We almost had some real jelly fish action today…but ,having managed to persuade everyone to get in the sea anyway, it turned out to be false alarm. This was just as well since we were all hoping to swim a full hour today, earning our swim ‘wildcards’ for tomorrow so that we’d be able to start our long rides promptly.
Given the big day of riding that lies ahead to mark the end of the camp, we had schedule short routes – a 60km standard and a 90km long option – but with the inclusion of Femes (for the second time in the week for some). Most opted for the 60km route, riding at a very moderate pace and were pleased to get back to the hotel by 1pm prior to the main event of the day; a 10km handicapped run race.
Having passed the “halfway” mark the spirit on camp is high: our experience is that most people suffer a dip on day 3 or 4 – the freshness and enthusiasm of the first couple of days has worn off, the fatigue of the first few days of hard training really starts to take its toll, and we see some people really struggle through the mid-point .This is where the value of being on camp really become apparent: everyone knows the feeling and encourages each other through it. We all do more that we think we can, or think we want to, because others are. Fortunately everyone’s low-point comes at a slightly different time – otherwise we’d probably have a mutiny!! Then we get to day 5: the end of the week is in sight – and people realise what they have already achieved- and what they will have achieved by the end of it. They realise that, in this circumstance, sitting on a wheel, getting beaten up a climb or a running a slower than usual race is OK and nothing to be ashamed of – because no-one is!!
That’s why we include a “guess your time” element to the 10k run race; asking people for a predicted time and then confiscating or taping over their watch or Garmin. It would be interesting to get an estimate off everyone at the start of the camp and one just before the race on day 5 – and see how they differ! When asked for their predictions on the start -line (which we did) most people do tend to err massively on the pessimistic side – but once the gun goes and they’re running off handicap for places, exceed their expectations. Everyone knew that this was the final event in the points completion, and effectively 1 person passed was worth 1 point – and so on average ran 2 or more minutes faster than predicted. Steven and I both raced, and ran slower than our predictions! There’s an example of the power of motivation: we’ve both done less total training than the campers but neither of us were racing for the camp rankings. It’s unlikely that anyone ran a 10k PB here today, but we had some decent run times all the same – with Tim and Roger both breaking Jon’s 39:51 course record from last year with 39:49 and 38:52 respectively. Roger’s time was enough to pass Sarah for the handicap win… which earns him a pair of Vibram 5-fingers of his choice from Primal Lifestyle.
The “Guess-Your -Time” prize went to Ted who guessed his time as only 18 seconds slower than he actually ran, and won himself a run assessment and technique coaching session from TenPoint Triathlon.
By crossing the line first Sarah held onto her 3 point lead in the points competition, whilst Roger’s second place finish moved him into second place, nudging Rob down into 3rd spot. As far as racing goes, it’s now all over – the final camp winner will be the highest point scorer who completes the camp – which for these three, just means getting tomorrow’s 180km Ironman Course route ride done.