The Coast to Coast
Well well, what do I say ? Very little I think, as there has been said many of things already.
It was just Helene and I this year Helene in a school team and me another 2 day. Marijn will have another crack at it, to improve on the 14th placing he did 2 years ago, this year he was helping us together with Mamma.
Here we were on the beach at Kumara, great conditions forecasted for us on day one. The hooter went and of we go, for me nr.10 and Helene's second time school team. Helene's off like a bat out of hell, and me just hobbling along trying to not get sucked into all the hype knowing the road ahead. She did run herself out of sight but I saw her again as she was just getting on her bike yelling aw shit 'indicating she was hell-bent on getting in the same bunch as me, she did get on my wheel and I tried to keep her there but judging by her breathing it was not likely she was going to last, and unfortunately she didn't. She would have had to back off a little and find her composure and take the bunch she was presented with. That nasty little run takes out many of people every year, dragging people into the hype and then regretting it at the top of the first little hill out of kumara. Leaving you wonder how much training everyone else around you must have done. Rest assured 95 % thinks and feels the same thing, but it is hard to find someone to admit to that at that moment. It was great to see the first transition organized a lot better this year, not such a lolly scramble as it has always been , but then again Juddy always had great joy from certain carnage, some situations he could twist into a glorious unfortunate story of misfortune at the prize giving, but for competitors much more streamlined.
The Girl Helene was teamed up with is Toni Keeling from Auckland â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦. Luckily she put my mind at ease early in the run by steaming past me indicating that Helene must have had an ok. bike after she dropped of, so thing s were looking good for them, for me it was just a matter of grinding through that run again, and I could swear than my legs were shorter again than last time.
In the end 'we' had a great day and great conditions.
We were staying in A. pass and around dinner time I said lets go to Klondyke corner and have a nosy through some results.
When we got to the corner we noticed all those people hitting for the finish line, my first though was maybe this year there is some music or something organized but soon Juddy started spouting forth and it was not sounding pretty, and when the actual sentence was pronounced that in the 2010 Speight's Coast to coast was not going to be any kayaking down the river!! WELL that opened a whole bucked of tears, Helene was standing between big bro and mad Daddy, all hugs and hankies. This was going to be the year to put right for what went wrong the year before, when she got tangled up with another boat and broke a rudder cable. Just standing there looking around I could see a lot of 'almost tears' on young and old faces, which dragged me into all sorts of memories and the biggest thing I thought stood out, was the fact that we get into this trap with blinkers on, especially that last period of training programs, the time leading onto the big one.
Too many eggs in one basket.
Trying to make it a good racing season of it, and then one race is only a smaller percentage, would perhaps be more helpful. Ok this is still the pinnacle on the race calendar, but we can't control the weather.
When I did the length of NZ race' the Mizone challenge' we basically did a ctoc every day for a month long, ranging from 5-10hr days some days we just didn't know how long something was going to take us, and sure enough I drank water I normally wouldn't even considered peeing in, but 'what ' was the choice. Legs were canceled because of weather, the paddle down the Tongariro was cancelled. We were some of the last to bike over the highway bridge, as it was already hitting the bottom of the bridge and an hour later it was raging over the top. I clearly remember the First day out of Bluff, I'd only trained as far as a 100km on the bike but the first ride was a 160km, and the days never got any easier.
What I learned over the years is that 'THANK GOD' were dealing with nature, the very 'friend' that's giving us the days that stand out in memory, and create stories for our family friends.
Ever noticed that the nice sunny days are soon forgotten? It is the dealing with change we have to become a little wiser with, and fair to say that we can't expect, the younger and less experience once, to necessarily be able to deal with disappointment the best way, BUT the multisport world has always given me a warm feeling, full of people that understand life and are very supportive. And I guess that comes from the fact that you might just have to understand the basics of living before you can enjoy the outdoors, and it is a real neat feeling to be amongst you lot every year
And you know 'what' you'll have to go through a period of a couple of years and a hole range of emotions to be able to understand what someone else might feel like. If for example you just survived the agony barrier level nr.6 the chance is, when your confronted with nr. 7 you'll survive that as well, and the immense satisfaction that comes with it, I guess makes us go back for more. Enough about that philosophical bs.
Pouring in the morning, so the storm gear came out just to find after the start along the hills to MT White it was clearing. One jacket came of, down the road before the big hill 'Craigeburn cutting ' another piece of clothing had to come of , as by then it was a howling nwster from the side and warming up. I new it was coming 'the steep bastard' I've never been good at hills and when I looked up from the bottom I saw people already walking at the first corner, and I was thinking "nope' we're going to nail this one, and on the way up I seem to have my oxygen uptake and legs in tune , and the power knowing were the road levels off a bit was Oh soo strong, if you can see the target there seem to be that little bit more you didn't expect.
Nailed it Yahoooo
But boy it was blowing , at the top of Castle hill village hill I was picking up speed and all of a sudden jerked sideways and back and forth, 'braking'? no point! could make it worse. Admittedly I was riding Reynolds deep rim carbon wheels, fantastic wheels but not the best for side wind. Further along at the big long straight along the climbing rocks I was blown of road a couple of times, no drama's , as I was going up hill so wasn't going fast.
Porters Pass was looming, looking good for wind direction, and a fast downhill but the very fact was that it was the last bit of fun I could see for the rest of the day, I for once was looking forward to the uphill. I was reeling in a bunch of people, which is unlike me considering I was going uphill.
At the top those people decided to have a break, off I went the first steep bit was great and I started to get that floaty feeling similar when downhill skiracing, the faster you go the least amount of weight is on your legs, sometimes you get it going down Evans pass depending on conditions, it generally means your doing over 80 km/hr.
Now my Speedo packed a sad in the rain that morning so it will always be a mystery, but it felt great and never any side gust, I could only see the danger for that, were the old road 'used' to go. There is a bit of a saddle on the right traveling east. It was pointed out to me one day, that's were the old road used to go, and comes out at the bottom big corner. It's worth while stopping there if you go the other way and stuck behind a bus just blowing smoke in your vent system. At the same bottom corner that day, there was a bit of road works, and there was someone standing there to slow us down for the gravel bit, but I just couldn't, not after that adrenaline rush and knowing there was still a couple of meters of adrenalin and mountainbike skills left to go, no way. At the end of the gravel that's when I spotted some other event crew looking rather worried, but I had my fix!! Now just a boring old grind to town and the mighty Avon MMMMMMMM.!!
Mamma always has a near kittens, when I tell in front of the kids about my latest fix. Remedy?? A stuffed Speedo!!
While we were battling the winds in the hills that morning, the story goes that at the yacht club in Lyttelton some people were trying to hang on to their boats in the rigging area to stop them from blowing away. One guy decided in a gap between gusts to get is car and park it to shelter his boat, but no sooner he'd got into his car a NW gust picked up his boat and drove the mast through the passenger window and out the back window on the other side narrowly missing the guy, broke the boat of the mast and smashed the boat into the next car. Proving that it wasn't just in the hills and had reached the coast as well. I would have hated to think what Hurricane passage was like on that day!!
WELL DONE JUDDY!!
At the kayak transition we had our own little hiccups like many, and when finally in the boat it was just not the usual motivational feeling I get when jumping in the boat at the Mt White , so I just went about it to get to the finish.
Not without it's own challenges, like when I past one of those punting boats I all of a sudden filled my lungs with a mixture of smoke and some heinous perfume, I nearly pucked , a far cry from the usual smell of flowering broom and gorse. Not being prepared to be confronted by an huge crowd at the Pleasant point yacht club, where we were told to get out and back on the bike.
The way my bike by got there was a mission by itself. After I left the kayak get in Marijn was told that my bike had to be at to Mt pleasant Yacht club, two competitors and one car? Quick thinking, and he stuffed his size13 into my size 8 shoes and set of on my shortarsed bike [by now looking like a BMX bike with race wheels with him on it] to Mt pleasant just to get there and no one there??, realizing the confusion between the two Pleasant's, he then flew Harry Potter style to the Pleasant point club, just to be there in time to hand me the bike. And me, completely oblivious to the reason why he was looking so hot and bothered. Despite nothing fitted him I'm sure he enjoyed riding those wheels though!
WELL done!!! Marijn
Then the finish: THANK GOD FOR THAT