Swim: 1.5km Bike: 57km / 1,500m Run: 30k Hours: 6h10
Embruman race report here
Last night I managed 3 hours sleep which was almost certainly due to the piriton I’m still taking for my bee sting. Then I slept in half hour bursts being woken either by my small road rash on my hip (it should heal in a few days) or I knocked my right wrist which got progressively more sore throughout the night. By the morning I couldn’t really carry anything with it. It must be just a sprain as it’s not painful other than particular movements.
We were up early to head to the race. 6am breakie which consisted of bread or cereal. I skipped it and raced on an empty stomach. We ended up at the race way too early and we were all mulling around for about an hour in transition. Following the crowd we swam over to the start only to find that we had to walk back and through transition. This meant some of the guys were stuck at the back. I managed to get on the front line and boy was it a rough start. I won’t describe the full race as I’ve written a report here.
I will say that Zach was on fire – he belted by me in the first KM of the bike and there was no way I was going with him. John was already ahead due to my super slow transition. I to’d and fro’d with Scott for most of the ride and was ready for him to do a sneak attack on the run. In past Epic camps I think it’s even for him chasing me down on the run and not… this time I planned to be ready. I also discovered my crash had decommissioned my lowest gear ;o( … probably helped me though as it stopped me wussing out. At then end of the ride Rob (Palmer) went by looking strong and he took tonnes of time out of us on the run. Somehow I managed to clear T2 ahead of Scott but after about 1km or so had to stop to remove a stone from my shoe. As I started I could see him just behind me. I was worried. At the turn I could see I’d taken about 40 seconds out of him. I also saw Russ running strong. He’s had a persistent running injury which he’s recovering from. He was running fast. When he went by I had no inclination to go with him. Scott was always close so I couldn’t ease up.
Zach was the first camper in and I was 5th which means he gained 2 points on me. He is very strong on the bike and clearly a good runner and swimmer. I reckon if he wants the yellow and can managed a few tack ons he should have a great shout. I made a little move to get yellow which will have worked as long as Zach, Rob and John didn’t do major tack ons. After dinner we will see.
Following the race we had a relaxed lunch before I headed to the Expo and got some new sunglasses on sale for thirty euros. So at least now I can protect my eyes when I wear contacts. We had to ride back to our accommodation to complete the day which was 750m of ascent in 10k. Pretty solid. The place we’re staying in is in a beautiful location and it’s lovely just sitting outside and watching the view and the french playing boules.
I’d planned a two hour run and was keen to head up in to the mountains. I find on camps I like to do or see something no one else does. I headed out along the trails and at each choice took the one heading up. I think I climbed to 2,300m and got in to this awesome corrie with massive rock faces. The path contoured up and round crossing big scree slopes. It was heading to a col which encouraged me to extend my run to 2.5hours for an extra point. I did 10km up, didn’t reach the col, turned and 10k down. It was the down that did me in. As I descended I had a few doubts about the sense in what I was doing. We will see tomorrow. Whatever I feel like tomorrow it was worth it. I went back to my fell running days as I ran along. Experiencing flow, no concept of time, just enjoying the act of running and the awesome scenery. It made me realise I need to get back to this. I was so fit in the past not because I aimed to get fit but just because I loved to run and run LONG.
With a bit of luck that run will see me in yellow tomorrow. It would be nice to have worn it on each camp. The riding though is confirming my fitness just isn’t there. During the race my 30 min power was 80 watts below where it was at at the start of may. I think this camp has a couple of guys (Zach and Rob Palmer) who have the speed and bike strength to take the yellow if they chose to play. I’m going to at least make it a battle to get it ;o).