18 January 2007

Epic NZ 2007 Day 10 – swim, ride 130km Wanaka – Alexandra, run

A few things I forgot to mention about yesterday……… or was it the day before????
At the aquathon (swim 750m, run 5km) Gordo took it out after making up 30 seconds on Johnno out of the water. Very impressive. It was also good to see Beven get running again ( he got 5th behind G, Brandon, Johnno, Albert) after about 6 weeks off from running coming into the camp. He’s got IM NZ in 6 weeks and he’s getting a bit anxious about his running.

Bevan, Brandon and Mike Montgomery are all racing pro for the first time this year and all hoping for a big breakthrough. It will be interesting to follow their progress through the year. When Chris McDonald was hammering us in 2003 at about 89kgs it was clear to see he had a motor. But he also had a very good work ethic and these guys certainly do too. There are a lot of things that can go awry to de-rail them from their goals, but from what I’ve seen on this camp I’d say they are on track for a great year.

There are a couple of other guys here this year who seem like completely different people from last year. Last year both Mark P and Scott Davis brought injuries and consequently inadequate fitness to the camp. This year they’ve both been hitting every session and even going for some bonus points. Mark seems determined to bust my balls every damn day on the bike! Today was no different. He was up front hammering into a headwind all day and I was a whimpering mess trying to hold a wheel. Scott did 10 x 200m on the 2:50 with me in the pool this morning – damn fine effort considering we’re at day 10 and completely shelled.

How today went ……
Some people hopped in a van at 6am to get to the pool. That was a bit early for me! So I got in with Albert, Scott and Beven at 6:40. My set of 200’s for an extra couple of points went OK. It was nice to feel somewhat comfortable in one sport today. Albert was in the lane next to me and knew after the first 200 that he wasn’t going to make it. Some people went down to the lake to swim their 3km and froze their asses off. They said it was a hell of a lot different than yesterday morning which is interesting. Wonder what temp the water will be on Saturday for Challenge Wanaka?

Some people ran as well as swam before heading out on the bike. We rolled out at 9am and after w-up G-Man hit a set of all-out 3 minute reps on the bike and Brandon jumped on for the ride and the paceline went to hell. It was a 20-mile climb to the top of the Crown Range with the last 4km a lot steeper than I remember. I used that 34 x 25 a lot again! But what a beautiful day again today. The descent down towards Queenstown is a fun one. Lots of switchbacks. After the descent we had a drink stop to re-group and then had a lot of fun racing down to Cromwell. Lots of attacks. Headwind all the way, so great day to stay in the vortex behind the G-Train. Mark P took aver after the Cromwell drink stop for the last 30km to Alexandra. Very tough ride. Lots of hammering today.

We arrived at the Holiday park to a nice lunch spread for us. Not a ton of luxury here at this place! J but the crew have once again made a great effort for us. Some people went out for more kms right away, others went running. Lou went for a 2-hour run followed by another 30km on the bike and I suggested he may need to see a shrink when he gets back home! He seems to be having a lot of fun racking up the miles now and is starting to look pretty invulnerable.

Albert, Brandon, Bevan and I went for a run along the Otago Rail Trail. Its 150km from one end to the other and quite nice way to see some of the Central Otago badlands. It’s a damn desert out here! Completely the opposite of the West Coast.

Some folks hopped in my Van to take a drive to Queenstown. The rest of us had dinner here cooked up by our support crew, followed by a little Q & A which is always nice. After having put on 6 of these camps previously one of the things we can hopefully provide is useful guidelines on how to use the camp in the context of the whole year. Some people have races coming up very soon, others not for many months.

Every one seems to be very bubbly tonight. Perhaps it’s the prospect of making it through the camp, or maybe every one is just a bit more relaxed around each other. Tomorrow is activities day too, so not too much pain on tap to wake up to.