Buzz’s Big Day Out
Well, the clue is in the title – it was a BIG day out!
Saturday 12th August saw a brilliant turn out for Buzz’s main event this summer:
– 2km open water swim in Lac Montriond (a loop round the lake)
– 100km bike ride including the infamous climb up the Col de Joux Plane (roughly 2000m of climbing in total)
– 21km run around Lac Montriond (7 laps)
A half-ironman of sorts!
Anyone could come along and partake in any, or all three, of the disciplines – everyone was welcome. The idea of the day was to realise everyone’s potential, by pushing people maybe further than they may have gone before, or to be part of their training. The day was treated as a training day, so any racing you did, was against yourself and great emphasis was placed on making everyone feel comfortable and safe with the idea that people may feel inspired to go further next time, or enter an event.
Joe, Amelia and Declan did a brilliant job of controlling and babysitting the team, supporting, feeding and hydrating us! Joe and Declan kept us all in check throughout the day, partaking in the event. Amelia and her photographer side-kick were brilliant support crew, paddling on the lake, following us in the van, and providing sustenance and cheers on the run.
After a few days of rainy weather, we were blessed with a sunny day, albeit a little chilly in parts (it snowed high up!).
16 of us plunged into icy waters at 8am. The sun was low and the lake was steamy, so I’m not going to lie, my route was a little wonky! But, as a team, we swam an aller-retour of Lac Montriond, which was beautifully calm and flat. And, wonderfully quiet – a contrast to when we returned mid-afternoon, in the now hot sunshine, for the run!
Shout out to my mother (because she is my mama after all!), as she was well and truly out of her comfort zone, but I’m very proud of her for getting on with overcoming her fears and completing the swim. I did, guiltily, leave her to it as we may well have had a mother-daughter domestic in the middle of the lake, but I knew she’d be fiiiine. And, she was! Well done, Mum!
After a quick change out of our wetsuits and into cycling gear (I felt very part of the team in my new snazzy Buzz kit!), some food and drink, we left on our bikes. With 20 of us riding, we tried to split into small packs, although inevitably we did end up in a large peleton at times! Check-points along the route let us re-fuel, have toilet stops, and re-group. The ride was a similar loop to the Morzine Sportive, with a final climb up the infamous Joux Plane.
Knowing that I wouldn’t be running much (sore leg…), I decided I’d give it some on the Joux Plane. We climbed it as in the Tour de France, so from Samoëns, which was new for me. I started steady with the group and as we gained momentum, or slowed down (whichever way you want to look at it!), I found my rhythm, felt strong, so pushed steadily to the top – chasing Joe! The burn hit in literally the final 2 kilometers. A big improvement on my attempt back in June when I HURT, and it was a reasonable struggle to the top. This time, it felt good, still hard, but in a different way. So when I got home and Strava said I hadn’t really improved on my previous efforts, I was a bit gutted. Still, I think I got up in an 1hr 8min which is pretty respectable, so I’ll take that. And stuff you Strava – I’ll get my old school stopwatch out next time.
It was chilly at the top, the goats were pesky, so we made a pretty rapid descent (or as fast I could!) down in to Morzine. I’ve got some tips (merci Joe) to work on. We then had the final pull up to the lake.
Another change, some final snacks, and we set off on 7 laps of the lake. By now, at 15h30 or so, the sun was out and hot and the path was busy – a game of dodgems lay ahead, let alone just the run!
I felt ok! And was very surprised that the one lap I planned on doing was not super slow and not hugely painful either. I deliberated with the idea of doing a second lap, but thought better of it. Well, Amelia strongly suggested that the one would do – I’d done a triathlon! I’d also covered the most amount of kilometers I’d ever done. It’s given me a good confidence boost to know that I’m pretty ready for the Passy Olympic Tri on the 26th. I just hope it all goes well, and it doesn’t rain…
So, I joined the support crew and watched the remaining team members do laps of the lake, re-grouping after each one. Although mentally challenging to repeat the same loop, I think it was also a great way to break the distance down in to achievable chunks, allowing people to complete their goal for the day when they wanted. Watching the runners complete the laps was inspiring, and also kind of sadistically interesting to see how much they deteriorated! Some managed to maintain their speed, or even speed up – amazing!
Everyone had their goals for the day and individual challenges. This event was great in allowing each participant to train to their ability and gain a great sense of achievement at the end of it. They were all very inspiring performances – well done everybody!
So, next year?
Here are also a few Sunday rest day photographs to prove that it does happen!