Like at Epic Italy day 5 is an easier day. This allows those that are feeling the strain to take it a little easier and recover a little though still having to swim, bike and run whilst those gunning for points get their chance to do their own thing to gain points.
Every day has some sort of race for points. Today it was an open water swim of about 3.5k. We all lined up at 7:15 for the start. Two laps of a course marked by two tiny buoys. We all missed the Heath express and he was clear. At the first turn as expected Chris, John, Scott, Tara and myself were in a pack with Chris and I leading it. The water got stupidly shallow and ahead we could see Heath stand up and dive in perpendicular to our course ! We all stood to spot the buoy and then start running through the shallow water, diving in every so often and swimming a little. Chris rounded the turn first and got caught in the buoy … it almost looked like he was moving it to stop us going round ! A combination of running and dolphining (is that a word?) got us away, Chris got a little gap and I worked hard to get back with him. This continued round the next full lap to the same buoy. I was to the right of Chris and breathing to the right but could see him out of the corner of my eye. Every so often he would suddenly be further away to the side …. I found out later this was intentional to try and drop me ;o) Coming round the shallow buoy again I saw that Tara was off the pack by a fair bit and Scott was about 10m down as we ran round. I took the front and swam hard to the next buoy hoping to keep it as just a pack of three (me, John and Chris) but as we rounded the last buoy I saw not only Scott but Tara as well had caught back up. As I rounded it I sprinted all out figuring that though the draft is good in swimming it’s not quick to come along side and provided I go fast enough to keep us strung out I should win the sprint to the beach. As it got shallow near the finish the dilemma was when to get up and run. When I did I saw Chris had already started and I had to sprint hard to beat him. I came in 2nd (Heath had won by a mile), then Chris, John, Scott then Tara.
Big breakfast then out to the Heaphy Trail to do an out and back run of about 2 hours. It was a lovely track and I really enjoyed the run. Unfortunately Tara fell on the decent and hurt herself so there’s a chance she won’t complete the camp. I hope it proves not too bad.
All we had left to do was a 60k ride to meet the minimums. Lunch wasn’t ready when I got back so I headed straight out on the bike with Jo – I completed by 60k and left Jo to continue on her own. She ended up hammering it and getting 150k done in the time limit. I decided to get a 2.5 hour run in – this would be a five pointer and I doubted whether anyone else would be willing to run nearly 5 hours in a day. With all the fell running. I’ve done I thought nothing of it and headed off to this track I spotted across the valley up this hill. It was an unrelenting gradient, much steeper than the Heaphy track. The views were stunning and the running was less stressful on my legs than running on the road. I ran for the best part of an hour uphill and almost got to the top of the mountain before deciding to return. I judged it just right not only getting bang on 2.5 hours done but also arriving back with just enough time to shower before dinner.
Still in yellow about 10 points ahead of Tara and I think something like 20 ahead of 3rd. Only two more days to defend it as it turns out points will stop on Saturday night before special events day on Sunday.
Didn’t get a picture today so the piccie above is me during the TT on day 2.