01 February 2009

EC NZ '09 - Prologue

Epic Camp New Zealand ’09 – Prologue

An Epic Camp with no Gordo!!?? YIKES!! It ain’t gonna be the same.
Life does impact training sometimes, and this is just one of those times.
So we’ll be thinkin’ of you G-Man and look forward to your return in the French Alps later this year.

We do have some old friends returning though including Chris McDonald who was here for Epic #1 in ’03 and again in NZ ‘04. He was just a chubby, goofball wannabe back then! Its been a lot of fun to work with Chris and then just watch him develop over the last few years. More on Chris later but for those of you who saw him rip another IM win in Wanaka a couple of weeks ago or IM Wisco or Lousville (2nd) you’ll know how strong he is. Its awfully fine to have my big motor pacer out there with me again.
Steven lord and his partner Jo Carrit are here in NZ for quite a long spell including Epic and IM NZ. Steven handily took out the Pink Jersey in Italy and I think anyone thinking of battling him for the Yellow here will have their hands full.
Russell Cox from the UK was in Italy as well but this time he’s done some prep in Aussie on the Gold Coast so will be much better prepared to attack the points.
Also returning are Dr. Douglas Scott for his 3rd camp, Ken Wallace who joined us in France (and came to NZ on his own to do his own version of EC NZ’08 – the West Coast version), Tara Norton who was here last year and Marilyn McDonald who did the ’04 EC NZ camp. She and Chris actually met on that camp but that’s a story for another day…… Marilyn is just bike racing at the moment but has promised to join us in the pool in her teenie weeneie bikini to work on her tan on sunny days.
Some Epic Vets will be severely missed like KP (Kevin Purcell), Andrew Charles, Michael Peters, Jeff Shilt, Clas Bjorling and Monica Byrn. You guys were always outstanding company and I hope we can ride together again at some point to re-live the laughs.
Some previous campers wont’ be missed all that much! J Bjorn – I can’t tell you how relieved I am not to have to try and hang onto your wheel for even one minute! That kinda suffering isn’t easily forgotten.
Ah ….. before I forget…. My part of the EC blog is rated “M” for mature audiences so please screen this from the yungins just as you would any other adult internet material. J

For the record I do this blog mostly for the campers so they have some record of where they went and what they did. We’ve got some great support crew to help us and one of their jobs is to take photos so everyone should be able to have some concrete memories after they get home no matter how fuzzy their experience seems while they’re here.

In my quest to always change the routes for Epic so we all can see some new sites we’re heading to the top of the South Island again but going all the way over to Golden Bay and then up to the Heaphy Track which I’ve never been to. I’ve been in the area 3 times when taking my family to camp over the Christmas holidays in the Abel Tasman National Park and it really is one of my favorite parts of the world. That part of the country really does make me feel very privileged to live in such a wonderful country.

Once again John Newsom has done a great job of organizing everything from sponsorship to accommodation to support crew so it looks like another smooth trip. Here in NZ we once again have Dave Dwan to look after us en-route along with John Ellis who’s helping us out for the 4th time (?) who also does massage so I know everyone is in good hands.
Bevan James Eyeles is joining us again but he won’t be here until day 3 due to work commitments but once he does we should get a few podcasts out via this site.

The points system we use is the same as previous camps. We do have some sort of race every day for points and sometimes even 2 races along with hammering for KOM’s or for no reason at all! We don’t have Mark P or Clive A along on this camp so perhaps the spontaneous 1 to 3-hour ride-everyone-off-your-wheel hammerfests might not be quite so common this camp!
One of the main objectives I have for all campers is to try their best to complete the minimum distances for swim, bike and run sessions each day. If some one is injured then of course I’ll try not to needle them too much! The point system weights total camp completion very heavily so there is the incentive to do so. I’ve completed all of the camps except for two (that’s 2 !!!) short van rides on the very first camp and I’ll try my damndest to complete this one as well.

We have a massive first 3 days to start the camp and if anyone is going to get into real trouble with fatigue, illness or injury I have a feeling they’ll know it by the time we get to Nelson.

We had a nice dinner at Winnie Bagoes restaurant in town tonight and there was even a little food left on the table.
Start time tomorrow is 6am with a run to the pool for a 7am start there and that will include our traditional 2km TT for points. Normally I can count on a few easy points there but my swimming isn’t what it has been for previous camps so a little humble pie is probably going to be jack-hammered down my throat. Oh boy………….

More tomorrow after day 1.