Saturday, February 2, 2008

Falls Creek

I've just returned from the Victorian Alps, Falls Creek, where I was on a Challenge Corp Camp. It was a great week in a perfect training location.
It has altitude, great roads, 30km climbs, running trails and an outdoor pool just down the road...and I was there with some awesome training partners.
In true Challenge Corp style we did some epic days to remember.

The third day will be one I will never forget.
We rode from Falls Creek across Towonga Gap, through Harrietville, up Mt Hotham, through dinner plain, Omeo, then...the fun part!
Everyone bar 5 of us got in the van. The remainder of the ride, about 40kms, was expected to be another climb. It turned out to the the most fun part of the day; a super smooth road, on the side of the mountain, with beautiful sweeping bends that were an absolute pleasure to ride.

However, that's where our luck ran out...
The van that was meant to meet us was nowhere to be seen. So we kept moving forward. The beautiful road surface had become the climb we were expecting, but on a dirt track. On road bikes it was pretty ridiculous, on my TT bike it was absolutely ludicrous!

We were running out of daylight, in the middle of woop woop, riding at a max of 8km/h on the flats, 4km/hr on the uphill sections, we had 37ks of track ahead of our calculations we were in trouble! Thanks to Brenton's clever thinking we let some air out of our tires to increase traction.

Smolly (Mark Smolonogov), whose 22nd birthday it was, went from positive exuberant youth to absolute dismay. He came up with quote of the camp;
His dad had asked him what he wanted for his birthday? He was going to tell him " a series of psychiatric treatments after this insane camp".

After a couple of hours at moving at the painfully slow pace, and having to walk for sections, we started rationing our food and thinking of plans of survival. The van eventually came, and I have never been so happy to see someone. After setting out at 6am, we returned to the lodge at 7.30pm.

A truly epic day. One that built a lasting camaraderie. We stuck together and looked out for each other, and I feel fortunate to have such great people to train with. Smolly gave me a big hug and said it was a birthday he will never forget:)

The camp was a great start to the year, and built a solid foundation of strength endurance. Thank you John and Kristian for organising it so well, and our camp sponsors; hypo2, Compex, High5 and Clarence St Cyclery.

We did some long days, so now its time for some speed!


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