry Runner showed up at my door step at 6:15AM, a little later than he wanted too but alas that is the curse of the snooze button. We hit the “road” after I crammed my shit load of gear into the sexy Mazda 4x4 (technically a Ford Ranger but hey, this was before the whole “zoom-zoom” phase so they could get away with it.) I use quotes on ‘road” because for the most part the side streets were snow covered trails but once on the main roads and the highways there was nothing but clear black top. We took 84 to 684 to the Hutch, driving the route my dad and grandpa used to storm troop when they would haul my ass back and forth to Fordham University, ahh those lost college days. Any way we kept ourselves entertained discussing markets, Angry’s Ambition to become a State of Connecticut DOT plow driver, making fun of the “colorful lyrics of method man and the WU Tang Klan…man these kids today don’t know the shit they missed out on. Apparently NY & NJ don’t have the clear car law ( Thanks Gov. Rell.), we noted this as we passed several vans, and little rice burners covered in snow except of course for a tiny eye slit on the windshield . Regardless we got to JFK @ 8:30AM not bad for a gas stop and piss break. As well pulled into the American Terminal, Angry had to “find the bathroom” tossing me the keys to the truck as I struggled to cram my overcoat into my suit case.( The coldest it’s going to get in Taupo is 50 degrees so my bringing it is useless until I fly back to “The great White North.”) Anyway the traffic control officer (over glorified meter maid.) Came over and asked it the truck was mine….oh how badly I wanted to quote the dopey Air traffic control guy from Outbreak ( My pilot’s takin’ a leak.)Anyway, Angry soon returned wished me luck and told me to kick some major ass and I entered the terminal.

Phase 2: JFK
I got into the terminal and after some initial confusion managed to check my bags ( and the didn’t get hit with the $80 bike fee! I am the Ben Gordon of Baggage Check! Boo Yah!) then it was off to security, some Hatian couple didn’t want to check their luggage and they were giving a load of Shit to the poor TSA guy and French Translator. Anyway I went threw and then had to strip off all my metal shit and unpack half my carry on. Seriously one day I’m tempted to wear a speedo under all my crap and strip down to it when I go through security, ludicrous but if I had a harder body it might give the TSA chicks a good laugh.
Any way I got through security and then began the 10 min. task of repacking, after all that was said and done I got a extremely overpriced water at Hudson News and went to my gate. Because my laptop doesn’t have wi-fi I started typing this post on my laptop via Word and decided I will save it to disk and upload it to my blog when I arrive at the internet cafĂ©. Also my flight as of 10:09AM as I wrote this was on time. Boo-Yah old man winter Boo-Yah!

Phase 3 American Airlines Flight 3:
I got on board and started talking to this “Hot Young thing.” Otherwise known as Ruth sitting next to me. She was cute, friendly, and taken…..dude whoever you are you are a lucky man. Anyway we got to talking, she was flying back to San Diego from a med-school interview in NYC, I told her about my plans of Ironman Glory. She revealed that her mom was from NZ and had family in Wellington and Taupo, told me Air New Zealand was well known for its service, even in coach they treat you like a god. Anyhoo, the flight was delayed about 15 min. for de-icing. I tried to sleep best I could on the plane…I got about two hours, before breaking out the lap top and the i-pod. The i-pod shit the bed and is stuck on this peculiar screen, I figure it should die before I reach Auckland and I can recharge it later. The flight suffered a little turbulence and a “scenic route” approach into LAX . We landed at about 3:30PM PST 6:30PM for my homies on the East Coast.

Phase 4. LAX:
After bidding adieu to the Ruth she was off to her connection and I was off to baggage claim. Now I maybe a hater on New England Weather, but I will say our airports are nicer ( and Yes that includes Bradley for my Connecticut readers.). LAX compared to JFK, is like stepping back into 1970’s flick. Only thing the I was surprised didn’t happen was a dude with a fro and chest hair…oh shit that did happen never mind. The staff was friendly in directing my jet-lagged self to the terminal shuttle bus, a couple of shuttle passengers helped me finagle the Bitch Stomper’s Sarcophagus on to the over glorified city bus. A couple of passengers asked about the massive load of luggage I was carrying. When I told them I was doing Ironman New Zealand. One person commented, “My trainer did that one once.” Which lead to another conversation and round of well wishes. I got to terminal two and entered the ground level, then came to the realization that it was arrivals and ticketed passengers only. I searched for an elevator ( no way I was going to be able to manage stairs with all my crap.) I got up to the Air New Zealand ticket counter. Now the Kiwis do shit right, my ass is jet lagged and functioning on 4 hours sleep, I can barely walk straight ( as evidenced by the fact I nearly did that whole zig-zag maze but there was only one dude in front of me. After a quick redirection from the staff, and explanation that I was just coming off a six hour flight and a “No worries mate.” My bags were checked in. The chick at the ticketing counter asked if I wanted a window of middle seat….
“Well I’d prefer an aisle.” I said sheepishly.
“ I’ll try to find one for you.” She said with that polite tone of holy shit they’re all taken what is this crazy jet lagged bastard trying to do to me, but I’m going to try to be friendly to him .
upon hearing this in her voice/
“ I can take a window if it’s easier.” I said trying to be apologetic, afterall I was probably going to be looking at the back of my eyelids for most of it.
“ No Mr. Duguay, it’s a long flight and I want you to be as comfortable as possible.”
She directed me to drop my crap with TSA, which I nearly botched up yet again….(note to self if I’m doing this race next year I’m flying with United so Ken can just have my crap auto transferred, instead of all this shit.) After having TSA explain they needed to open the bike case, I tossed them the keys and waited for them to open the case see it was a weapon but not of mass destruction, and got my keys handed to me. About the same time, Check out counter lady came back with my boarding pass, She managed to find me an Aisle seat. I went to TSA feeling triumphant.
For the second time in 24 hours I had to be pseudo Strip searched once again. This time as I was doing so I was shooting the shit with this German dude and his French Girl Friend ( seriously I don’t know what is with me a German dudes getting along, I mean I’m shooting the shit with this guy and his girl, I shot the shit with one dude a JFK, seriously I’m thinking that maybe I should learn the language and sign up for Quelle Challenge Roth or Ironman Germany, it might be an omen. Well anyway I got through security, grabbed dinner, a rather overpriced Hamburger, but it was good nonetheless. I with drew $20 from the ATM figuring I would exchange some currency before I left. But upon hearing they were charging $5 and giving me a crappy rate compared to the current exchange rate. (they were paying $1 NZD = $0.93 USD when the rate at the sites I saw on the Ironman NZ website had the exchange @ $1NZD= $0.76 USD like I said the Kiwis do shit right!). All that said and done I went to a socket to charge up my laptop. As this segment is being written I am waiting at the gate for my Flight to the land of the Kiwi Bird and the Long White Cloud.

Phase 5: Air New Zealand Flight 5.
After much ado and hoopla, We finally boarded at about 9:15PM, apparently some Air France Jet docked at our gate and well there was a whole shit show. It was about this time I ran into Justin (American 2 of 3 in the 18-24 age bracket.) Dave, the Iron Vet. ( Veteran not Veterinarian, please refrain from talking to Dave about your sick little puppy.) I bumped into Paddy, Britain crankiest traveler, granted I would be a little cantankerous after paying 1500 quid, for a 12 hour flight and having half my luggage lost. But irregardless, I boarded the plane and made myself ready to enjoy my aisle seat. It was about that time the LOL and LOM (little old lady and little old man.) Little old Lady made the comment that she might be getting up often so I voluntarily moved to the window seat. Now I’ll tell you once again that the Kiwis do shit right…plenty of leg room, a personal entertainment screen, the food was somewhat descent…seriously I regret they don’t fly out of Bradley because the service was terrific. Little Old man apparently suffers fainting spells, hence why LOL want the Aisle seat, sure enough he suffered one mid flight give the stewards “dreadful fright.” I slept through the whole thing, LOM recovered from the incident that might have been enough for LOL to have an MI and be RIP.anyway the flight was good, 5 to 6 hours of sleep and two meals later we touched down in Auckland and the next phase began.

Phase 6: The Bus Ride
After leaving the Airport and meeting a couple of otther triatletes, most Notably Jonathan from USC ( He's alsoa blogger so I should have hhis link posted shortly.) Itt was time ffor thhe 2-3 hour busride from Auckland to Taupo, Now I will tell you tthis, the countryside even on the North Island is beautiful. Our "guide and driver were hysterical. After about 3 hours wwe arrivved in Taupo, annd tthe next part of my ironman journey was ready to begin.

The Jet Lagged Triathlete