Sunday, 10 January 2010

North Island - Done

After 59hours and 12min of training and covering 1285km on the bike we have finally arrived at the foot of the North Island: Wellington.

My spirits are buoyed by the fact that I have cycled so far - roughly the same distance as Calais to Barcelona or Lands End to John O'Groats (!) however I am shocked to realise that we are only half way through the camp. My body is starting to break apart from the strain of the daily routine.

My knees are getting sore, my leg muscles are constantly aching and I have niggles all over my upper body. The pace has something to do with it too. This is no audax style camping tour, taking time out to visit local museums or cathedrals. Much of todays 'short' 135km for example was spent at 35kph watching for a twitch in the wheel in front or dreading the road rising ever upwards, or watching the sweat bounce off the garmin and being too tired or going too fast to wipe it off. The rest of the ride was a brutal 8km climb over a mountain range with gusty 45kph winds threatening to blow us over the edge at any point. At times on the climb i came to a complete standstill and it was all I could do to turn the pedals over. The descent was 'interesting' and good practice for Ironman Lanzarote I suppose!

Its a strange world where 5hours and 134km on the bike feels like a short day, but it really did. Getting to the destination at about 2pm was a luxury, so in true Epic camp style (and probably something you can all predict by now) we ran to the local pool, swam 3km and ran back. Again in EC style some people did 6km swim sets and added and extra 10km to their run - after all, its a rest day tomorrow right? :-)

It hit home when an EC veteran told me that today would usually be the last day of a 'normal' Epic Camp. Urggghhhhhh

People seem to have settled into personal routines as well - there have been some flare ups but its obvious people are simply avoiding conflict rather than let their emotions take control. There is a sense of giddyness that we have made such a big achievement. I expect midway through the South Island for emotions to take control again.

Tomorrow is a lie in - breakfast at 8am in time to catch the ferry to Picton. The only training to do is a 28km bike ride to Blenheim. I will hope to run at least 10km to claw back some mileage before the camp hits the final 3-4 days.

So the North island is finished - One more island to go!

POTD is one of my favourtites - catching the Epic train across New Zealand


  1. Congratulations, a great relief to hear you have made half-way, and a lovely slack day tomorrow. The body's cracking up, but I wonder how the morale is; sounds like you are pacing yourself physically, but mentally just hoping to get to the end of each day intact. I look forward to hearing what the Camp has taught you about this sort of extreme athleticism, what you will aim for next, and whether the Camp has changed your goals at all. Enjoy tomorrow.

  2. There'll be no concerns about the Lanza bike then I take it!

    Past half way and all down hill from here?!

    Enjoy your 'rest' day!