Dalton leaves today
for world ultraman ch'ships
Paul Dalton trains at the Mill River Aquaplex pool on Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming world ultraman championships in Hawaii.
Today, Paul Dalton turns his attention to flying.
A 52-year-old school bus driver and bicycle repairman from St. Edward, Dalton is winging his way to Hawaii, where he and a group of up to 39 other athletes from around the world will compete in the world ultraman championships Nov. 26 to 28. It's an invitation-only race, open only to accomplished ironman and ultraman participants.
He will be using the week leading up to the big race on the Big Island of Hawaii getting acclimatized and acquainted with the scenic but tortuous course.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Dalton. "I think I was meant to be there."
He said he will be carrying in his head during the race the many well-wishes, and sponsorship support he has received.
The race starts off with a 10-kilometre ocean swim from Kallua Bay to Keauhau Bay, but that's only part of Stage 1. Participants hop on their bikes and pedal up to Volcanoes National Park. They climb some 7,600 feet during that 145-kilometre scenic bike ride.
They endure another 276-kilometre bike ride during Stage 2, where vertical climbs total 8,600 feet. On Nov. 28, the participants finish off the race with a double marathon (84-kilometre) run to the beach in Old Airport State Park.
"I'm looking forward to it. I think I was meant to be there." - Paul Dalton
Dalton's confidence in his swimming was boosted last summer, when he trimmed 10 minutes off of his swim time in Canada's ultraman race in B.C. He is hoping to complete the Hawaiian swim in four hours.
Dalton's ultraman time in B.C. was 33:17.15.
A fast swim time is critical, he said, as participants have only 12 hours to complete each stage. Miss the deadline by mere seconds and you don't advance to the next stage, he acknowledged.
"You have to get out of the water as quickly as you can," he stressed.
His swim escort is Clark Willcox. Willcox will paddle ahead of him in a kayak, making sure he stays in a straight line, and tossing him water and nutrients at timely intervals.
Crew chief is Ellis Andrews from B.C., an accomplished ultraman participant. Dalton's daughter, Paulette, and her boyfriend, Triton Hall, are also on his support crew.
One of the things Dalton said he will be focusing on extensively leading up to the big race and on race days is nutrition.
"That's the biggest part," he said. "That's what gets you to the finish line."