Race report – a wife’s point of view

Friday afternoon – decide to be the helpful and loving wife and prepare packing for Dave’s race – have a fair idea of what he needs and having done this many times before I neatly place everything in piles ready for Dave to triple check and pack when he gets home from work. After making sure I didn’t accidentally pack two left injinji socks like last time, I feel pretty good about ticking most items off my list. Then destruction hit – Dave announces he needs his 113 arm guards, and for the life of me I can only find one. Spend many hours (far too many) searching high and low for it and finally decide it must be left on the side/abandoned somewhere in Majorca. I dare not tell Dave this – I’ll let him make that conclusion himself. Finally, he allows me to call off the search and emails the race director to obtain another one. Oh well – at least it gave me at least 5k steps looking…. I’m pretty sure he was grateful for the effort I put in.

Saturday morning – Alex super excited, I’ve been telling him all week that we’re going to a hotel and it’s going to have a swimming pool that he can go in. He can’t wait. I start talking to Dave about our plans for race morning, and how we were going to manage logistics to get to the start – I’m pretty sure I was told that the race started at 8:10 and that by staying in the hotel the night before meant that we wouldn’t need to leave the house at crazy-o-clock. It seems that I was wrong. Dave was due to be in the water at 6:10, which meant we needed to leave the HOTEL at 4:30 to allow time for him to get ready and rack up his bike in transition. I don’t know about anyone else, but I didn’t relish the idea of getting up at 3:30 myself – let alone waking a 3 year old so he could take daddy to his race. Panicked phonecall to the grandparents, rearrange their entire weekend so they can look after Alex and throw in the fact that he’s been promised swimming so needed them to factor that in too. Up and down the motorway to drop off, then a mad rush to get everything in the car and ready to go so we could make the first race briefing.

Registration and briefing all went to plan – I got to take in a couple of laps of the lake while Dave did all his checks, rechecks and triple checks of rules/route and the all-important arm guards.

Check into the hotel and the worst disaster ever strikes – they tell me that they have no tables for food that evening in their pub. Deciding that this can’t possibly be true, I take the decision to walk straight over to said pub and find myself a table. I think I told Dave that it was super important that he got a good meal pre-race, but in all honesty, by this time I was ready for a nice meal and a good glass of wine. Found a table – crisis averted. I’m getting pretty good at sorting these problems now.

Race day

I’ve got a nice plan in my mind – get Dave off on his swim and when he gets out of transition, head back to the car for a nice gluten free brioche and coffee while he does his first bike lap. Might even get a cheeky nap in if I’m lucky. Unfortunately, weather was not kind and as per Dave’s report, the start was delayed 90 mins while fog lifted from the lake. Once the race started, I watched the swim and after cheering Dave out onto the bike I patted myself on the back and headed back for that well deserved breakfast. Time passed too quickly in the car and before I knew it I had to head back out to see Dave complete his first lap. Saw him fly past me, ran around the corner, saw him fly past me again and start his second lap. I heard him shout something to me about going faster on the second lap but Dave doesn’t have much concept of how much someone standing still on the side of the road can hear/take in while he is hurtling past you and you are ringing a cow bell. I just shout my standard, ‘whooo! well done you! keep going’ then head back to the transition area.

Had some good fun cheering on racers coming back in to transition, and got talking to some other spectators for company while I waited for Dave to arrive. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and although it was quite a tight turn from the dismount line to run into transition, nobody seemed to really struggle. I checked the tracker and predicted Dave would be arriving within the next 5 mins. A screech of breaks, a massive skid and marshals screaming ‘bike down, bike down’ was all it took for me to turn to the lady next to me and say ‘that’ll be mine’. I leg it around the corner and peel Dave off the road while really checking to see if his silly expensive bike was damaged. I’ve told him to practice riding it more – and made a mental note to bring this up on the car on the way home (I’m sure its going to be well received).

Without wanting to encourage him to drop out, I bombard him with a quick health check before allowing him to carry on into transition and start the run. I run the first bit with him to be sure he’s not going to keel over, and after about 500m I let him go while I run to my next spectator point. I want to do the run with him to be sure he’s ok, but he’s not having any of it. Apparently that would be ‘cheating’. I work out a system where I can see him at 3 points on the run course, and at each point, I can run about 400-500m with him. I get to my second stop and Dave realises that in his dazed state, he’s still wearing his cycle shorts over his tri suit and then gives me a row for not meeting him somewhere discrete for him to take them off… erm… ok (yup clearly my fault)! I get him to throw me his shorts from behind a tree somewhere slightly off course and he’s away again. The run is pretty uneventful to be fair – stressful for me, painful for him but uneventful. If anyone is wondering – no he didn’t wear the arm guards!!!!

Suns out now and its getting pretty warm. I find the last two orange callipo’s in a shop and buy them for a finish line treat. Was well received. I realise that with all the stress, I hadn’t eaten all day except for my brioche and at this point I was starving. We’re having a curry tonight I decide – and we can relax and reminisce about the race. Dave had better plans – so we spent the evening in A&E people watching while we waiting for xray results.


First Anniversary

Sunday 20th September.  Our first anniversary.  It’s cliche to say it but it’s gone so fast.  We went back to Llangoed Hall for the night and had a great meal and stayed overnight.

Thanks all for the cards and gifts.

Asia Update

We are 6 days into our Far Eastern adventure.

The first 2 and a half days were spent in the bustling city of Shanghai.  We checked in to the Hyatt on the Bund hotel and it was seriously impressive – Kathryn wants to model our next house on the hotel room!  The first night we had a wander down the main shopping street as dusk was falling and got to see the numerous neon lights that decorate the buildings throughout the city.  It really is quite impressive.  Plenty of offers for “watch, t-shirt, dvd” from the street traders as well as the 100s of shops just like back home.

Our second day was tourist day, where we took the Bund sightseeing tunnel over to the business district where we saw the TV Tower and went to the Shanghai World Trade Centre which opened last year as the tallest occupied building in the world at just shy of 500m high.  The top floor is a viewing deck with a glass bottom allowing you to look down on the city below.  Shanghai currently has something like 3 of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings all in fairly close proximity.

Following our trip in the clouds we decided to go below the water and visited the Shanghai Aquarium which us split into a number of different zones based on locations and consists of many small tanks, several large tanks and some underwater tunnels.  100s of different species can be seen including a tank of huge electric eels complete with voltage meter on the side of the tank, a sea lion tank and a penguin habitat.  The last exhibits are underwater tunnels which included a shark tank and a coral reef tank.  Some of the sharks were about 8 feet long and the same tank also included some large sea turtles.

Next morning we awoke to find the Legend of the Seas moored right outside our hotel window.  We departed the next day for the trip to the sea terminal where we faced the arduous task of checking out of the country and onto the ship – it was nothing of the sort.  From leaving the hotel we were on the ship and done within 45 minutes.  After Miami and Vancouver it was a significant difference!

Once on the ship we immediately made ourselves comfortable and grabbed some food – pasta to start and a couple of cheeky desserts.  That evening the ship departed for a day at sea.  On the second night I had a meal of snails to start, fillet steak main and a cheesecake dessert.  Yes I did say snails.  Next day we visited Xiamen where we kept it fairly quiet and just wandered round a few shops.

This morning we arrived into Hong Kong harbour where we’ll be for 2 days.  We’ve just returned from a day tour of Hong Kong Island where we drove around most of the island.  The trip included a tram ride up to the peak which was on a crazy steep angle but offered a great view once you were up there.  Following that it was a wander around a street market before taking a ride on a boat around the harbour.  It was an interesting tour and we got to see many things.

Plan tonight is to head out on the town and hit the shops tomorrow.  Kathyrn’s been conservative so far but our credit card may well get a workout.


Well, I usually leave the blogs for Dave to write, but have decided its time for me to give a quick update (nothing to do with the fact that Dave is currently out swimming in the reef with all the wonderful fish!, will get to that a little later).

I didn’t think we could trump the hotel which we stayed in whilst at Dubai – but very quickly the Conrad Maldives resort at Rangali Island has now taken place as the most luxurious place we have ever stayed.

To give you a quick update since Dave’s last post – we did some extra exploring around Dubai and visited several Souks. It was amazing to see how many diamonds can be displayed in one window… we thought that the Cayman Islands had an impressive array of wares, but that’s not a patch on Dubai. I’ve never seen so much Gold or Diamonds so big in my life! We had some great fun walking around the shops, usually reserved for the rich and famous – but hey! we are on our honeymoon – nothing can spoil our fun 🙂

After a long day of swimming in the sea, eating a light lunch, some quiet reading by the pool then taking in some swimming (water temp 32 and air temp 40 if you want to know exacts) we checked out of the hotel at around 23.30. Our flight to Male due to leave Dubai International at 02.30. We managed to catch a few Zzz’s pool side post leaving for the flight so it wasn’t too bad. Dave managed to sleep some on the plane and I managed to sleep on the seaplane transporting us from Male to Rangali Island (much to my husband’s disgust!)

Today we have been finding our feet around the resort. The sea is amazing, crystal clear and with so many fish around the reef. I was quite excited when I saw what I thought was a giant angel fish, unfortunately for me, it wasn’t, and to my surprise (and Dave’s amusement at my completely panicked exit from the sea) it was a reef shark. I don’t care what they say, a reef shark may be harmless, but I don’t trust any fish beginning with ‘S’ and ending with ‘hark’!

I decided to opt for the sanctuary of our own, sharkless, private pool, for most of the day.

Tonight we are going to be having one of our most adventurous meals of the honeymoon. At the Ithaa restaurant. We’ve been told to expect a Champagne arrival with a 7 course meal. The most exciting thing about this restaurant is that its the worlds only underwater restaurant. Maybe shark will be on the menu 🙂

With the fridge fully stocked with Champagne, fine wine and Cokes (for Dave of course), His and Hers Spa treatments booked for tomorrow, I am sure that the remainder of our honeymoon will be as amazing as what we’ve already had.

Better late than never

We’ve not updated in a while but a lot has happened.  Dave completed his triathlon, the wedding is booked and we’re 3 days away from our trip to New Zealand.Â

Wedding is booked for 20th September 2008 in Llyswen near Brecon with the service at a local church and then the reception at Llangoed Hall.  We’ll be sending out invites in due course and when we do we’ll provide more details of local hotels and B&Bs for those who want to stay the night.

Oh yeah, I’ve got a new job – starts the Monday after we get back from NZ.  Tuesday is my last Logica day!


ring.jpg If you haven’t already heard – Dave and I got engaged over the weekend! Dave asked me on Saturday, with plenty of time to find the perfect ring before going out to celebrate his 30th birthday 🙂 No dates set yet as we are looking for the perfect place – but at the moment we are looking at late 2008/early 2009. We’ll keep you updated with all the details!

As you can imagine, I’m still on cloud 9!

Happy New Year

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year! We did 🙂

We have been so busy this Christmas, visiting people, playing on the Wii (which is very tiring!) and just plain old having a good time. The girls had their first Christmas, and it was a real joy to share it with them (and play with their toys!). We had so many great gifts, and I’d like to say thanks and we just hope everyone else had a good time and liked their presents.

So many highlights to this Christmas, but one I will remember fondly – I have beaten Dave at every game of boxing on the Wii! Mwhahaha 😀

Its almost Christmas!

The twins and Aled are really looking forward, not to mention Dave!

Last week was Aled’s birthday, we bought him a ‘real light sabre’. he was absolutely landed (albeit a little worried that he might hurt someone). Dave and I went to Aled’s Christmas concert, he did really well, as did other members of his school concert. It was all going really well, until Al winked at us half way through and made us laugh for the rest of the concert!! The play really got us in the mood for Christmas and we really enjoyed.

Its only just over a week now, and we are all ready to go. As seen in previous posts, Dave has his Wii, so is all set!

Its been a really eventful month – Aled’s birthday, my Gran’s 80th birthday, Dave’s dad and brothers birthdays and Christmas. Hope everyone is enjoying this time of year as much as we are…. we are having a great time!

Northern Lights

Northern LightsDay 9 update: Last night around 10 pm, our ranger told us that the northern lights were out. We went to look outside, couldn’t see much to start with but about an hour later we had a magnificant display of colour. There was no cloud in the sky and the view was breathtaking. We stayed out until about 2 am as thats the time the locals say the best sights can be seen. Got plenty of great photos.

This morning it is much cooler and there is ground frost. Next stop – Denali National Park!

Mt McKinley

Mount McKinleyDay 8 – Today we left our ship behind and boarded the train for our long journey to Mount McKinley. The train took almost 6 hours and we had some fantastic views along the way. We eventually arrived at the lodge early this afternoon and although we have been having some rain, we had a lovely walk around the grounds. They were not kidding when they called this lodge a ‘wilderness lodge’… absolutely nothing nearby – the closest form of civilisation is an hour away by bus. Unfortunatly we have not been able to see the mountain due to mist/cloud, but hopefully we will see it tomorrow.

The people at the reception said that they have been seeing the northern lights from this lodge over the past couple of weeks, and said they will call us to let us know if its visible.. no matter what time it is!