For the first time on our camp the Aquathlon wasn’t a requirement for camp completion so, to attract a decent turn out we offered up 7 bonus points to those that got up and involved as either solo competitor, in a team or helping marshalling. This certainly increased the enthusiasm resulting all but three campers arriving at 7am in reception ready to race.
The coaches hatched a plan to give fast James a fight in the race by pairing up, with Steven on the swim and Jo on the run. Our plans for the win were skuppered, or at least made more tricky, when Matthew offered to pair up with Mel….but at least we had a double the motivation for James!
Despite having placed the turn buoy, Steven wasn’t able to find it after the start – as the spectators watched all but one swimmer head of on a distinct diagonal, some way from the buoy. On the beach we’d assumed it was a tactical move on Steven’s part, to increase his advantage by creating a longer swim….but the fact was that his goggles were all steamed up and he couldn’t actully see the buoy. Rob mean while, had taken a brief moment to clear his goggles prior to entering the water, missed the mass start ands able to recognise everyone else’s error – and swam a perfectly straight line out – reaching it almost at the same time as the pack, despite being a much slower swimmer!
The relay teams had the added advantage of a fast transition (yes, we KNOW it was unfair!!) not requiring the removal of wetsuits. Without this James would have been much closer to the front two mixed teams – as it was, he finished third, first solo and producing the second fastest time we’ve ever had. Matthew ran a blistering 15:47 for 4.5k to take the win. Linda flew through transition in a best ever T1 on our camp of 59s. These records are saying something now we’re in the 8th year of running this race. I think everyone agreed it had been worth getting up for.
here are the results:
A shorter ride today today allowed for later departures to recover from the early morning sprinting efforts. The winds were tough and all three groups worked well together to battle in to a stiff headwind up to Teguise. We got our timing just right today and everyone arrived at the start of the Castle Climb within a few minutes of each other. This is our second time of running this climb as a race, so there were times to beat – though this time it wasn’t sprung as a surprise, after a race up Tabeyasco!!
Steven went up first to do the timings. Jo again did the sneaky of setting of Emma sooner than she’d said so he was sufficiently scared she was catching to put in a proper effort. There was a very stiff wind on the steepest section which added to the effect of the gradient – and an “exciting” cross wind on the last bend. Everyone made it up safely and with increasingly accurate handicaps now it compressed well to give some very close finishes (with two passes within the last 10m). No records were broken today though James did manage to post the third fastest time leaving us quite pleased our times from the last race up here remained in the top two spots.
There followed a long social regroup in the lovely locals’ cafe at the bottom of the climb. We drank enough coffee and cake that the owners brought out a complimentary birthday (?) cake on the house for us! The majority of the group headed straight back to base to have an easier day – or allow time for some longer runs. Jo and Steve, made Stevens day by getting out and running up their day totals to over 21km, thus advancing the camp run Eddington number! We now only need one more of 21km or more to budge it up to 21. ( if you wish to find out more about Eddingtn numbers – you know you do!! – you can visit Steven’s personal site to read more…) A small number continued up to the north of the island for a longer ride.
We knew that as we advance through camp, with the handicaps becoming more accurate and the points per climb increasing accordingly, that there would be regular changes in the leader board. This certainly happened today with the faster climbers great performance in the first two days catching up with them in the form of stiffer handicaps. The lead changed with our new Queen Of The Volcanoes being Sheryl who holds the lead by a single point from Emma.