As it will be for the next 6 days, the first order of the day on camp is a seas swim. Having been drilled on the importance of punctuality throughout this busy week during last night’s camp intro and welcome briefing, the group was indeed assembled and ready for the short drive to the beach at 6:40am, very soon after the break of dawn! Most of the group opted to jog or walk, down in wetsuits – which usually would might attract a little curios attention, if it were not for the fact that this has been carnival weekend in Puerto de Carmen …and ours were the least of the outrageous outfits that we saw still out and about at that time of the night/morning!
With lovely calm waters we swam a lap of the Ironman course, about 30 minutes swimming plus a few opportunities to chat and take in the beautiful morning scenery as we regrouped. Back in the van, or another short jog for the enthusiastic majority (the van, I suspect will be in greater demand as the week goes on!) to a big breakfast ahead of the “main feature’ of the day….
…It’s now a camp tradition to begin with the El Golfo Time Trial. This undulating 10 mile loop forms part of the Ironman course route and, adjoining the national volcanic park, has some of the nicest scenery on the island. It’s also had a road resurface in the past and being a closed loop, has little traffic and very distinct start and finish points with almost no scope for a wrong turn on the way.Ideal for racing around at 30 second intervals! For those who have attended camps before we have PB times to use as a basis for a starting order – the new campers we slotted into the sequence according to our own judgements. As usual Jo went ahead of the race in order to time keep…and despite putting in an honest effort, had barely enough time to dismount at the end before David, the first rider home, finished. With very good conditions this year (light -moderate winds on our backs for the final and hilliest section of the course) we saw on average 1-2 minutes faster times across the camp – with Brett’s long standing course record of 25:22, broken by 3 people and PBs from all previous campers.
Matt’s fastest time of the day won him a set of Firefly Recovery straps – all the better for his recovery through the camp!
As well as providing a bit of a focus for our first ride, these times will serve as handicappers for our point-scoring bike race up Tabayesco later in the week.
After a coffee in Yaiza, we rode a short loop over Fire Mountain and home through the vineyards…about 90k in total. It was nice to be back at the hotel with an hour to spare before heading out on group runs along the trails close to the hotel. By running out-and-back we were able to keep to just half an hour for those of us keen to get back for massage – whilst allowing others to take the opportunity of a relatively light day to extend their run for an hour, or more, thus earning wild-cards. Notably Matthew logged a 25km run up a mountain, having set out without water his refreshment was provided by local flora in the form of cactus…and spent the evening picking spines out of his tongue!!
We were very sorry to have to say goodbye to Keavy, who had to make an urgent return to her home in the states. We’ll miss her for the rest of the camp.