Todays picture is of the food that awaits our finish on each day of Epic Camp. Today was particularly nice with lots of Christmas Cake on offer.
Quite a leisurely start today meeting Tara and Petro for a 10k run at 7am. This was my slowest run so far – 1:03 for 10k. We ended at the pool where I got in and did 2.6k so that I’d have 3k after the 400IM. Petro guts out 6k last night and this morning managed to get 6k in. He’s putting in the work to defend his Red Jersey which he’s had more or less from the start of the camp. It’s interesting to watch as David Craig just keeps running and is keeping the race close. Petro is keeping ahead by being a better swimmer. I think Petro should hold on. He’s worked hard for it and I’d be pleased to see him win.
Today was the big Epic Camp tradition of the 400IM. A minor competition so 3 points were up for grabs with it dropping by a quarter per position. It was a little disappointing that a number of campers didn’t do the race – some didn’t even turn up to watch. They’ve missed out on classic Epic Camp. We’re 12 days in and still people are willing to race hard even for the minor placings. It’s funny to see accomplished athletes race hard at something we’re all pretty amateurish at. Some nearly drown just doing the 100m Fly at the start.
Scott and I managed to put on a great race in the first heat. I’ve just watched it on all on Rips camera … good viewing. Here’s the text version. Scott went off hard and must have been a body length up after 25m fly. I kept calm and stuck to my guns of steady fly. Gordo went with Scott and blew big time. Come the backstroke I was 10 – 15m down on Scott. I worked the back and did some great turns and probably closed it to a body length. Then the breaststroke. In my swimming days this was my weakness but in this crowd it’s a strength. I managed to gain about a body length lead and held it for the win. I kicked hard down the last length and was regretting it with 10m to go but in hindsight it was a good idea. I did 5:55. Scott 5:57. Next heat Nick did 6:01 and in the final heat John N did 5:57 !! Pleased to bag 3 points. As I drank a beer Dave was out running 20k … Nick pointed out to me that it took me 6 minutes to earn 3 points this morning and now Dave was spending the best part of 2 hours to earn 2 ! I guess thats something they’ve set up well with the points – it’s not enough just to do lots, you need to do well in the races.
I clearly didn’t have enough to eat last night as I was packing it away at breakfast. Today we had 150km down south… we’re alway heading south. Jo and I set off last with the final group and John Newsom pulled us along nicely to the feed station. Then out of the feed station Petro came to the front and started hammering. We’re talking 40+km/h for a lot of it. I reckoned he would slow up soon but 10k went then 20k and he was still going. Russ was in front of Jo and me behind her. He wasn’t being very helpful in his road position – it was a slight crosswind so a echelon would be ideal but he was riding right on the right of the shoulder. When the pace picked up and I saw Jo struggling I moved up the inside of the shoulder to where Russ should be to give Jo a draft. It helped her get back on but also I could see how hard she was working. I did this a couple of times and then told Jo I’d go to the front and ease it up a little.
So I went through, asked Petro if he wanted a break. he accepted and I got on and eased up very slightly. I didn’t want him realising and coming through. Over the next 10k I tried to ease up a little more and then pulled us to lunch a further 20k. I felt super strong on the bike. Probably the best I’ve felt all camp. I was trying to ride hard but friendly – so no powering over climbs etc… When I got to lunch I was pleased to see Jo still with us but Petro must have been 5 to 10 minutes behind !
After lunch I pulled through to Omaru and then just sat in and enjoyed the awesome scenery.
Gordo posted points last night and I was much further ahead than I’d realised. So this evening no tacking on I just had a couple of beers and sat around chatting. Really good fun. Perhap one day I’ll do a camp and do this every day !!