Saturday, September 17, 2011

Henley on Thames

I left Wales and moved to England.

I picked up Superman.

We took a train to Henley, and had a small bite to eat.

Got off the train to scenes like this...

And I keep feeling like I'm in the set of a movie.

Henley is a small town (or village, I can't keep them straight) on the River Thames. It is best known for its rowing regattas. If you have seen the movie The Social Network - the rowing scenes were filmed here.

There are quaint houses such as the "corner house".

And the Red Lion Inn.

But I came here to race. So yesterday I dove into the Thames for a practice swim. I was told the water is 15.5C, which meant nothing to me. I later calculated that this is about 59F. Not bad at all - it felt downright warm compared to Ireland! The area where we will swim tomorrow is the actual site for rowing in the London 2012 Olympics.

The bike course is beautiful. And hilly. It consists of three loops that wind past pubs such as the Dog & Duck, small towns with names like Shepherd's Green, and brilliant countryside. I met a local guy racing his first ironman who used to be in the marines. He told me all his friends would be at the Dog & Duck drinking by 7am - to cheer us on. I'm looking forward to seeing them. Especially on the third loop.

I can't wait to race on this course!

The run is four loops and much of it is along the Thames.

We will run across this bridge eight times.

So here we go. Time to cash out on all that training!