ferris wheels are big in Japan. 
Racing often has its perks. Gaining experience is one of them. Airmiles and airline points another. There’s also those drawstring bags we get every race, I’m gathering quite the collection at the moment.  I’m also racking up the Points, those precious WTS points. Having more Points means I there are higher chances of having a camera shoved in my face as I attempt to avoid looking like a fool while I fumble to organize my transition properly before the race starts. Tattoos are also easier to put on (and take off!). What I wasn’t expecting was how long the wait would be for everyone else to be called down to the pontoon, while I gaze ahead at the empty race course trying to settle the nerves and convince myself I made a great choice with my starting position. This time around, I did make a good choice.

I don’t usually get to many instruction before racing. Saturday, I was told to keep that swim “on the rivet”. And “on the rivet” it was. I sure was glad to round out that last buoy and see that I was in relatively good company for the time being. In excellent company I should say! In fact, maybe our party was a little too popular, as everybody and their mother decided to join our peloton. We didn’t keep the pace high enough for it to remain exclusive, which means most of the field was present at the start of the run. And in my yo-yoing from the kinda front to the dead back to almost the back, I got to visit with most everybody in that pack, even those best to be avoided.

Gwen decided she had enough of the party scene and went off on her own once we stepped onto the pavement. I limited myself to a few close friends, some of which stayed for longer than others, and some of which decided they had enough of me and ran ahead. In the end, I didn’t catch the former steepleling Duck from Belgium on the blue carpet, but did manage to get by one of the Japanese girls (many of which showed up big on home turf, which is always nice to see!)

All in all, I was super-duper pleased with a great swim (by my former and current standards), and a solid run which I was more confident would come this time around. 7th in the final results, which lets me climb back up to 4th in the overall series rankings. More awkward waiting-staring time and camera-in-the-face time coming up in London in two weeks…

Shoutout time! Yorke for a best ever 15th place with an impressive run. Gwen of course for winning. Dave, Sharleen and Marilyn for not only being world class at their jobs, but also awesome people. The wizards (Char, Aaron Ryan) for a good weekend. Thanks Yokohama for putting on a great show, making us feel unorganized, too tall and not respectful enough. You set the standard high Japan!

Until next time, 


party of five. 


What I'm Going to Miss

  • The beach. Most specifically North Beach. Days like these.

  • Leisure Coast Groceries. They found the best way to get lazy people to buy too many vegetables (just grab a bucket!). Which is only a problem when you have to stuff them I a backpack in order to get them all home.

  • Massive multi-family tubs of sunscreen at the pool for all to use. Greatest investment in public health in a country where the UV rays are too strong for redheads. 
  • Surfers. Surfers in the water, surfers at the beach, surfers running to the beach to surf, surfers biking to the beach to surf. Surfers everywhere. 
  • Flat Whites. Diggies on a sunny morning. Or after a group session. 

  • Spearman’s and Northside Runners. They all understand “I’m with Jamie” means no compromise. They also play street cricket on Australia day with the triathletes. Great people, great stores.
  • Cheap grapes and peaches. And passion fruit and mango. And pumpkin. Not the canned stuff. 
  • The pie shop at the top of Jamberoo pass. Familiar sights are comforting on long rides. Especially when they mean a bit of a break for the legs. And the end of the climb. 

  • Friday morning Open Water Swim Session. Body-bash session. Sometimes, the two were quite similar. Taste of it here...
  • Sunday roast dinner with the eclectic group of people living under one roof at the top of Kembla street.
Most of us are leaving the Gong for the warmer, greener pastures of Vitoria by way of Yokohama. I’m lucky, I’m bringing most of the people I like with me (or rather, I’ m following them). I hate goodbyes, but I plan on coming back someday. In the meantime, life won’t change so much; the environment will be different, but the work and the goals remain the same.

See you on the flip side!

But don't forget to tune in for some fast racing on Saturday, 10AM Japan time!