With all campers – and eventually all their bikes- having arrived safe and been introduced to the camp, the staff, new hotel (and temperatures in excess of freezing) we all woke to the most perfect conditions that Lanzarote has to offer for our first early-morning walk to the beach.
The new format means that this morning swim was not compulsory but we still had 11 out of 15 campers turn up for the swim, albeit a little nervously in some cases as this would be the first open water dip since some time in their previous race season. The water was very flat and lots of fish to see as we did our standard half-hour loop round a buoy out to the line and then along to the rocks, recouping periodically to bob about and enjoy the scenery as sun rose higher in the sky, revealing a beautifully clear day ahead of us. Everyone emerged with huge smiles on their faces. It is indeed a wonderful way to start the day.
The first race for the KOV jersey was Fire Mountain from Yaiza. This is about 5.5 and 160m of ascent. We had two groups and managed to get the set off times just right to arrive at the meet point within minutes of each other.
Steven headed up the climb first to be at the top to record times whilst Jo set everyone off in approximate handicap order. As the first competition climb points would be awarded for outright time with 18 to the winner and then 1 less per place. Even without an official handicap we’d assessed the start order well enough to have everyone to the finish within a few minutes of each other. Emma was at the top after Steven and rolled down the road little way to a vantage point for some great photos and -it looked like everyone put in a great effort. The first wearer of the EverydayTraining King of The Volcanoes leaders Jersey is James Haigh and we hope he’ll wear the jersey with pride (and possibly a few safety pins to fit it to his slim build!!) tomorrow.
Following the climb we split in to three groups for the onward rides, according to how far people wanted to ride on day 1, and their pace. Jo lead a direct route home whilst Emma and Steven lead groups round the 80k “standard” ride. At the coffee break, most of Steven’s group chose to extend their ride by looping back to the south of the island to include a loop of El Golfo. Rob, in training for his second TransContinental bike picking race, took the prize for the most mileage today by repeating the standard ride to get over 150k done.
Most campers took advantage of the more relaxed attitude to running that our new format offers, though Jo lead Dan out on a 10km run loop that incorporated a few trails above the town and others did get themselves out for runs along the sunny seafront at the end of the day.
Today’s KOV comp was our first and so points were awarded based in fastest time actual ride time – from here on, the handicapping system will be in place, giving all riders equal chance to be “first over line” and bag top points.