16 August 2014

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Prologue

Epic Camp Canada 2014 - Prologue
August 16

Seems like its been a while!  And indeed it has. 
Let’s start with a review the impetus to start this adventure as that initial idea still is what drives what the camps have to offer.
  I used to watch the coverage of the Tour in my friend Pete’s garage and we would dream of riding those routes that the Tour covered.  We also thought it would be nice to do so with some runs and swims along the way and some good friends and a bit of racing here and there to keep the quality up.  So essentially we were thinking of a trip that was part training camp, part stage race, part touristy food and drink.  
Pete went on to put on the 5-Passes Tour which still exists and I do it most years.  In the beginning it had a real Tri emphasis with swims and runs along the way but the market in NZ was so small he eventually changed it to a cycling only tour.

At the time my buddy Gordo Byrn was living the dream in Christchurch and he and I decided to form a little company and put on our own version of the type of monster training camp we were excited to personally do.  The plan was to do every s/b/r right along with the campers to show them “what it takes” - the kinda training many pro’s do during their big volume camp periods.
  We were aware that there were already many bike trips put on by many different organizations around the world.  We weren’t thinking we’d like to fit into that category.  What was quite different was our desire to require a very high standard for consideration for entry.  One of the basic guidelines was prospective campers needed to have ridden 5:30 for and IM bike leg and have a finish time of around 10.5 hours or under.  We understood from the start that by doing so we’d limit the potential Epic Camper numbers substantially, but figured there were enough folks out there who fit into the group of people we might attract to join us.
  We also wanted to set up a points competition that included bonus points for tacking on extra training, points for races along the way and for doing certain training sets with very tough target times.  All of this was to ensure the quality of the training remained high and environment very competitive. 
  My other reason for thinking that we’d get enough people to make this venture viable is I had done a hell of a lot of IM’s and was looking to do something different.  I wanted a different Tri challenge than just going to another IM and I figured there were lots of people who felt that way.

One of the main things I wanted to include in this camp was to either go to my favorite training areas in the world or go to new places.  If you look at the recent proliferation of ultra Tri’s that are substantially harder and different than what was offered for the first 20+ year of our sport its easy to see there are many people looking for different challenges.
Here’s my current list of interesting “challenging!” triathlons:

Altriman IM Tri in the Pyrenees  -   http://www.altriman.com/fr/index.php
The Brutal - in the UK - a doozy! -  http://www.thebrutal.co.uk/full_brutal.html
Starts in Edinburgh, Scotland.  point- point  8700ft on the bike,  8200ft on the run - trails!                                    http://www.ratracecitytosummit.com/#up
Celtman in Scotland                    http://www.cxtri.com/
NorseMan Extreme                     http://www.nxtri.com/
SwissMan Extreme                      http://www.suixtri.com/en/
Embrun Man in france                 http://www.embrunman.com/
Alp Duez Tri  France                    http://www.alpetriathlon.com/en
UltraMan Hawaii                           http://ultramanlive.com/
UltraMan Canada                         http://ultramancanada.com/
UltraMan UK                                http://www.ultramanuk.com/
SavageMan Triathlon (1/2 IM)    http://www.winthefight.org/savageman/
Leadman  Bend, Oregon            http://www.leadmantri.com/page/show/288888-home
PowerMan Duathlon Zofingen    http://www.powerman.ch/en

In 2003 we held our first Epic on the South Island of New Zealand and all of those guys (no women that year) have become some of my best friends.  Clas Bjorling, Chris McDonald (still an age grouper at that point) Kevin Purcell (KP) and Andrew Charles were among that 2003 group and they all went on to do quite a few camps with me.
 Some of the other superstars we’ve had join us over the years are Bjorn Andersson, Jonas Colting, Monica Kaplan (later Byrn), Stephen Bayliss, Bella Comeford (later Bayliss), Marilyn Chychota (later MacDonald and then back to Chychota!), Tara Norton, Stephen Lord, Joanna Carritt. 

John Newson came into the picture quite early as a much-needed organizational wizard and camp support and eventually took over running things as Gordo moved onto a sane family life.

We had 2 camps per year most years until I started to get kinda pooped! and Newsom was busy building his coaching business and adding kids to his family. Now that I’m 54 and slowing considerably I feel like I don’t have anywhere near the same ability to give all the campers a good push or actually show them “what it takes” so will soon leave it to John to decide whether he wants to carry on with this idea.

Tara has taken the idea to set up Epic Woman camps and has done so very well.  Stephen Lord and Jo Carritt have been running their own camps on Lanzarote for a few years now with great success.  So if this does end up to be my last Epic then it will have been a very good run indeed and lasted much longer than I ever intended or expected but I have a good feeling about the concept living on.

So here we go! Into the Canadian Rockies for another adventure. I’ll do my best to blog daily starting on August 18 or 19th so I can have a record of what we did. Its very easy to forget what you did even yesterday once you get as tired as we'll get.
Here’s the general outline of the camp cycling component:

August 19th - Vancouver - Whistler 150km
20th - Whistler - Lilleot  130km
21st - Lilleot - Clinton  110km via Marble Canyon Lake
22nd - in Clinton 100km incl Green Lake
23rd - Clinton - Clearwater  190km
24th - Clearwater - Blue River  110km (or 190?)
25th - Blue River - Jasper 210km
26th - In Jasper 30km ( that’s the minimum for points)
27th - Jasper - Sanwapta Falls  115km
28th - Sanwapta Falls - Lake Louise  178km
29th - In Lake Louise 30km (is the minimum for points)
30th - Lake Louise - Calgary  200km

Unless we have a race then every day will include a swim of at least 3km and a run of at least 8km to get camp completion points.  So in general and as a _minimum_ that’s approx 2 hours/day of additional training per day in addition to the rides listed.  

Really looking forward to it!

Cheers, Scott

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