With two days spent on an island tour and a third helping at a Big bike revival event there just did not seem to be enough days in the week!
However I made my target and completed my core runs.
Run totals:26 miles with 1400 feet of climb. This included 10 x 800 ints and a long run of 10,5
Bike: 61 miles with 3600 feet of climbing.
First week in some time that I have not managed to any yoga or ilates classes. Stretching at home is fine but just not the same.
Today, 2nd July, is the final day on the bikes. We started off from the hotel and followed a 4 lane road for about 15 miles to Da Nang. Da nang was the site of the US invasion and one of the resorts is still known as Red Beach. Another bustling city there is still a lot of military around the area inc US and UK! The beach front along Da Nang is awash with beach resorts both built and under construction or planning pretty soon it will be another Cancun!
Everyone did the first stage but after that Laura and Gary climbed in the bus. We set of for another 20 K and regrouped for rehydration and snacks before the 10K climb up Hai Van Pass. The ride so far had been quite temperate but once you started heading up the pass it just got hotter and hotter. The views to Da Nang bay were stunning the golden beaches onnly spoiled by the skyscrapers begining to riseout of the ground. I tackled the bottom of the climb in the middle ring but as the heat rose I slipped down into the granny gear and just spun my way to the top. I passed by the bus twice on the way up and when I arrived he hadn’t! I waited around for a few minutes and the bus appeared up the hill and parked by the spot I had left my bike. Eight riders had left the bottom and we all made it to the top with about a 40 min gap btwn first anf last. A good effort though!
After drinks we set off on the descent. Ten k down and great fun. Not a lot of traffic as most of it takes the tunnel but there was still a few hairy moments involving a hairpin bend, two scooters and a petrol tanker. After arriving at the bottom of the hill we biked around a lagoon and then climbed on the bus for transfer to the restaurant for todays meal. The meal was on an oyster farm and was the usual high standard we have come to expect on this trip.
After lunch we were back on out friend highawy No1 for the drive to Hue and the Gold hotel. Our bags were dealt with in the normal efficient manner and we had about 3 hours to get freshened up before a 5 min walk to a local restaurant and dinner. After dinner a few of us went to the rooftop bar for the view of course and after a ddrink or two decided that it was timme for bed the barstaff however had other iseas and it took us about 15 mins to settle up for the drinks and hightail it out of the bar. So to bed.
If you like hills, mud, clay, hills, trails and hills this is the race for you. The race is billed as being 50% off road and trail shoes are de rigeur. There is a lot of single file sections be that due to traffic on narrow lanes, collapsing pathways or just vegetation overgrowing the path. There had been a lot of rain in the preceding days so although the weather was almost perfect for marathon running underfoot was slippy and you had to keep your eyes on the ground at all times. This is a pity as there is a lot to see on the course and you just make your way past it putting one foot carefully in front of the other.
The organisation of the race is good getting there though can be a problem as the first bus gets there too late to get changed drop a bag etc so it means getting a taxi.
This was my 21st marathon and probably the hardest I have done my garmin said the climb was 2111 ft.