It’s fun to take part in our handicapped swim race but even more fun to be the time keeper. We’ve set this up as great sighting practise. We place a small plastic bottle marker just out from the beach for swimmers to swim out and round in order to remove the temptation of exiting early and running along the beach. The first leg is to a small white buoy about 250m along parallel to the shore. Back to our white buoy out and round the time keeper before heading for the line of buoys. To make it a fair comparison to Tuesday’s aquathlon, we placed the orange buoy on the line and everyone had to touch it.
Compared to the aquathlon the sea was very calm making navigation easier. Given the navigational errors made by our best swimmers they had very healthy handicaps and an early start. Yet again finding the white buoy proved tricky for many. Some were pretty much arrow straight but Mel, for example, appeared to be heading for a buoy off the coast of Fuertoventura!!
Pleasingly we had a very close finish yet again with 14 of our athletes finishing in a 2 minute spell and numerous places being decided on the run up the beach. First out the water was Kay but our official winner was John who came out second (Kay was racing on an estimated handicap as she’d not finished the aquathlon). For this he won a BlueSeventy Brick Rucksack.
The ride today is shorter as we have the 10k race later. The slow group had a superb ride keeping all 11 riders in a nice near group all the way to the Femes climb. It split up a little there but the whole camp managed to end up in the cafe together for refreshments.
The day ends with our 10k “no watch” guess your time 10k handicap. We place this near the end of the camp for several reasons:
1. If you’re going to run hard you can do less damage if you’re very tired
2. It can open peoples eyes to how fast they can run tired. Not being able to see a watch giving them pace data prevents them holding themselves back and just race on feel.
As we start on handicap the race compresses with a very close finish. Jo ran through the field with an awesome time of 39:48. Brian ran through from 17th starter to 2nd to take the Primal Lifestyle prize of a pair of Vibram FiveFingers. John, despite a few stomach issues, confirmed his final starting position with the fastest camper time of 41:26. We’re pleased that with Steven’s 40:36 finish meant no camper beat the coaches outright. The “guess your time”element is always a highlight for Steven and this year was no exception. Last year we had two people managing to guess within 5 seconds -but that was beaten this year when Jo’s predicted time of 39:51 was only 3s off! The prize of Powerbar goodies was awarded to joint second-best guessers Wayne and Frank who were both only 9s off. For Frank this is his fourth camp and despite running a very consistent 10km each year, his guess has always been several minutes off, so we were quite chuffed for him.
This ends the points competition leaving only completing the Ironman course between Mel and winning the camp overall. Mel is the only person to have attended all our camps and in the first four years had won nothing. This year she won the female aquathlon prize, the fastest camper up Tabeyesco prize and is on course to win the camp outright.