Registration for Ironman New Zealand (3 March 2012) opened on 15 March 2011. I sent an e-mail reminder to everyone first thing in the morning, at the same time declaring that "I won't be going".
A few hours later IM Richard Tang informed that he had registered himself, IM Hoo Ching Cheong and IM Ong Boon Hin. Richard was going with his wife, Claris.
All of these people, me and my wife get along very well with. Richard is very meticulous in his planning, he will make sure every little thing and more is OK. He will watch the pennies too. Claris and Tip get along very well. I thought we were going to do a bit of "wife swapping" at Busselton, thats how chummy chummy we were. hee hee
Hoo and Ong, we did IM China together. I have known Ong a long time, we have done many rides and runs together. Hoo Ching Cheong is my run partner every Sunday. He has a wonderful gregarious personality. He can't stop laughing and its infectious. Everyone around him immediately feels happy too.
Tip is a brilliant Triathlete's wife. She is such a lovely person, I have hit the jackpot with her. Tip has never been to New Zealand, neither have I. Tip will definitely love it. Tip has been easy to please in our marriage, even after dinner at the local stall (which is by the drain actually), she will say "thank you honey". She is as I have been told umpteen times, "the wife that every man wants".
I have only heard positive things about IMNZ from people that have been there (IM Sam Pritchard, IM Melissa, IM AJ). Apparently the IM EXPO is a far "as the eye can see", unlike the one at Busselton. Kiwis are also very hospitable people, I have heard many a time.
Lake Taupo I am sure would be an extremely beautiful area. IMNZ has been around since Ironman started (30 years maybe). My mates those days would say "lets go to Lake Taupo". Its easier said than done though
One downside is the flipping weather. Only this year (2011), it rained throughout race day. Looking at their homepage, it rains every year. Indeed, one year the swim was cancelled, what a let down that would be.
I have also been doing many overseas races lately, seemingly without a care in the world. Air Asia doesn't fly to Auckland. I am not even sure what I would be doing in March 2012. Obviously I am not increasing my wealth with all these overseas trips. But once you are fifty, you want to enjoy your savings, do things with it that would really bring personal satisfaction, and I've got a brilliant wife to share it with.
What is life for? I want to give Tip a treat. My best buddies are going!!
By lunchtime, I had registered (I didn't even know what the NZ currency or exchange rate was -- who cares). Again this Ironman junkie couldn't control himself. Registration, btw sold out within two days.