The day's breakdown:
Leg 4: 50km mtb
This stage was cancelled because of the track's conditions and the ability to move support crew in time to the Poolburn transition given the state of the support crew's 4WD track's condition. A bummer.
Leg 5: 24k road bike
Usually, by this time the competitors would have been spread out from the previous leg's mountain bike but because we were all starting, it ended up being a massive and FUN group ride.
|Yes, I look flash...|
The group ride ended up being pretty self-explanatory. For me, it's always been "hang on until your legs burn so badly that you nearly die", get dropped from the group, recollect my beating heart and my self-respect, then when the next fast group from the following wave comes flying by, GET ON THAT TRAIN, and stay on. Myself, one girl and one guy had been dropped from the first group, and when the next wave's first group came by (Team Classic 50+ Men), I dropped the girl and guy and hung on with the older gents. Took my pull at the front when it came to my turn, and when I pulled off to the back, they all told me good job. If they'd offered me candy, too, I'd probably have taken it. Once in the transition, I pulled off the shoes and helmet, jammed my Asics Fuji Racers on, my Nathan pack, and headed out onto the 15k trail run on the Otago Rail Trail.
Leg 6: 15km trail run
The trail run is split into two segments: approx 3-4k's net uphill on farm 4WD track followed by the rest of the run on the Otago Rail Trail, net downhill. The Otago Rail Trail used to be where the train tracks were, but when they were no longer in use, they ripped up all the tracks and created a 160km "rail trail" throughout the beautiful Central Otago landscape. We were running on part of it, from Auripo to Lauder. This run included running through two 200m tunnels that were HUGE and PITCH BLACK in the center. Absolutely, 100% cool. I screamed like a girl and heard my echoes bouncing off the walls. Awesome!!
I must admit, after the previous day's 18k uphill run and today's 15k downhill run, my legs were TRASHED. I did the run in 1:15:xx, but boy oh boy, very unhappy legs after that!! I couldn't fathom how I'd manage on the next day!
Leg 7: 58km MTB
Luckily, we had a bit of time before we had to get to Tarras, which was the end of day transition. Tracey was off on her 58km mtb adventure going up and over Thompson's Gorge. Christian and I thus went to the Cromwell pool, where I floated in a hot tub, then did I think 50m of lap swim before I called it a day. We had lunch then drove to Tarras, where we were soon greeted with this:
|It had rained/hailed up there for the mtb'ers.|
Us down below were simply greeted with a
rainbow! The food made by the Tarras Rotary
Club was amaaaazing, free beers too.
|Upon returning to Wanaka, we were greeted with fresh new|
snow on the hills. That definitely wasn't there when we left!