19 January 2010

EC NZ '10 Day 14 Waianakarua - Balclutha

EC NZ ’10 Day 14 Waianakurua – Balclutha (another bloody 190km…….)

The town of Waianakurua consists of the lodge and the backpackers we stayed at. That’s all that remains of the town. Very nice lodge. Cozy and warm, great atmosphere and food.
6:30 – 7:30 breakfast, then we rolled out. There were a few early starters but not many today as we had a tentative plan to do an aquathon in the Dunedin harbor at Port Chalmers en-route.
Very casual 50km to the first drink stop, then a hilly 15km to the base of the KOM.
From the map it looked to be about 1,000ft climb and approx 7km. It did start out very steep so there was a pretty quick sorting out in the first km.
Gordo told me after the climb he saw some PB Watts numbers for best 5 and 20-minute readings. And he got dropped pretty quick. Steve and I had a good battle for 3rd but Newsom and Clas are clearly better. Clas can just sit on whoever is in the lead and then come around at the end. Newsom doesn’t let me have a crack at him with less than a km to go any more as I usually can summon up a good effort if I get that close at the top.
Tara and Jo also were in there fighting for position today and Jo had a particularly good climb today.
We had a bit of a wait after the climb to find everyone and changed the plan for the day to go through Dunedin so we could get to the bike shop as Charlsey broke his shift cable and Rob Q broke a spoke. So we dropped them off there and had Nick (who went to Uni here in Dunedin) escort us through the neighborhood of his youth and a steep bloody hill to get to Brighton where we had lunch by the beach.
The sun had come out and a good tailwind was blowin’ so the general mood was pretty good.
A van stayed back with charlsey and Rob Q but they were going to be a while so we rolled and the pace was pretty quick all the way back with the tailwind. There was one very tough climb to get over and it turned out to be way harder than I thought it would be. My back was feeling about 100 years old by this time.
At the last drink stop with 20+km to go the support crew brought out some of Nick’s grandmother’s home-made ginger oat slice and it was _divine_.
I’m going to get Nick to get the recipe for me. It had fresh ginger in it and it really gave me a lift. Perhaps the culinary highlight of this trip so far. No shit!!!

Even with the sun and tailwind 190km felt like a long way today. Some people headed off to swim at the local pool and some ran too. You can read about it in their blogs and get the jist of it when Gordo publishes the point totals. Its easy to see who’s been out there training a ton. You can guess what I did after the ride…………..

I won’t be getting my camp completion totals due to me not running enough and that kinda pisses me off, but the shared experience with these people more than makes up for any disappointments I may have. I’m so glad we decided to go through with this monumental mission.

One day to go and its a biggy.