After my first Isuzu Ironman 703 Durban race in June with the Jozi Embark team, I was on top of the world. Being a former ultramarathoner and now a triathlete, my plan is to see the world while racing. Why? One may ask. Well, my perfect holiday is waking up early to run or cycle then have breakfast and CHILL! I mean, I would have done all my sightseeing on the run or bike, so day made! When I saw the international training camp planned by Embark, my eyes saw an opportunity for a perfect holiday where I won’t annoy my family by dragging them walking or cycling or hiking. (I did this in 2021 where I wanted to see as many waterfalls as possible along the Panorama route and I was very unpopular).
Back to the tour. I met STeve in Durban so I was happy to get in touch and sign up for the tour immediately. It was only after the talk he presented on how to start training for a triathlon that my friend Thobile decided she wants to do the training camp too. She had entered for the Isuzu Ironman 703 Mossel Bay, so it made sense. We were cautious about our riding speeds since we are still working towards that 25km/h constant riding average. So we then set up a call with STeve and bombarded him with questions. He gladly answered all of them and assured us that we would be fine - we brought our A game to the tour too.
We were so excited. We were probably the first ones to get our visas and book flights. We booked a couple of days extra for sightseeing in Barcelona and planned and planned right down to our riding kits for the five days of riding. We were the ‘fashionstas’ of the tour because you don’t have to look like your problems a.k.a hills of Girona.
We all met at the airport in Barcelona for our transfer to Rocacorba Cycling. The other riders, now called ‘the team’, were such a great group of people. We had a lot of fun and plenty laughs. These guys are definitely the type of people I want hang out with, those who focus on the things we have in common, triathlons, and just all round wonderful people. We are all invited to the housewarming party on the east wing by Tim’s house when STeve and family move in 🥳 (inside joke 😉)
The tour was based around the incredible riding on offer, and being able to swim and run on the days made it one incredible experience. The lake Banyoles for example, has a 500m laned swim course for the swimmers! And we got to watch the NZ Tri team in action on a daily bases as they prepped for World Tri Champs the following weekend. So many pros train here.
I really have felt the gains from that week. We climbed on the bike every day and spent hours in the saddle, increasing or tolerance for pain! I was climbing much better and was able to hold my position in group B without dying. I could just constantly hear STeve’s voice, “don’t let go of that wheel, you work 30% less behind the wheel!”. I went to the tour slightly undertrained but came out well on my way to better riding. It was the first time ever riding five consecutive days, tough rides for that matter but they were all doable. Would I do this again? In a heartbeat! I want to see more places and climb the rest of the Girona climbs, and continue to explore the Costa Brava on my bicycle with fabulous active people!