My wife Wendy and I have had a great time at the ITU World Championship in Auckland, NZ. We fly back tomorrow evening after our last day on the south island, on a ranch near Queenstown. See the attached photos taken of our "farm stay" location. The brown house in the photos is our home this week.   Race week was great, eventful, but also relaxing. Staying at the Hilton Princes Wharf, (part of the run course, 200 yards from the finish line) was the right call for making race week easy and fun, although expensive. Our races, Aquathlon and tri were in very choppy 58 degree water, and bike and run were windy and rainy, but not as heavy as when the juniors and elites raced. We watched all the racing, along with many thousands of others who braved the heavy winds and rainy days. Wendy was a trouper, and we both actually enjoyed it all. (Others may not have enjoyed the bike course, with the two 17 degree hills, along with other hills and many difficult 90+ degree wet turns, but we were both happy to race fast and not go down.) One of the other highlights of race week were our two "practice" swims: the first in the 57 degree Auckland harbor in rough seas, (many racers were wobbly when they came out), and then our local pool swim, arranged for Team USA where the pool temp was 59 degrees and so briney and salty, you could barely speak with your mouth so salty, even if you didn't swallow during the practice. I swam 1200 meters, and was very cold, and proud, as I exited the pool into super rainy, windy 58 degree pool deck weather.

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