Epic Camp NZ09 – Day 1

ECNZ09Day1Cracking first day. Without intentionally trying to get in to yellow on day 1 I ended the day equal on points with Tara but she got the yellow as she did better in the swim TT and the king of the mountains. Must admit it’s abit of a surprise I’m in equal first, thought I’d be a ways off and had kind of decided not to chase it. Now though…. my competitive side has been poked ;o)

Day started with a run to the QEII pool. 9.8km (apparently) and we did it in about 48 minutes. Did a 1km warm up. Heath and Tara did it with band for a point (cunning). Then the 2k TT. I was in a lane with Chris and Lou. I lead off, with Chris behind me who had stated he’d probably hold 1:22 (per 100m) pace – this was fast enough to have me swimming scared. Heath lead of the lane next to me, behind him were Scott, John and Tara. The Epic high jinx had already started and I’d made a mistake not being in there with them. Heath was quick – I kind of went with him but when I hit the first 100m (long course) in 1:13 and he must have been a few seconds ahead of me. I eased off and hit the 200 in in 2.33. I was swimming very well. Eventually it became clear that I was pulling away from Chris until at 1k he disappeared ! Turned out he’d switched lanes to get a draft from John and Tara. I could see I was close to 50m ahead of John and Tara and since they’d started 20 and 30 seconds behind I was aok in second place. Unfortunately for me Heath was fast enough to lap them. He didn’t lap me but he did get close enough to pull them along so they beat my time ! Gutted. Got to admit I felt a little cheated but this is Epic camp and it seems drafting in the swim is aok … perhaps I’ll be cleverer next time ! Anyway – did the 2k in 26:15 which is great so well chuffed.

Jo, Tara, Russ and I decided to get an extra run in by running back.

Awesome breakie – loads of eggs then fruit and yogurt before heading out on the bike. Gorges ride for us. Nice pack through to the feed station with some rather fast spells at times when people on the front got abit perky. I happily didn’t do any work on the front. With a peleton of 18 that wasn’t too tricky. I made the mistake of eating too much at the feed station because almost from the off the pace picked up. There was a minor king of mountains (purely put in place to get someone in the polka dot jersey) so everyone was trying to get the jump. I sat at the back for a fair bit and managed to judge my move forward perfectly as I ended up on Chris’s wheel as he moved from centre pack through the front and off. I worked my arse off to stay on his wheel – at times I was even throwing up what I’d eaten earlier – but I stayed on his wheel. Finally on a small rise the elastic broke and I found only Tara, Marilyn and John had managed to stay with it. We worked together and stayed away – I was happy enough to be ahead of the pack and didn’t contest the KOM. After that Chris waited and we all rolled into lunch together about 5 minutes ahead of the next pack.

After lunch Jo, Russ and I decided we were going to do a major tack on – Porters Pass – 939 metres. In terms of points this was not a wise move as getting the extra KMs would be alot easier on the flat around Christchurch but to be honest though  I want points I want good demanding riding more.

This was the second time up Porters Pass and it was tough again – for a good 25km it climbs very gradually and there was a stiff wind. The weather came in and we considered turning back but soon cast it aside. I was most of the work on the front pulling us along. The photo above shows Jo and I at the summit. We belted back down to Springfield refilled water bottles. We had till 6pm to amass points (there’s a rule at Epic Camp that you have 12 hours to train and the clock starts when your first session starts). With bonus points for 200km we were aiming for that. We had 1h40 to do 60km – 36km/h. Conveniently thats 5 hour Ironman Pace. Tough. By now Russ was feeling ill and did no work on the front. Jo like a trooper did her bit but it really fell to me to push it along. I did my best busting a gut to maintain the pace but with half an hour to go the average required was up to close to 38km/h. We decided to ease up a little. As we came in to town and turned on to the ring road we got a tail wind – 4km needed in 6 minutes. I hammered at over 50km/h and at 6pm ha 199.76 km !! They gave us the 200k. Not enough for yellow though.

A seriously tough day. Especially the 1h15 TT on the way back. I certainly feel I’ve done more work here on day 1 than I did in Italy. This may prove costly when it comes to tomorrows 70k bike TT.

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