Roch gave Chris Lieto a lesson on coaching, which he found to be more tiring than expected.
First Ironman AZ Camp goes off without a hitch.
We had the first annual Arizona Ironman camp February 25-28th, and it couldn't have gone any smoother! It was a sold out camp with 45 athletes from all over North America. The East coast athletes (that would include me, Karen Holloway) were glad to see sunshine and roads without snow. The West coast athletes were pleased that the rain had disappeared. It was a great mix of personalities and by the end of camp there were many new friendships that had formed.
The first day the athletes ran to the transition area and were able to survey the one loop 2.4 mile swim. Then it was time to get into the beautiful ASU pool and do a challenging swim practice that Roch Frey had devised for the unsuspecting campers. I believe is was the longest practice many of the campers had done. No one complained and everyone seemed to be pleased with themselves.
The second day was the long bike ride. Everyone got to see the fabulous bike course. Chris Lieto who was making his debut as a camp counselor took the fastest biking group and was able to challenge them, and show how it's done up the front of these Ironman races. There were long stretches of road and the inclines were very doable. I think the wind was the most challenging part of the course. We had one camper who had never been on a road bike in his life and did a five hour bike ride. He was a real trooper. Towards the turn around on the bike the sag wagon was waiting for us to refuel. I think the candy orange slices was the big hit. But the sag wagon had everything that we needed. We finished up the ride and it was off to do a transition run. Paula Newby-Fraser had the fantastic idea to run to the ASU track (the very same one that super miler Steve Scott race many sub 4-minute miles) and do a two mile Ironman paced run. The goal was to be running our marathon pace. Which for many people ended up being a fantasy ironman pace. I believe Heathers Fuhr's group had some campers that were running 2:50.00 marathon times....WOW! That night we had camp awards. Everyone got an award, but there were extra prizes that were given out to those who could answer Ironman trivia. Wade Blomgren made sure everything stayed on track.
The final day was the long run. We all met early and took off for the ironman run course. It was a fantastic course. I think the campers were pleasantly surprised due to fact that some of the run was on soft surface, so the there was less beating up on the legs. The run course was never too far from the finish area, because of the out and backs. Danny Abshire was running around from running group to running group helping out with proper run form. The campers all did a two hour run and got back to the hotel for a hardy breakfast, some last minute tips and thoughts on how to be back ready to take on the challenge come April 9th. By the time you knew it the camp was done.
Campers were leaving with the peace of mind that they knew the basics of the course. They had plenty of training knowledge which Paul Huddle and Roch Frey (with plenty of humour) delivered throughout the course of the camp. Their bikes had been tweeked by Jimmy Riccitello. And then there was nothing left to do but for them to go home and apply what they learned - with the most important lesson being - MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GREAT BOTTLE CAGES ON YOUR BIKE - the road can be bumpy!