As ever, the last day on camp is all about the long ride. Traditionally, it has been to ride a full lap of the Ironman Bike Course. Due to various course changes over the years and the creation of newly surfaced and safer back roads around parts of the island that now have a lot more traffic than they did 10 years ago, we have created a route that combines most of the current Ironman bike route with parts of the original, for a 175km lap of the island.
As ever, we have a couple of campers who had never actually ridden over 100mile before – and Emma and Tarril had probably not envisaged that their first “ton” would be ridden after 5 hard days of training in their legs, with 2550m of ascent and this wind! However Emma is an absolute expert at motivating people though this challenging day at a comfortable pace, focus on eating and drinking and keeping morale up during the tough patches – so even if there was any doubt in their mind that they would complete this ride, there really wasn’t in ours.
For some, 175km is not a sufficiently challenging distance to round off a big week – and so we added25km worth of extra to the route, which Steven leads the stronger riders round on the last day. Again, this is usually a challenge of team work, keeping the pace sensible and calorie intake up ..working a s team with the stronger guys looking after the “ambitious” ones for much of the day.
My own day is alway the easiest, I think – not sure how that happens ;o) – with a medium paced group wanting to ride the standard iron (ish) distance at a steady pace with minimal stops. Usually this is a group of similarly matched riders and we work together taking turns to take the wind or take a break in the group through the day as we each got through spells of feeling good, or not.
The weather was a little overcast and slightly cooler today, thankfully, but it happened to be the windiest day that we have had all week. Not strong by Lanzarote standards, but certainly noticeable. Coming from a slightly odd direction, it was not mostly side wind however and still delivered a pretty swift tailwind on the final 1/3rd of the day.
All 3 groups had a good day out, and arrived back at the hotel between 5:20 and 6:20pm – giving everyone a bit of spare time to pack bikes before dinner. Phil completed the ride with Emma (or rather with Emma’s back wheel!!), and so retains his status as King of the Volcanoes. The table below shows final positions, which has changed slightly due to the fact that those who “complete” the camp with 30 Training Points are ranked above those who did not, regardless of points earned in the KOV climbing challenge. So, Kevin was second and Russell 3rd, with Matthew, Roz and Andy all completing this year’s camp.
It’s fair to say that, had the aquathlon swim leg not been called off, or the stock market been in crisis on Monday in response to escalating Coronavirus news, then Lance Emma and Andreas would also have completed the camp. Regardless – everyone has been tremendous this year, great attitudes all round and a really fun group of athletes to train and socialise with. We agreed that it was one of the most enjoyable camps that we have done ( do we always say this?!) despite significant distraction of the developing news that has effected most of our personal or work lives during the last 6 days.
We wish everyone a safe journey home, and recommend a focused recovery week: very light expertise, plenty of sleep, good healthy diet and avoiding exposure to infections (of any type, not just the most obvious) …with good recovery in a couple of week you will really see the fitness you have gained out here!