30 January 2008

Epic NZ '08 Day 4 - In Wanaka

Epic NZ ’08 Day 4

The last of the contenders for Yellow just walked in at 7:20pm after swimming and running in town as the rerst of us were just sitting down to eat dinner. Looks like at least 4-5 people are shooting for max points for the camp and perhaps some time in Yellow.

G-Man says there’s quite a bit of Yellow fever going around and its fun to see so many people playing the game.

Last night seemed to go by pretty slowly as I am sharing a room with Epic snorer Anthony DeMarco from NY, NY.
I was woke by what I thought might have been an earthquake and realized it was his snoring! It was like I was in the room with a jackhammer the vibrations were so strong. I’m amazed the guys fillings don’t vibrate out! Every now and then there were some really strange guttural sounds coming out too like his gall bladder was in spasm or something.
Tonight I’ll put in ear plugs and will probably wake up feeling like I’ve had 8 hours of Tapotement.
Anthony’s bike finally arrived yesterday along with Rob’s so they finally get to ride their own bikes. They’ve both been great at putting up with borrowed machines.

Our day started with a swim race and G set the swim course that looked to be approx 5km. After yesterday’s aquathon I knew there was going to be some tired swimmers.
Albert went straight to the front to string it out with Newsom and crew member Rob
Creasy sitting on with me in the “sweet spot” #4 in the line. We were moving along at a very good clip! 1/3 the way through the 2nd lap Creasy decided to stay away from the shallow water and took Newsom with him but I stayed with Albert who had been sighting brilliantly and he pulled me away from those guys.
That lake is an absolute delight to swim in when its calm but all I saw was bubbles for an hour! Newson was 3rd, G-Man 4th with Mark P and Rob Chance on his feet and Tara just behind. I thought “Major” Mike Gilbert from Auckland might be in there all day but he finally made land just before we were going to send out the search and rescue team.

After the swim we hopped into the vans to drive back to the road just below the lodge to run a 10km. This was another race for points but we also did a secret ballot time prediction which was worth ½ points with the person closest to their prediction taking it out. I predicted a 43:15 for myself which I thought was a little optimistic. No one was allowed to wear a watch.

Paul Westwood took it out in 35:03 which was a damn fine effort this far into the camp.. Beven closed a lot and dropped G to go 35:30 to get 2nd with Newsom 4th. Albert lumbered out with a 4+ min first km looking determined to be sensible but I don’t think he really has it in his personality to cruise any type of race at all and he soon got ramped up to chase some people down.
We have some very good over-40 runners on this camp with Major Mike and John Drury from Folsom, CA coming to the camp with very good recent run credentials. They were right there with Albert.
Young Elliott from Reno was closest to his prediction – he predicted 43:24 and came in at 43:32. He came in right with Tara.
The sun was high in the sky by the time we finished and it was a balmy 23C.

We had a very leisurely late breakfast and laying around and some people (including me) had a little nap.
Finally at 12:30 we rolled out for an easy spin of 60km. It was a sunny 27 Degrees C by now. We did the 12km into town to begin, then around the lake to the base of Treble Cone ski area and back. That’s the last part of the Challenge Wanaka course and it’s a nice but very rolling section of very rough chipseal. Some new road surface was being laid while we were out there. Not so nice on some very sore under-carriages.
We stopped in town for treats before heading back. Albert had his heart set on a steak mince pie from the bakery and washed that down with date scone. Gordo took some of the others to Luxury burger for a big greasy burger and Fries. Mark P was all over that! His appetite seems to have grown from camp to camp impossible as that may seem……….

Dr. Douglas from Auckland did the longest ride of the day at 100km with a few others going 30km over the 60km minimum to get an extra point. Then the real earnest chase for the Yellow began as some went to the pool and some ran again.

Albert finished his day with a 6km swim session composed of the 3km IM set, then 20 x on the 1:30 and then another 1km to race into the points lead. That’s a 11km swim day for him!

Tomorrow we resume some normal Epic training with a swim in the morning (some going to the lake, some to the pool), a very hilly ride 170km ride including a very steep 45+ minute hill- climb 100TT up the back side of the Crown Range and then a run during the day either right after swimming or riding. My prediction is there is going to be some people falling over!

It was nice to see super support crew Dave and massage guy John get out for a nice ride in the sun today. They’ve been working their tails off.