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Cyprus training Camp 2024

So having been home now for a few days it’s time to reflect on The JBR Cyprus Tri camp 2024.  So here’s my thoughts and experiences for anyone that’s interested or contemplating attending next year.

I was initially intimidated by the thought of going on a training camp with a bunch of well tuned Ironman athletes, so I spent a long time contemplating it. Once I decided to give it a go there was only excitement.

So a few of us stayed overnight at the airport the night before because of the early flight and upon arriving at check in the next day I’m glad we did. There were a few bleary eyes on display.  Check in went smoothly although looking at what luggage people were checking in I started to panic that I’d packed a little light. 

A quick coffee then the stampede to the gate. Although the gate had only just opened it amazes me that there’s already a queue. Once boarded and seated I was the proud owner of a whole row of seats to myself,  I offered a seat to a new JBR member, Taylor. A chance to chat and get to know a new face. I expect Taylor regretted that seat move now but it helped the time fly so thanks.

Nice flight and thankfully the bags all arrived safely. We were smoothly marshalled to our transport and off to the accommodation. Easy check in then ‘Boom’, the whirlwind of training camp began.  A military precise operation clicked into force.

We met for bike assembly and a little safety ride and gently run off the bike. It was a pleasure to finally ride and run in some sun. Then a later briefing and dinner.

Now, new this year the camp started with a short wake up run at 06:20. Not being a morning person I wasn’t looking forward to that, but actually in the warmth and sun, that time of day is actually very nice. But no time to rest as it’s almost straight into swimming. Just like our club nights, it’s a structured swim but in an amazing 50 metre pool. Again a pleasure in the sun and in a warmer pool than I was used to. The pool was also shared with some youth swim teams, who to be honest looked the mustard, all proper athletes, they even done stretches. Swimming done and almost straight to breakfast.

Now it’s here where I began to notice 2 things.  Timings and Eating. 

Timings….designed so that there’s very little opportunity to sit down and relax, every minute of the training day is maximised and there’s no chance to think and ponder on what the day will be like. To me that was a great, because if I sit too long I think “oh I can’t do this and that.”

Eating…..this will become a NEW endurance sport for the week. But if you can’t get the calories required from the food they serve here, then you never will. The food was tasty and plentiful.  It was fun to sit with everyone and watch people chomp their way through multiple plates, and to watch what strange combinations of food people were willing to eat. Note there may be a mayonnaise shortage on the island due to Nacho having mayo on everything.

Eating complete, it’s time to ride. Briefed on the route the night before and an available GPX file downloaded we set off. There were two group of ability so everyone was catered for and all ending up at the same destination. A beautiful long ride for the day with amazing views alongside a decent work out to start the week. I won’t give details of the rides themselves but needless to say they were well researched and planned. With the support from Paul in our support vehicle it was a great first ride out followed by a little run off the bike. When finished there was a nice cold water therapy session (standing or swimming) down in the sea which was great for the legs. Evening debrief/briefing that gave routes for the next day and then dinner and the evening to yourself.

Most people visited the local supermarket opposite for supply’s as there was a fridge in the room( the things in the fridge were not free, they charged €3 for the nuts in the fridge, didn’t they Taylor,)

The rest of the week followed the same format. Up, run, swim, EAT, ride, brief for next day, EAT. The routes varied daily and took in some amazing climbs, now I’m not a great climber and struggled with a bit of back pain. But, what a relief and sense of accomplishment when you get to the top of the climbs and get to stop and meet the group for a drink. Again here the stops have been used before and are lovely little places to visit. Then of course what goes up must come down, now I do love a good decent and these didn’t disappoint.

Now due to my back pain I was the first to take the opportunity to use the support vehicle. But this also allowed me to enjoy another hobby of mine and get some great cycling photos of the guys and girls still out there. 

Over the next few days there were various people taking advantage of the support vehicle at various stages for various reasons. It was a great asset to have. As JB said “ it’s your camp, do what you can.”  So everyone lived to play another day.

With an active recovery day midweek, and a group walk into the local town for some R&R  before “getting bang on it” again the next day.

The rest of the week continued in the same format until Friday was upon us and it was Triathlon day.  With a beautiful sea swim to start and a local Bike ride finished by a run which consisted of a variety of distances depending on people were feeling it was a great way to finish the week. 

Finishing the day off with a visit to the local bar which allowed the club to present the outgoing Vice Chairman with a small token of the clubs appreciation for his time and efforts.

Fridays evening was spent packing, chilling and eating dinner. Realising that there was no requirement to eat 5 plates of food again was actually a relief, but some of the youngsters still took advantage of the ample food available. Oh to be young again.

Saturday morning Giant Jenga AKA bike bag packing. Then we finally had the opportunity to visit the other side of the hotel where the pool and the normal people were spending their week. Some of the team tried to tackle their cyclist tan lines by  taking in the rays and generally just chilling out, until it was time to head to the airport.

The week had gone so well until this point and upon arriving at the airport the computer system went down 😳

Eventually the system started working and there was a frantic call for Gatwick passengers followed by a mad rush. Nacho charging down the queue dragging everything shouting “Excuse me, coming through” in his Spanglish was hilarious. Then the mad rush to drop the bike bags off, there was trepidation as I’m pretty sure my bag was over weight. Then someone was causing a major backlog at the heavy luggage drop, something to do with a gas cylinder,  then when that was complete,  the mad rush to get to the plane. Finally on the plane I was again lucky enough to have a row up front all to myself. Also sat across the aisle on his own was Taylor, we both grinned and sat back to enjoy our space. Then Taylor was joined by a giant random stranger and his smile faded and his now signature ‘Guns’ pose disappeared.

Getting home in the early hours was mainly down to the time difference and the clocks changing that weekend but upon waking up Sunday here were my thoughts.

I am so glad that I did it, for the money it was great value (helped out with the opportunity to save gradually over the year.) For the training it was amazing. What a location, venue and the perfect climate for March. The week itself was well structured and planned and all you really needed to do was turn up. Like all of JBR club sessions the days in Cyprus suit all abilities. I recommend the week to anyone who is contemplating it.

Now the smaller things that I had never considered I would get out of the tri camp, but probably the most rewarding part. I got to know the people who were at camp. As a club we see each other at training but it’s only brief, to actually spend time talking to people and finding out about them was really great and some great friends have been made.

Also don’t worry about your ability, everyone has their own skill set and it’s the challenge you set yourself that you will be dealing with. 

There are a lot of mountain goats hidden amongst us who love climbing, you just need to find that inner goat. Cyprus Tri Camp 2024 was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.  Hopefully there are videos and pictures available to give you an insight but here’s just a few.

As the Chairman says “get bang on it”

You won’t regret it.

Craig Brittney

Vice Chairman



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