Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Phase 1 complete
Short one tonight - we got into Matamata late this evening as the day didnt start until about midday. Still up at dawn though to ride the 15km to the ferry port at North Shore. A 2hr ferry to Coromandel (google maps it) set us up for the first race since day 1 - an aquath(l)on.
John Newsom measured the swim course 'by sight' at about 1-2km (!) and Gordo measured the run at 5km. As the water was clear and warm I decided not to wear a wetsuit - bad idea as it turns out. I came out of the water in the bottom half of the pack and struggled to find any speed on the run (no surprise there!). A few things stuck out for me in this race. Firstly how fast Gordo, John, Molina, Clas et al can run and secondly how as soon as you mention the word 'race' to this bunch - it all goes a bit 'hyper' and all the type A juices start flowing. No one gives an inch and its hammer time all the time.
Oh yeah, thats Clas, as in Clas Bjorling as in the same Clas Bjorling who went 8.15 at Roth in 2006 before taking 2 years off after overtraining at his last Epic Camp!! A bit of an animal is our Clas.
So once dried out we set off for the ride of the day - 145km to Matamata following the shoreline of the Coromandel peninsular. Before long we arrived at two big alpine style climbs, tough enough on fresh legs but after the mornings race i struggled and immediately fell off the back. Steady gradients and fantastic views saved me though and I struggled on alone to the lunch stop at 30km.
After a quick lunch (I will post a typical lunch stop at a later date, suffice to say anyone who has seen any Attenborough programs where hyenas strip a carcass bare in 2mins will have an idea of what goes on) i pressed on alone, keen to get ahead of the pack. The terrain was mercifully flat for the next 110km and the wind was in our favour.
I was soon joined by another rider, Andrew Charles, an Epic and Kona veteran and we 2up TT'd the next 50km before being joined by the pack. We then rode this train all the way into Matamata at an avg of 38kph - good roads and good wind. If only everyday could be like this! As i felt so good i tacked on an extra 5km run to get a 10km total for the day ( i say run - more like shuffle)
Legs are suprisingly ok - after the shock of the climbs they warmed up through the day and i felt fine at the end of another 100miles riding for the day.
For me this is phase 1 complete, ~29 hours of training in the past 4 days - the next 3 days will be the make or break phase - 30km running, 9km swimming and 570km of riding, all the way to Masterton. If I can survive these days, then Wellington is in sight. Once we get to Wellington, its game on.
POTD is me (again) - action shot in the flatlands of Kupu pulling Charlesy along.