Wanaka11.jpgThats the view from our balcony. This is one BEAUTIFUL part of the world. Can’t believe it’s taken me four visits to New Zealand to get down here. The Challenge Wanaka organisers really take care of their pro’s – they’ve sorted and paid for great accommodation for Jo (and hence me) right in the centre of town, mere minutes from the race start. We’re already discussing possible changes in plans for post race. We had hoped to travel up the West Coast but now are thinking of coming back here and to spend a day walking up  a local mountain and a day riding over the Crown Range to Queenstown … it will probably depend on how chipper we’re feeling.

Today I rode out to Hospital Flat to check out the first out and back section of the course. Yet more beautiful riding with awesome scenery. It went passed a camp site which made me laugh. Not a site full of little backpackers tents like I’m used to. No, it was more like a tented village. Massive, bus sized trailers with gazebos and other tents pitched around, multiple BBQs. It looked like on arrival most campers must have spent a day of heavy engineering to construct their holiday home.

Ran along the run course to double check the surface. Yesterday I’d run in my Vibram Bikilas which as OK but marginal. Today I ran in my Vibram Trek’s which I think I will use. Again, a lovely looking run with the majority on trails. I feel it will be good for my run performance as the surface should help curb initial enthusiasm and the softer surface together with having to vary your stride length should help keep your legs fresher towards the end.

The swim this morning was COLD. Amazing how it can go from lovely yesterday to face numbingly cold today. Plan to swim tomorrow to check it out again. Warm weather today and tomorrow should help heat it up.

It’s like a reunion down here – keep bumping in to friends from Christchurch or from Epic camp or a local lady who was brought up near Maltby in North Yorkshire and even bumped into an old Tri Londoner I knew from something like four years ago. All this and good coffee makes for a great event ;o).

I’m really looking forward to this race and starting to get quite excited. A week a go I thought I was pretty zonked and enjoyment was the main aim but now I’m starting to feel in pretty good shape so I’m visualising a good race. My running the past couple of days has felt comfortable so I’m hopeful that, despite spending the time since Busso focussing on technique and doing very little volume, I will have a good run.

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