04 January 2010

EC NZ '10 Day 2 - Kaitaia - Whangarei

EC NZ ’10 Day 2 – Kaitaia – Whangarei

Then training day started at 6:30 for many with a 10km run prior to breakfast. If you want to have any chance to factor in the points competition then you’ll need to commit to swimming and running nearly every day in addition to doing every ride.
Since I can’t expect to do much running I decided yesterday to not try and swim every day either as we need to do all 3 disciplines to get the significant bonus points each day.
Jo Carritt from the UK injured her foot 5 days before the camp started and can’t run. She’s gutted as she’s been right up there in the points on the 2 previous camps she’s done. Her only consolation is she had already decided to focus on cycling during this period of the year and is riding really well. She just told me she had a good ride today.

I think 5 or 6 people rolled out 20 minutes or so early so they could take it more leisurely and the main group rolled out at 7:40. Since we had a KOM at the 30km point today the early leavers gave up the chance for any points there which turned out to be a pretty smart move as the pace was very steady right from km #1.
Newsom had us in single file at 40kph due to a good tailwind but that tailwind and a light rain made it kinda miserable to sit on. The climb was only about 1,000ft over 5km but it still strung people out over about 8 minutes. Gordo took it out with a surprising Roger in 2nd, then Newsom, Me, Clas who didn’t really play but just went steady, then Blanco. The KOM points will be tallied up at the end of the camp to be worth double a “major” race, so should shake things up a little at the end.
The problem with going for all the KOM’s is they are f…n hard! and could jeopardize camp completion, so it is a little risky to hammer every one along with all of the other races we’ve got lined up.

The rain started in earnest after the KOM and although it wasn’t cold it was a nuisance. Roger came down on a bend and took Randy down behind him and is pretty smashed up. As I type this he’s at the Emergency room getting checked out. Randy’s knees are banged up and he’ll be a little sore and stiff tomorrow but is OK.
The “Tara Train” pulled some of us along for an hour or so at a damn steady pace and she ended up cramping prior to lunch barely making it in. After lunch she was fine even though we didn’t stop long. Since we only had 50km to go after lunch most people decided to have a quick bite and keep rolling as the rain was coming and going.

Once we turned off of the highways after about 65km the ride got really nice. At that point we were on quiet, beautiful country roads – the New Zealand I know and love.
I rode in with Steven Lord, Tara and David Craig who’s from Wellington. With Steven you know you’re going to get there in good time. He can go all day at a steady pace.
David Craig is going great. He had a prolapsed disc in the months leading up to Kona and couldn’t run. He wanted to race thee so bad he went anyway and suffered through it.
He’s one tough nut and the most ripped dude here. Its not hard to tell he was a gym junkie in his former life (prior to triathlon).

The film crew got a lot of footage of us out thee today and I’m looking forward to seeing it. With all the rain there was water spraying everywhere.

Tonight at dinner I found out how much swimming got done while I had a blissful nap. A lot of people did 6km including various special sets for points. Mark Petrofessa did 6km as well as added 3 more points from special sets to move into the lead for the Vets jersey and I have a feeling he’s going to find it hard not to play the game right to the end. This is the first time he’s ever earned a jersey of any type and this is his 4th Epic Camp.

Tomorrow we have an early start with a jog to the pool leaving at 5:50am so I’d better get some sleep as I’m on coffee duty at 5:30.