A suitably Epic Day. Definitely not falsley advertised. When you’re contemplating all the stuff you’ve done and thinking ‘Wow we’ve done so much. Hang on we’re only halfway through the ride on Day Two’, you realise you’re not being sold short. Aquathlon. An Epic Camp staple and something that was pretty neat to actually take part in. Cycled down to the lake knock out a ~1k hard swim and a 6k run at a decent lick before breakfast. Was chatting to the Philinator on the cycle back and we decided if we were back home we’d have completed a pretty solid training day and would be sat at work feeling quite smug with ourselves. Not here though. That’s just the aperitif before a pretty substantial main course. Main action in the aquathon was setting up my transition next to Molina – inadvertently but once I noticed it I decided I’d be more likely to blog about it than he was. I also knew the next time I’d see those trainers they wouldn’t be stationary.
Swim felt good for 150m and then the band only from yesterday cut in and the arms were less than spritely. Swam okay and coming back my sighting issues were sorted when I found a pair of feet,who’d found a pair of feet, who’d found a pair of feet who unfortunately had found Fegan’s feet. I thought I kept going on course as I had to keep re-finding the feet. Turned out Fegan’s sighting saw him leading his crocodile on a merry dance. Unfortunately there are no points for tacking on swim distance in the aquathlon. Onto the run and objective number one was get past Fegan – esp as Fegan, David and I were all rocking the BuccaneerTri kit. Managed to haul in Gary and a few others, whilst fleet of foot Philinator waltzed passed me. Real fun event and happy to find fresh marathon pace not too hard to maintain. Ride.
Another Epic Camp staple is the KOM. Listened to many a story about these and was super excited to be inside the ropes this time. It was smack in the middle of today’s ride and a decent 13k at an average 8% gradient. Didn’t sound too bad, but when my transition buddy Molina asked on the ride to the aquathon if the gear I was in was my ‘granny gear’ and if it was ‘I see a world of pain for you later’, then I thought maybe my 39×25 was a little light. Took it easy on the roll to the bottom of the climb at around 50k as we were re-grouping at the aid station for the mass start KOM. All the Strava heads rolled back right down to the bottom and once Johnbo was there he said ‘Go!’ as Lou and I were still rolling down. Fair suck of the sav – NOT! My climbing technique tends towards pants at the bottom and then getting into my groove after a few ks. So starting from the back I was quite surprised to see me cutting through the pack pretty swiftly as the two mountain goats jumped off the front. That left Mark P in between and before long I was living the dream – wheel to wheel with the Epic Legend. I was pretty comfortable with my 39×25 (take note Molina) as I find it keeps me more honest than spinning a lower gear and using it for too long when it’s not necessary. Next up was rear gunner Lou looking to get a slice of the action as he joined us and took a bit of a lead on some of the steeper sections but the Freight Train and I would get back when it levelled a little. I was feeling good and even moved down the block a little sometimes…this led to me riding off the front and gapping the guys by quite a way by about halfway without really upping the effort. The Curly Freight Train then became the Wily Freight Train as he wound me back in and gapped me with a couple of miles to go. Was happy to get 4th place given I have zero decent climbs anywhere at home. Big props to Shannon for taking 5th as she must have finished strongly to close up so much. Great to see Lou mixing it in his terrain. We’ve all been out the back before so we know what it feels like when it happens on a regular basis. Waited at the top to see Gary and the twins arrive and a little while after, David. The shout was that the Philinator was spectacularly out the back and so it proved as he limped in, a shell of the man who waltzed past me on the run only a few hours earlier. As he said – if you’re gonna blow, you may as well blow big. And in other news that barely deserves a mention NEWSOM GOT RIGHT ROYALLY CHICKED!
Scenery here is immense so I decided to take it in on the way back – mainly downhill. If you took a picture of everything you were impressed by you’d use up your 24 exposures pretty damn quick! I wondered if the locals were aware of how amazing it was or whether it was just some place they were born as it’d always been like that? On a photo stop Douglas rolled on by and we decide to cycle back together and we had a good old chin wag. Fair play to him for getting back to pretty impressive fitness so soon after a big smash involving multiple broken bones and necessitating over a month in wheelchair. I decided I wouldn’t make such a big thing about breaking my wrist and being in a cast for 7days in future! It probably explained our slightly differing approaches to the awesome descent into Lillooet. Tacked on to make it to 180k solo and then there was some heated debate as to whether it was extra point for each time you hit a multiple of 30k (Johnbo) or 30k over the day’s ride distance (Molina). Thankfully for me Johnbo was right, Molina was overruled and Gary had to get back out there if he wanted a bonus point after initially informing me it was me who had come up short. Loved it. So another great day pushing the limits towards Not Normal.
EPIC MOMENT OF THE DAY : Being told by Scott Molina you have wonderful running form and ‘the least vertical movement of anyone on the camp, super efficient’. I was gonna offer to teach him and then I remembered his trainers next to mine and realised I wasn’t fit to lace them!
WIFI is pretty sketchy here so not gonna try photos for now. Will try and update later.