Epic Camp NZ09 – Day 8

EpicNZ09Day8.jpgFinal day of the camp. Today was special events day. First down to the pool for swim events. Three races which combined would be classed as a major events (so 9 points for winner and half point less as u go down the order).

BTW – no photo from today but above is a piccie of me coming to the top of a climb with Marilyn on my wheel – she’s a super strong road racer.

First up was 400 IM. This is hilarious to watch the people that aren’t “swimmers” – Bevans  breaststroke took the biscuit – only can be describe as a very bad fly kick that produce an enormous splash. Heath won outright by a mile. I managed to take second. I paced it alot better taking it easier on the fly and getting up into second on the back. Ended up a comfortable second.

Next – 200 kick. Heath off again. I was in second till 25m to go when John managed to go by and I couldn’t go with him. I got third.

Finally 50 free. Alot of guys were fast and certainly quicker than me. It’s not my forte to sprint. I could probably have backed up with another 50m similar speed I just don’t have a turn of speed at all.

The final bit of a camp is a Triathlon. Considering how tired we all are this is a real test. I felt totally dog tired this morning when I woke up. I felt like the extra 80km on the bike I did yesterday was the straw that broke the camels back. We had to ride 20km to the swim for the race. I have a great map memory and was pretty sure of the route so I soon realised we were going wrong – I rode up to the front group and got them to stop. I was told there were two people up the road. I felt as yellow jersey wearer I was one of the stronger riders so I said I’d ride up to get them. I half expected Chris to come by as he’d get them quicker but he didn’t. I rode balls out to catch these two cyclists ahead. Just as I was about to catch them and was thinking “stupid buggers how can’t they realise they are so off course” but also thinking it doesn’t look like anyone on the camp when they turned off. F#$% !! Turn and belt back. Luckily this hard effort made me realise I could work hard on the bike, I wasn’t as dead beat as I felt. I did wonder whether they’d just start without me.

Finally got the race having probably done an extra 10 or 15km of riding (hard). Straight into the swim. The race was about Olympic distance.

It was really choppy on the swim but I was swimming really well. Heath was ahead. I’d managed to break away from everyone other than John so was well chuffed. Coming down the final stretch I lost sight of Heath and couldn’t see the buoy. Unbeknown to me John had spotted it and made the turn leaving me to swim on. He ended up leaving transition about 3 minutes ahead of me. BUGGER ! Lost a big cushion there.

On the bike I soon got into 3rd behind John and Chris. Just after the turnaround Scott came by and I used him to pace me back. We came in to transition together but I managed to leave a fair way ahead of him. Piet had ridden awesomely to close the gap on us and both Del and Lou were close enough to get me over 10k being strong runners.

It was 4 laps out and back. John  had it in the bag and Chris pulled out so I was in second. I knew those behind me would get a sense of whether they were catching me after the turnaround on the second lap. So on the second lap I started to push hard to try and put them off catching me. Piet, Del and Lou faded away but Scott was coming at me strong. Turns out he remembers the fade I had in Italy so felt he could get me. I ran hard and kept him at bay to come in second.

Well chuffed after all I’ve done to be able to race  hard and to come in second. It was also nice for the swim mistake not to have cost me as I can’t believe John wouldn’t have got me on the run anyway. Nice way to round off the camp. I must have finished in yellow but it’s not official yet. About to go to the end of camp dinner should find out then.

This has been another unbelievable experience. These camps are just a superb environment and great fun. Hopefully will manage another one in the near future.

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