11 January 2007

ECNZ07 day 2

Day 2 – Kaikoura – Hanmer Springs – swim, 135km ride, run

Kaikoura has a neat old 33&1/3 meter pool right on the ocean front. So we headed down there to swim. It was a cool 76 degrees F so most of us wore wetsuits. I wanted to try out my new Blue Seventy gloves and booties which we’ll be able to use at Challenge

Wanaka on January 20th. They take some getting used to but they feel like they’ll help a hell of a lot in freezing water.

Some guys stayed in to complete a 6km swim for extra points plus did a 1km swim with a band around their ankles for an extra point. Things are getting interesting already! And it looks like my time in Yellow will be short.

After breakfast we headed out through the hills via Waiau to Hanmer Springs 135km away. The route to Hanmer through Waiau is all what Newsom calls New Zealand “rolling hills”. Most of us hung onto the stronger riders who were saving a bit for tomorrow’s huge effort. But some of the guys got dropped on the hills and missed the train through the flatter part of the ride near the end. The G-Man was spending his usual time at the front to keep things very honest and got quite a bit of help from Beven and Newsom today.

The front group was motoring along at between 40-45kph on the flats so it makes a hell of a difference if you miss the train.

We only had 2 short snack stops to get the ride done a bit quicker too. Upon reaching the Hanmer Forest Camp (which has been pleasantly re-furbished!) some went right back out to get some more kms for bonus points. Some went running and some long runs were done for points. Brandon and Mike Montgomery both ran 2 & ½ hours! to pull away in the camp yellow jersey competition.

Hanmer is one of the best places in NZ to run. Lots of marked trails here through the forest plus miles of logging roads to explore. It’s only a 90 minute drive or 135km ride directly from Christchurch so many of us who live here often come here to train.

The crew made us a great dinner tonight! and in general have already outdone previous camps. This is the 3rd camp we’ve had the privilege to have Michaela and she really understands what’s needed. Dave Dwan is along for the 3rd time as well and always has good humor to make the long days more pleasant. Our mechanic/massage therapist John Ellis is along for his second camp and does a great job as a jack of all trades as well.

I’d like to think that our support crew is one of the aspects of our camps that set us apart. These folks are rock solid.

Some of us headed down to soak in the thermal baths (hot-pools) that this little town is known for. Very nice, relaxing thing to do. Its raining now as I write this and hopefully most of it will come down tonight and tomorrow will be mostly dry.

Kari Davis just walked in with some chocolate bikkies! So that’s the end of my report for tonight…………………