Monday 16th May
5 days to race day!
It’s time to fly to Lanzarote! The adventure officially starts now! I am up bright and early to get to the train station so I can get to the airport. I get a few stares due to my giant bike bag being with me! Lisa and Mark soon meet me there and we are ready to start our journey! Channing (the bike) gets safely tucked onto the busy commuter train and we arrive at Birmingham airport with no stress! I head to the Ryanair check in desk to get Channing checked-in! The lady tags him up and sends me over to over-sized baggage… where the man tells me that I require a heavy label as my bag weighs 39 kilos! The pesky airport man then highlights this to the Ryanair people and this is when the chaos starts! After a little arguing with the desk, they agree I am allowed 32kg in my bike bag. Or I can pay excess baggage. Or the other option is to buy a hold bag so I can have a bag checked into the hold. I decide to ditch my shampoo and take out my run and bike kit and my wetsuit to stash amongst our other luggage. I get Channing down to 32.8kg and they are happy with that. They then tell me us we can check in one of our bags for free…. so it turns out I can take everything on the plane, just not in my bike bag! It has to be spread across different bags… there is clearly some crazy logic here somewhere, I am just not clever enough to figure it out!!
We make it through security without having to be inappropriately touched by security and we can now get some breakfast!! Mark wants a pint – and in all fairness after the baggage drama, we all deserve one! I don’t though, I have a coffee (decaf, of course!) and breakfast arrives super quick! All Weatherspoons should serve food as fast as the one at the airport! My tummy monster is soon happy as it is fed poached eggs and ham on toast… I am not jealous of Mark’s full English or of their beers, I’m not!! We then hunt down some plane snacks, a crayfish and avocado salad, some mango for me and sandwiches for my travel companions! Then we head to the gate and onto the plane! Luck is in our favour and we are on the back row…I can see the luggage being loaded so I keep an eye out and I see Channing be put safely onto the plane! That helps me to relax! He is on my flight so he will make it there with me! I get my iPad out and settle down to watch a film! My tummy monster is hungry again so I start on my plane snacks! This makes Lisa and Mark eat theirs too! They are soon learning that I am permanently hungry and the speed at which I can eat could possibly get me a world record!
We land in sunny Lanzarote and I collect Channing from special baggage! There are a few other bikes to be collected – all by men! I haven’t seen a single female collecting a bike yet! I am clearly special! We get the bus down to Puerto Del Carmen and as we get into the town, I can see that they are setting up for Ironman already…the nerves level has just increased!! We locate our apartment (it’s up loads of stairs, which should be interesting post race on Saturday!) but it’s in a great location, just over the road from the start! Mark isn’t so impressed at having to help me lug my bike bag up all the stairs but we manage it! Settled in, I tell them my tummy monster needs feeding again and it wants steak from my favourite restaurant! We get our shorts on a head out…several attempts to get through the coded gate later and we are on our way (this gate could be very interesting after a few beers, post IM – but that’s a worry for another time).
We soon get to Lomo Alto and it’s steaks all round! Beer for the support crew and water for me! Time to now enjoy the build up to race day….