03 July 2015

Celtman - West Highlands, Scotland June 27

Celtman Xtreme Triathlon

As a record so I can look back after I've forgotten many of the details .....

I could write a small book on the reasons to be here taking on this challenge but will sum it up instead:
- I don't want to live a life of ease.
This doesn't mean I don't enjoy many of the aspects of a life of ease that we all generally know and love - my beer in the spa, a comfy bed every night, good food and wine and company, a nice car, a warm house, a nice dram before bed .....etc.  I love all the creature comforts!
But most days I also want a stiff, strenuous challenge, preferably 2.
- suffering is good for the soul.  I've no doubt about this.  Its important for me to suffer but prefer to be in control of most of the parameters.  I'm not a masochist.
- I love exploration and adventure, new places and people, new experiences.
- Not knowing how well I'll handle a challenge is part of what drives me to try and prepare for many different possibilities.   This game involves a lot of preparation and getting that done on a daily/weekly/monthly basis gives me a ton of satisfaction.

Support crew:
Adam Bardsley and Gary Fagen - Epic Vets from Canada last year were roped in to help me out.
In this race you need a support crew.
There are no aid stations on the bike, only 2 on the first 20km of the run and you need a support runner on the mountain section.
They needed to pick me up from my hotel at 3:15am which is a tough thing to ask anyone.
And that was just the beginning.
They were outstanding all day.
Nuf said about them - this is about me!

Getting here - its a long way.  About 1/2 way around the world from New Zealand.
Flew to Sydney, Bangkok, Dubai, Glasgow, 5.5 hour drive to Torridon.

Its wet here!
I knew the race would probably be wet and kinda cold and perhaps we might not be a blue to get up the mountains for the most spectacular and demanding part of this race.

Swim - about 11Degrees C, calm.
I had on 5mm surf booties, a warm Blueseventy wetsuit (Fusion), a titanium-laced neoprene surfer rash vest with hood built in, another neoprene cap, the race swim cap.  Gloves weren't allowed or I would have used them.
I was still cold, but OK.
Went out steady knowing we had a lead kayak so figured I'd try to get near that and hold sight of it as long as possible to go straight. Turns out there were only 2 decent swimmers in the field and I drafted off of them fairly comfortably.  Lots of jellyfish of all sizes, zillions of them but not stinging at all.  Very beautiful actually.
Was probably around 3km as I was in the water 45 minutes and it was into an out-going tide a bit.

The Bike - it really is 202km with about 6500ft of elevation gain.
No steep climbs, but a few long ones with 3-5% incline.
Road surface was mostly good, perhaps 15% rough chip?
Only a bit of rain.  Biggest difficulty was headwind for the last 30+km.  That hurt.
7:05 total bike time including a few pitstops and stopping for food, coffee.
It is a beautiful place to ride when its clear.  Gorgeous, remote place to ride.
I had carb drink, lots os snickers bars, coffee with milk, some muesli bars, bit of coke.
Never went too hard so stomach was fine.

The Run - here's where things got interesting ....
I really thought the first 18km were on the road and we could get aid from our support crew.
Big over-site!
So I took off with a bottle and a snickers bar and told the boys to look for me in about 5k.  Since they didn't know any different they said "sure" and off I went.
At about 1km I knew I'd made a mistake.
Onto a long climb up a 4-wheel drive track and then onto a boggy, rough track leading away from the road.  I started looking for streams to re-fill my bottle after about 30 minutes but thankfully there were 2 aid stations out there and I loaded up on cookies and water at each.
Gary came running in from the other side to come give me aid not knowing there were aid stations.
The first part of the run was run-able and took about 1:50. Even had a couple of km of road before getting to the mountain trail.
The mountain segment .....
This was only 10 miles.  "How long and hard could it be" was my thinking.
We hiked straight up a 20-30% slope for almost an hour to begin covering about 3km.  Ouch.
After the first summit there were some really tough boulder hopping bits along a knife-edge ridge which took some time as I'm crap at that.
I really can't afford to rip either of my ankles to bits as I've done that so many times in my life that one more bad one will likely mean the end to my running life.  I always think of Steve Gurney (won the Coast-Coast 9 times) when I'm running on technical trails as he wrecked his ankle at age 40 and can't run any more.
There was a lot of hopping from boulder to boulder and using hands to climb down the tougher bits.  A few people cam by me and quickly dis-appeared into the distance.
After the 2nd summit there was a scree slope to navigate down.
I thought I had done scree slopes before but this sucker was the real deal.
Was like quicksand topped with jagged boulders of 5-20kgs each all on a 30-40% slope.
As you slid down you set some rocks flying down a bit so hopefully you don't smash anyone below you and those above you are trying not to as well.
After that it got a bit harder as the trail sorta dis-appeared.
I now understood why we needed to bring a map and compass.  Even in clear daylight conditions it was hard to see where to go. There's not a lot of people out there!
If it was foggy, really raining or dark it would be damn near impossible to find where to go. Thankfully it was not raining as all the boulder hopping and climbing would've been way tougher if it was slippery.
Then once the trail re-appeared I mostly could jog down although there were a million rock steps which was bloody impressive as the were big boulders creating the trail  An incredible feat of engineering really - about 5 miles of this??
I was really getting tired of having to concentrate on my footing about now and was hopeful of getting back onto t road!
With 9km to go on the run we did hit the road again and I did manage to jog that whole segment but the entire run ended up around 7 hours.
I only stopped moving for about 2-3 minutes during that entire time so to say it was a tough course ........ well for most triathletes I think its fair to say there's not another course like it.  Even Norseman is mostly pavement and the trail section is all uphill.
Gary was my support crew on this run and he's actually quite good at the technical stuff.  I think he'd go at least an hour quicker over that 10-mile segment if he was racing for himself.

15 hours - that's how long the race took and that's 2.5 hours longer than my previous longest race which was Kona one year when I walked that last 22km with a f... knee.

Scotland is wonderful.  I was really impressed with the rawness of it all. Its safe, clean, green an the people are super friendly.  We had a great time and loved every minute of it.
But I don't think I'd try the race again.  Next time I go to Scotland it will be as a more normal fitness tourist.  I would like to do some hiking in some other areas as there's tons of magnificent, remote places to see.
The wee town of Applecross was a highlight.   Magic little place.

Not a lot left on my bucket list of events/races to do now and my wife would _really_ prefer I don't add anything to it.
But there are a lot of interesting looking Triathlons I'd love to do before my legs aren't capable any more. Looking forward to getting to some of those soon.
Cheers, Scott

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02 September 2014

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Epilogue

Epic Camp Canada 2014 - Epilogue
September 1

Better get this done before it all fades away.
Special thanks to Dave Rowe and Zach who get my vote for best E'pic photos.  I don't take photos so all of you who have and put them into your blogs will help me remember things so much more vividly.
 I think I'd like to make it back to Lake Louise one day for a summer backpack trip so I can take it all in at a more leisurely pace.  And I might actually see a f... bear.

Hopefully you've all stolen the ones you've liked that others took.
Dwan has also posted photos every day on on his Facebook page.

Think this was Epic Camp 12 or 13 for me.  Will have to try and retrieve previous blogs at some point to count them up.  Stuff on the internet doesn't always last for-ever which is a good reminder to me to save some momentos and memories in some other, permanent form.
  I still have the hat Julie Moss gave us on a training camp in '91 (?) on what she called the "Tour de Trout".  Its a baseball cap with a trout tail poking out the back and the head out the front just above the visor.  I have it hanging on my cycling stuff rack in the garage and take a look at it most days before heading out to ride.

So we're all done.
My assessment is that everyone got pushed at least to the point they were prepared to go to.  There's a lot of pride in such a group setting and its tough to be last or giving the impression you really don't want to try very hard.
Lucky for most of us that Charlsey put his hand up straight-away to be lantern rouge as it takes a lot of pressure off of everyone.  His camp experience and stories from previous camps also help to put everything into perspective.  There was only a touch of the madness we've seen on some previous camps and no one went home in a body bag.

I'd like to make a special mention to the job Michelle Breffle did for us on this camp.
When she agreed to be support there was supposed to be 4 crew.  That we ended up with only 3 made her job twice as hard and long but she carried it off with good humor and incredible efficiency.
 On a camp like this we really do need people with multiple skills and a guy like Mark Kendal who can work on any bike, do massage, drive all damn day, lug bags and also tag along on some great training adventures is critical element to the camps success.  Over the years we've had John Ellis to fill that role so we know how much we need a person like Mark.  Thanks Mark for your company most of all.
 Dwan has done about 6 or 7 of these.  I'm rooming with him in Vancouver so just asked him and he's having a bit of a 'senior moment" and can't recall. Just gave him a few of these "senior moments" mints Petro gave me.  Pretty yummy.
John knows how essential Dwan is and that's why he's here.  We've just driven the van back 960km from Calgary to take it back, and the extra left-over stuff in it.  I'm glad he has the ability to take in the magic of the places we visit in the few moments of free time he has along the way.  When we're so f... tired he does a good job of reminding us to take a look around and savour the wonderful experience.  So I'd like to say a big thank you once again to Dave for doing all he does for us.

Newsom has been in charge of these camps for a very long time now.
They are his camps since Gordo stepped back from being an integral part of them.
John does all the research, finds the accom, books all the rentals, shops for all the essentials, pays the bills, invoices you all, checks to see if there's road works on the route, etc., etc.
 I'm just the social director and on this camp I fell a bit short on that as I was kinda pooped!  I could not do 1/2 of what he does as well as all the training and even this amount of training at the pace we do it at is getting harder to do.
John takes the responsibility of delivering a great camp experience very seriously and I know all the campers can feel that.
He's planning future camps in Kona (Epic "Light") and a biggie in France in 2016 when he turns 40 so if you're interested in those make sure you're on his mailing list for those.

OK - for you faithful readers who've read through my ramblings here's something I hope you'll find of value in a concise form:
Some of my essentials to cover if you are considering doing your own camp.

1) pick people you really like and are good company
2) be clear in your objectives for the camp and then stick to them
3) have several pairs of great "7-hours in the rain" cycling shorts
4) bring your best storm gear for riding in bad weather - pack that first!
5) get good bootie butter and a prescription for 2% hydrocortisone creme to save your ass when its in trouble
6) Have a good GPS watch or bike computer and download the maps pre-trip if possible.  This is the last trip I ever do without a good GPS system.  Bring the hard copies of the maps too and study them a bit.
7) Get new, best, sturdy wheels and tires available.  I rode Continental Gatorskin harrdsells and I didn't flat or even pump them up once during the trip.  I also rode them 1,000km before the trip in Aussie prior to this camp.
8) Eat good food, limit the crap, take a significant amount of anti-oxidants in the weeks leading into the camp, during it and afterwards for weeks.  I put 1,000-2,000mgs of Vitamin C powder into my first 2 bottles every day and take my supplements every night.  I might wash them down with a fine tipple, but I never forget to take them.
9) bring a spirit of adventure.  Things may change along the way but if you hold onto the right attitude you'll come away from it all content.

Thanks to all the campers for their fabulous company and comradeship.  Its been a wonderful journey.

Satiate The Need,

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01 September 2014

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Day 11

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Day 12
August 31 (a day late)

Lake Louise - Calgary - 201km

Big Day!
Newsom set the camp minimum run for today to be a run from Lake Louise up to Lake Agnes and then back to our accom which he guessed to be about 10km.
He had left at 6:05am (very punctual is our Newsom) to do the same run but run up there from the accom which added about 1,000ft of vertical.
  The trails here are incredibly good.
After yesterday's run and today's I have covered a lot of them and there's a hell of a lot more here  to explore.  The trails we ran today were very smooth and wide.  Very run-able.
There's a log cabin restaurant at Lake Agnes that I'd love to have as my batch!   Gorgeous spot.
So our group was out there on foot for about 90 minutes.  Not exactly a cruisy jog before our long ride but "It Ain't Easy Camp" as everyone's come to expect by now.

Quick pack-up and I was dead last to breakfast again.  But to my surprise Michelle put out all the stuff that we weren't able to save since it was the last day so started with a half a tub of maple walnut ice-cream followed by lots of wonderful left-overs.
Can't remember if it was today or yesterday but after my run I glanced over to Gary's bed on the way into our room and it was covered with bike food/bars including about 6 Snickers bars.  He didn't need that many!  :-)  So Adamski and I uploaded one each to help the buddha-belly out a bit.

So off we go for our last ride of the camp.
The plan was to have a big re-group at about the 150km point to ride in together for the last 50km.  so that meant an easy w/up, me romping to a quick "prestige" KOM and then Newsom taking over to get us rolling for the next 40km.
I remember he did the same thing on one of our Nelson based camps when he rolled us out on the last day of that camp from Collingwood to the base of Takaka Hill super steady.

Fast roads, great winds and we ripped it towards Vancouver.
Barry Breffle (Bsquared) was once again busting my balls so I had to back off and ride more mellow but had a good Talk Ultra podcast to listen to and had young Adamski in tow with his Garmin to make sure we didn't make any wrong turns so it went by so easy.

We had a few more punctures today to wait for, but no big deal and after a leisurely lunch on the road-side we cruised riding friendly into and through Calgary to our accom on the other side of town.

Very happy to arrive at the Marriott.
Charlsey was already packing his bike!
He had left about 90 minutes before us and did it all on his own but still seemed in good spirits.  Must have something to do with his recent marriage to the lovely Shannon-a-rella!
Most of us had a quick shower and down to the bar before dinner.
Dinner was good!  another wonderful restaurant meal with everything pre-ordered except for drinks.  Lots of booze going down! with Gary becoming more incoherent with every drink.  Dude can really slobber all over you in a situation like this.
Fantastic evening remembering funny and extraordinary moments over the last 11 days.
Special thanks to John Ballard for the cocktails.

Adam B wrapped up the Yellow Jersey, Zach the polka-dot and Lou the Red jersey for (BOF).
   I'd like to make a special mention here of our two fabulous Kiwi woman who showed exceptional grit and resiliency - Shannon for her climbing ability on her bike and Leah for her stickability every single day.  Tough, tough women.

Epilogue to follow soon with some camp wrap-up thoughts and some tips for those of you who might do a big training camp in the future.
Dwan and I drove the van back to Vancouver today - 930km. All day driving.
I might have to ask for those kms to be added as a last tack-on!

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30 August 2014

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Day 10

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Day 10
August 29

In Lake Louise    Epic Ethos and fit adventures

About the Epic Ethos

Sir Steven Lord; who has taken home a couple (?) Yellow jerseys; has set a high mark, and the ethos for the camps ethical committee to carve into the stone Epic Camp commandments for future campers to live up to.
  With Lord's impetus we've fine-tuned the points system over the years and most of the changes have to do with transparency.
 As you probably know by now the points system is designed to push the campers to their max, and the ways to acquire points are almost all based on an honour system.  If you want to tack on or do extra stuff for points then no one is there to witness it for the most part.
 We have had some very sketchy folks over the years who tried to game the system but I'm happy to say they are either now fat and lazy or in prison.
  One of Lord's main contributions was to instigate the "declaration rule" which is an announcement to the camp if you are going to do extra stuff for points.  You just say what you're going to do, then anyone else who wants to tag along or do something else to stay in the points game can decide what they want to do, and they also announce that.
  This accomplishes 3 things:
1) it leverages the person's determination to follow through by announcing what he's going to do
because everyone will then be checking to see if he/she actually did it.
2) It further confirms that self-belief and a solid work ethic are 2 integral parts to success in any endeavour, the camp being one of the least important in our lives.
3) It allows everyone to know what they are up against in the pursuit of Yellow.

During the camp you have the opportunity to sit in the bunch and only put out effort when it counts for points.  Or in the pool on the sets for bonus points you can draft by leaving 2-3 seconds after the person in front of you and sucking feet the whole set.  Steven Lord, Gordo and some of the other high achievers who've had on the camp over the years would rather cut their heads off with a chainsaw than do that stuff!  We try to pass on that ethos.
The essence of the camp ethos is that hard work pays off and if you are cutting corners then you're only cheating yourself.  I believe its a very worthwhile message to contemplate thoroughly and often.
The thing that's critical for us to remember is that the whole camp environment is about a group working together to get the most out of each of us.  Its a team effort.  Can't lose sight of that.

Adventures through Fitness

I vividly remember many moments as a pro in the 80's and early 90's when I was able to do wonderful things that required an excellent level of fitness and I hared those experiences with my friends.  One of the main things I promised myself a million times during those years was that when I was old and grey I would keep myself fit enough to enjoy similar wonderful adventures.
 Epic Camp is an outcome of those promises.
And the walk/run we did to Sentiniel Pass today was also an outcome of those promises, though it was Newsom's adventurous spirit that found the route.

To be able to experience what we did this morning is the type of gift only a fit body can help deliver.

You can't get the same experience by taking a flight over the area or just watching a video of it.  No way. So I reminded myself once again to do a better job of looking after my body and not abusing it to such a degree that I'm prone to do.
These types of adventures are one of the main sources of joy in my life and I really do hope to continue to do similar stuff for many years to come.
I do fee sorry for people (especially young people) who can't get to do this type of thing on their own two feet because doing stuff like this helps us to fully appreciate the natural beauty and wonder of our planet and I feel that helps us to want to savour and maintain it better for future generations.
Plus its a really great way to get high! (figuratively and actually).

Day 10 - a) what we did today (camp minimums for camp completion points) and b) the craziness that pursuit of the Yellow Jersey involved.
 a) Ride up a mountain 15km to the Lake Morzine.  Run up the trails 6+km from 6,000ft. to 8500ft to Senteniel Pass, then run back down, then ride back down.  Looked to be about 3.5-4 hours of effort. That was followed by lunch and for me - a spa with a couple beers and a nap.  Perfect.
Then there was:
b) Young Adamski to begin with. He decides to really go for it again with only 2 days left his options are limited.  So after a good lunch he heads out to run 20km with the second 10km including the fat run set of 7x1km with 1 minute rest between reps.  That's a damn big effort after pour mt. journey this morning.
THEN! He comes in, has a quick bite to eat, loads his pockets with food/phone/money/ipod/jacket and heads out to ride at least 90km and possibly 120km if energy allows.  He gets 1 point for every 30km and will most likely miss dinner as he started training at 9:15am this morning so can finish at 9:15pm.

Adam B - He got an early start to run 10km before we set out on the ride to the trip run.  After our outing he set out to ride long.  Ended up doing 150km with Gary as training hack for the first 120km to Banff and back. So that's about 5 hours of additional training to the camp minimum of approx 3.5 hours.
Lucky for him he has a good mate in Gary who is supportive of his tri goals, including coming on this camp and the pursuit of Yellow.  So Gary got drug out there for the extra riding
We should all be so lucky to have friends like that.
Besides that he left most of his 12-pack in the fridge and since he was gone all day and obviously wasn't gonna be able to get to it I was able to help myself to it!  Cheers, Gary.

Tomorrow is another scenic run in the am up around Lake Louise then a 200km ride to Calgary.

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29 August 2014

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Day 10

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Day 10
August 28

Sunwhapta Falls - Lake Louise - 178km

We kinda figured we'd get some wet weather at some point and as it continued to pour all night long last night I thought we'd be lucky to not get hammered.
But there was only a light drizzle as we set out to run to Honeymoon Lake 4km away for our swim.
The lake is mis-named for sure.  Only penguins and Germans would honeymoon here.  Scenic yes, but cold as f...
Newsom had said the day before that he's hop in, make a call on distance minimum and let us know so we held him to that.  But he got all wishy-washy and said we could go as long as we could tolerate.
I'm not a lover of cold water but I lasted as long as he did and when we got out most were long gone.
Kudos to Lou and Gareth for staying in so long.  Lou because he's old and scrawny, Gareth because he gave that lake a beating it won't forget for decades.

Run back, pack, coffee, break and a 10am roll-out and the forecast was for wet and cold and it proved to be accurate.
When you pack for a trip like this you bring everything you might possibly need for cold swims and rides.  Unless you forget! Douglas and I were moaning the fact that we left all of our best cold water swim and cycling kit at home.  Damn.
But I was better prepared than most with my helmet jacket, Assos winter cycling gloves (thank you Rebecca!!!). best booties and jacket.   The new Epic cycling jerseys Newsom gave to every camper are also great for winter riding.  Loved that today.
We had 2KOM's on tap today at 55km and 135km and I was in no shape to be anywhere near the action for those.  I decided I was going to be happy just to finish, stay warm and get to a beer and a hot tub asap upon arrival.  Listened to a couple of episodes of IMTalk and one of the Rich Roll podcast and that certainly helped the hours tick by.
There weren't a whole lot of views you'd want to see along the Icefields Parkway due to the cloud and rain, but occasionally we got a bit.
Highlight of the day for me was the yummy, warm veggie soup Dwan jacked up from the kitchen in Sanwhapta before we left.  Magic. Between that and the Snickers bars (Rob hill - 4 at one stop, Phil Patterson - 5!!!) Lucky the crew didn't pull those out early in the camp as we'v definitely got some folks with a taste for chocolate.  I only had 2  :-)

So it was a long ride.  Over 6,000ft. of vertical gain on the ride and twice well over 6500ft in elevation.  Been a long time since I was at altitude and I certainly felt it today.
Gary has a wee hole in the mid-seam of his tights with chamois and if it gets any bigger then no one is going to be able to sit behind him.  Perhaps its a blow-hole to let off steam???
Spent quite a bit of it with young Adamski who was (in Gordo's words) "feeling the affects of an appropriate training stimulus" from the last 9 days.  Dude was very close to throwing in the towel all day.

We all made it.
But John Ballard nearly didn't.
He might not want me to go into details of his incredible moment today but I will say it was one of the most amazing sights I've ever seen from another rider during all my years on a bike.  Absolutely flabber-fkng-gasting.

Dinner at our hotel tonight.  Wonderful buffett but we still went for a stroll for ice-cream with our fearless ice-cream hunt leader Leah leading the way.  The girl has the nose for the smell of ice-cream.
I opted for a wee dram and some port to round out my supply of evening choices.  Gary found some beer - this time with alcohol included.  So we sit here typing away, each with our own version of the day.

Hope we get a bit of clear weather so we can see where we are tomorrow.  Newsom has chosen a very scenic mountain run as plan "A" and if its wet then a flatter choice of plan "B".  Will let you know how it goes. Cheers.

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28 August 2014

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Day 9 ( I think )

Epic Camp Canada 2014
August 27 - Day 9

Jasper - Sunwhapta Falls - 93km (including the bike commute to swim)
It always looks like a very manageable day on paper.
The schedule was ride 8km to lake, swim, ride back, pack up, break, 10:30 roll out for ride, run on arrival.  Doesn't look all that challenging does it?

But is day f... Day 9 and some of us are feeling kinda wh_uuuuu_pped.
So the sleep-in was much appreciated.
The cold lake probably wouldn't have felt that cold on days 1-3, but today it had a real bite to it.
My goal was to just cruise but after 10 minutes I realised I needed to hammer to not freeze to death so hammer I did. After the swim Douglas and I were berating ourselves for all of the cold-water neoprene stuff we left behind at home. My gloves, booties and hood would have been very nice today!
 But we found a nice fireplace to sit by for a few minutes and a coffee in a lodge right there with a great view and things changed from cold to OK in a couple minutes.
It ain't all pain and misery on Epic Camp (but sorry for the rest of you miserable plebs who missed out  .......).

Another good break from the crew and time to ride.
The route was changed a bit from the original plan due to a rockslide on one of the climbs so the only  KOM came along very soon on the ride.
Seems only one person mistook which climb we were doing and that D.O.T.D was me.
So feeling like it was time to show a bit of the ol' TERMINATOR I wound it up early to see who was committed for the KOM.  I zipped right on by the turn up the mountain we were supposed to go up and a few km later turned up the climb I _thought_ we were going to go up.
Kept the hammer down off the front for about 5km up the climb before looking back on a long straight to finally realize there was no posse chasing me down.
So I kept it steady to the top just in case and tried to enjoy the stunning locale. 12km up a magic climb.
After descending I still really had no idea where the hell everyone went as I asked the gal park ranger if there was any other big climbs like this one near-by and she described a few that didn't resemble any I knew we might do.
So befuddled and thinking I was keeping my streak of senior moments alive I wandered towards our destination.  Stopped to turn on an IMTalk podcast (got some catching up to do) and Charlsey and Rob Hill roll up!  they informed me what the hell happened and we kept rolling along with Charlsey pulling most of it as Hill and I weren't at our best to say the least.

Eventually Douglas and B2 motored past but the others didn't! So we all arrived at our accom close together except for Adam B, Gary, ash and Petro who added "my" climb to the route + more .

A bite to eat and drink, out for an hour run on some trails (and also the highway for me and a pretty tired looking John Ballard), some nice waterfall views, a quick catch-up on e-mails, dinner and a few laughs and another day done.  The Stanford Kid Adamski ripped off a sub-40 10km on the highway which isn' flat by any means which showed he's very sincere about staying in the hunt for the yellow jersey.
Poor Shannon was in tears (of laughter) at dinner when she ordered a lime and soda and only a slice of lime showed up!!!  Meals were pre-ordered once again due to John's efficiency so we didn't have to wait too long.
I had received a good tip on a good cocktail from Douglas - a drink called a "Rusty Nail".  I was going to save it for the last night but it was on the menu here (who woulda thunk it??? ) so seemed like a message from above.
Heard that David Rowe was way up there in the KOM battle today and that seems quite out of character for him so will ask him tomorrow how that all transpired.
Once again we had a spunky waitress, this time in wonderfully worn black leather pants so all is right with the world.  G'nite.

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27 August 2014

Epic Camp Canada 2014 Day 8

Epic camp Canada 2014 Day 8
August 26

Jasper  recovery day (only swim events day+ = 3km or more, 2+ hour trails run, 60km ride)
Could be called a "Molina recovery Day" back in the day.

6am in the pool for 500m w/up before the swim events.
We do this as another challenge.  That's all.
Epic Camp is about taking people way outside their comfort zone so they realize its not that big a deal to suffer doing something they don't normally do. No one dies!  And we all need to re-enforce the idea that we become better athletes by over-coming challenge.
Today the events were Epic staples - 400m IM (The "Dolan"), 200m kick with a kick board and 50m sprint.  This year we decided to not do any dive starts as we don't exactly have a group of campers who were ex-swimmers!  Monica Caplan (Byrn) who did a couple of Epic Camps  will be very disappointed to see some of the swim times.
 We certainly had a lot of laughs as always.
My own swims were Epic worsts without a doubt.  After a massive year of swimming to get ready for the ITU Oly Distance World Champs in Auckland in 2012 I lost my swim mojo in a big way and only in the last month prior to this camp have I been able to get it back.  It took a trip to Brisbane to stay with Charlsey and Shannon and the wonderful outdoor pools in Brisbane to get me going again.
The Stanford Kid Adamski took out all 3 races handily.  He nearly lapped me in the 200m kick!

Some stayed in the pool after the minimum 3km to get extra stuff done for points.  I was particularly impressed by Newsom doing his 3km IM set after his first 3km.  Even if you're a decent medley swimmer that 3km IM set takes at least 50 minutes continuous.  That's a big commitment at this point!  Lou also stayed in do pound out a set of 20x100 on the 1:35 for another point.  1 point!
Such is the points game we all love taking part of on Epic.

Walked back, another great breaky by our crew and a 10:30 departure for 2-hour runs.
Fabulous trails here in Jasper and with the help of maps Newsom took one grip one way and Zach led our wee group of 4 another way.  See Petro, Gareth or Zach's photos of our 3-lake loop.
Plenty of vertical for our group but we didn't get lost like the other group which ended up doing around 2:50 for most.  Newsom came back dirty as hell with a bloody knee! so they obviously found some fun trails.

Lunch and a very quick change onto the bikes for many to get the minimum 60km done.
I had a beer, a nap and a massage!
Those are the essential "recovery" tactics for me - always have been.
So I rolled out @4pm going back out the highway we came into Jasper on as I knew it was pretty flat, smooth and headwind and uphill going out, downhill, tailwind back.  Perfect.  Really enjoyed a few Hamish and Andy podcasts (Sydney DJ's) and an episode of MarathonTalk.  2 hours flew by.

8 of us blokes made it over to  the Jasper Brewing company for beers, burgers, hot wings ....... Perfect.  Even had a spunky waitress from Sydney in  an absolutely killer pair of jeans to serve us.
If heaven ain't at least this good then I'll be bitterly dis-appointed.
Then a little stroll through town for some gelato and a bit of catching up on e-mails/blogs and its good-night time.  A wee bit of Jack Daniels Honey to wash down my anti-oxidants and melatonin and I expect to sleep the sleep of a contented camper.

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