The 3rd day on camp is traditionally Aquathlon day…. a sprint distance swim/run race on the beachfront before the daytime tourists rise (and often encountering night-time tourists on their way home) – exactly what no one feels like doing with 2 long days in their legs! None the less, we had almost full house risen and ready to take on the challenge….and as ever, as soon as the starters orders were given and race day adrenaline kicked in, thew themselves into race mode! Russel impressed by winning the swim portion of the race, with Mel and Matthew hot on his heels he was passed by Matthew with a super speedy (second fastest ever) transition and Mel soon caught him within the first km or so of the 4.5km run. As each of the finishers crossed the line, the cheering crowd increased in size so that everyone was welcomed across the line in a manner that befitting of the early morning effort.
Of course the added rewards was that this short event counted for DOUBLE the daily swim and run training points with an additional bonus points, which enabled an afternoon off, after a short ride……
Through the week, campers have been reviewing the weather forecast, and pointing out that rain has been forecast for today. It very rarely rains here in Lanzarote – I’ve certainly not experienced anything more than brief showers, and know that these forecasts can change hourly and often come to nothing. We all packed shower jackets just in case.
As usual we departed as 3 groups, with time gaps such that we’d all arrive at the start of the day’s KOV event within a few minutes of each other. Today’s destination was Yaiza for the short out-and-back slope, the road gradually climbing through the village of La Degolada, before pitching up steeply and running into a gravel track on the cliffs out the back the village. A very tough finish to the climb, especially on “Aquathlon” legs, but traffic free and with great views of El Golfo and the southern volcano fields as a reward – not to mention the descent, if you like that sort of thing.
With a climb of ~10minutes, and an improved handicap to start everyone off, the finish was very close, with several of the campers being within a few seconds of one another on their handicap-adjusted times. Todays’ winner was Rob, with Julia doing very well once again and finishing second on h’cap.
We enjoyed a leisurely coffee and ice – cream stop before splitting into various ride groups for the rest of the route. We were 10minutes in when the first spots of rain fell on us… Jo’s group pulled over to put jackets on, Emma and Steven’s group both passed us, jacket free…and apparently bone dry. 500m later the rain had stopped – and the ground was bone dry! The skies really were quite fascinating , with heavy grey black clouds hovering over the volcanic peaks in one direction, contrasting with bright blue clear skies in the other. Jackets off again, Steven and Jo combined groups, down to Playa Blanca at the south point of the island, whilst Emma took Kevin, Rob and Matthew for a longer excursion. With winds blowing from the south (not typical) the long grind out of the resort was less gruelling than usual, Femes being closed to cyclists we were spared that challenge (!) and descended through Las Brenas instead. The skies were still looking pretty ominous…and moments later the heavens opened. This time it was no brief shower, and soon water was running down the roads like rivers completely changing the nature of the ride. Everyone was beginning to get cold…we split the group to enable everyone to ride home at a pace that would keep them warm, and by the most direct route. As we approach Puerto del Carmen, the rain eased, blue skies sand warmth again… Emma’s group were also back at the hotel, having escaped the rain but been able to see the storm on us and wisely decided that cutting short (at 95km) was the best bet.
This allowed everyone the opportunity either an afternoon off, or a second (bonus) run. Steve, who had been unable to ride due to a “cleat failure” made good use of his day with a 3k swim and an “Eddington” ( i.e over 22km) run.
Mel had planned to spend the afternoon on a sun lounger….and managed a full 90 seconds of bikini time before the heavens opened…and it absolutely hammered down with rain for the rest of the afternoon! This cough a few of the campers out….Lanzarote doesn’t really do rain, so doesn’t do draining – so it was fairly amusing to observe the extent of the flooding in the streets….we were thankful that no one was still out cycling in those conditions.
Standings at the end of day 3 are as above…Julia’s performance on the handicap climb has now moved her into pole position, with Steven trailing by just one point, and Jo in 3rd. With higher tariff on tomorrows climb, this could change the shape of the table dramatically …still all to play for!