01 February 2008

Epic Camp NZ '08 Stage 6 ( err...... I mean Day 6)

Epic NZ ’08 Stage 6 ( I mean ….err…. Day 6)

Being on the South Island we were bound to get some real weather. Well today we got it. More on that later.

The day started for most of us at 6am again with a 50-minute run to the pool. Some drove straight to the lake. The wind had been up all night so I was glad not to be headed there as it was going to be very chopped up.
Most swam 3k and some of us did another 6km session. Newsom did his 3km IM set as part of his 6km and he seems determined to push Albert to the end of this camp. Albert did his 3rd 6km swim session in 3 days (plus the 4.5km open water race we did ) and was starting to look kinda pooped in there. Tara and I were doing a set of 20 x 100m on 1:30 and we had to swim around him!

After swimming we headed back to the Lookout Lodge to pack up and have breakfast before a 10:30 roll-out. The weather repost was looking kinda bleak so I packed my arm warmers, toe covers, light vest and winter vest. The smart people had full winter jackets.
Andrew Charles led the “grupetto” out 35 minutes before us as they wanted to cruise over the Crown Range.
It didn’t take long for things to get rolling and approx 25km out from the KOM it was another all-out bike race. Paul Westwood didn’t’ want to have any part of all the blistering jumps so he sensibly just rode off the front at 50kph! Beven was able to hop on his wheel and got a nice tow right to the top where he jumped away to get the KOM. I know how damn hard and fast our little group of G-Man, Mark P and Johnny and I were
going and Paul disappeared in the blink of an eye. The guy can motor.
I got spat out approx 5km from the top after I had inadvertently dropped Johnny on a steep pitch. He came by later and rode fantastic for the last 5km.

By the time we got to the top it was raining hard and the temp dropped to approx 10 degrees C. I put on everything I had and headed down asap and zipped by just about everyone who were cautiously braking down the steep, slippery descent.
Marp P pulled out his special winter jacket out from under his seat. I wondered what the hell he had been carrying around in that little suitcase all this time!
At the bottom everyone went for a full change of clothes and some people were frozen. Rob Chance was a gone-burger.
Then things took a big turn for the worse as the temp dropped more and the wind picked up quite dramatically. It was the kind of day where you certainly wouldn’t ride unless you were doing some thing like this camp or a race that you had been training for a very long time and had spent thousands on getting to. We decided to take the most direct route to our accom. instead of the more scenic route with reduced traffic via Arrowtown. It was very hard to hold the bike straight and we just didn’t’ know whether we were going to be blown into the road.

It was very nice to have the support crew out there to gather people up who let common sense prevail.

As I type this I’m getting the update on Albert and Johnny going out for another run this afternoon as I snoozed, stretched, had two beers and munched on licorice all-sorts. I think its pretty clear who wants the Yellow more…………

I also spoke on the phone to a good runner who lives here in Queenstown and he regularly does the long mt. run we’re doing tomorrow and it’s a biggie. It starts out with a steep 3000ft trail ascent up to the Ben Lomond saddle followed by a very long, gradual descent to Arthurs Point and then a run on the road the rest of the way back to Queenstown. G-Man has done it before too and under 2 hours at that but I think most of us will be out there near 3 hours.
We also have a solid ride planned now with the trip out to Glenorchy and back on the menu since we weren’t able to do it today. Plus a swim of course.
At least the weather report isn’t tooooo bad…………

Time for dinner and a little tour of town.
I have been quite in adequate in my role as social convener. Time to start making up for lost time.