06 January 2010

EC NZ '10 Day 4 Auckland - Matamata + aquathon

EC NZ ’10 Day 4 – Auckland (N. Shore actually… ) – Matamata

We’re starting to get into the groove now.
6:30 breakfast which the support crew laid out for us. No cooked stuff today – just toast, yogurt, cereal, fruit, lots of great Coffees of Hawaii.
7:30 roll-out to get a ferry over to the Coromandal peninsula.
It was a leisurely 15km spin down to get the ferry and lucky John allowed us an hour as we went to the wrong terminal at first.
The N. shore is definitely the nicer part of Auckland. Swankyness oozes from the place.
He also booked a private ferry to take us all over from Devenport to the town of Coromandel which was a great idea since we were late getting there and the captain was fine to wait for all of us to arrive.
Nice 2-hour trip over there. Great way to chill out, chat, read the paper and have a snooze.

Before I forget to fully acknowledge Newsom’s admin efforts it must be said that he does all the ground work for these camps and he really does cross his t’s and dot his i’s with precision. It looks like G-Man will take on more admin responsibilities for the next Epic which is in his backyard of Colorado in August and perhaps I’ll get a chance to pitch in after that as my share of the work has been less than significant over the last few years.

New Zealand put its best foot forward for us today. Sunny, calm, balmy day, flat ocean.
What a stunning part of the country.
We did an aquathon race to begin the day with a 1km (approx. …. ) swim and 5km run.
I didn’t think I could run but thought I’d just give it a try and see what happened as the worst outcome would be to walk/jog/limp to the finish. Turned out fine as I was able to sit on G-Man in the swim and come out 4th after Lord and Newsom and then hold my place except for Clas who came by everyone easily except Gordo.
Nice to hold Petro off as I’m sure he thought I was an easy target.
The big mover on the run was David Craig and he had already done a 10km run before we set off from the N. Shore this morning. The guy looks like he’s in damn good shape and is riding and running great.
Not everyone did the aquathon and that was prudent. We still have a hell of a long way to go and the riding is hard.
When we set off at around noon for the ride we had to massive hills to begin the ride today with a KOM at the top of the second climb so the heat was on right from the first one.
These were about 15-minute grunty ones and I was sweating buckets.
Clas big-ringed Gordo to take this KOM with Newsom 3rd (again…) and then Lord, Petro just nipping Blanco with me a distant 7th.

After the KOM we had a very nice spin along the coastline of the Coromandel, then from Thames to Matamata a nice steady group ride with an aiding tailwind under the control of the G-Man at the front until the last drink stop with about 45km to go. Nice to hae the whole group together for a while. We don’t actually get the chance to ride like that too often because of all the hills and KOM’s.
Another 170km day and that is already starting to seem normal.
Petro broke his rear derailleur cable and we don’t have another one at the moment so will be stuck in his 16-tooth cog in the rear tomorrow. Should make for an interesting day!
Not much else to report from my end except we had pavlova for desert again and I could eat that every night until I die and be just fine with it.

Hope some pics of today go up soon for you all to see. Just heavenly views all day today.

The schedule for tomorrow is to roll out around 7:30 after breakfast for the ride to Turangi which is on Lake Taupo, then a run and swim in the lake there. Weather forecast looks brilliant again for tomorrow.