by Chris Bagg, photo courtesy of Dylan Haskin
Ed. Note—this past week, your editor was lucky enough to help out at the Wattie Ink. Elite Team/Herbalife 24 Team Camp in Carlsbad, California, the literal and figurative home of Wattie Ink. Read on for a tour of the week's experiences...
Camp Camp Camp CAMP! Ever since I've been a part of triathlon, training camps big and small have been part and parcel with the sport. HJ and I met at a training camp in Tucson years ago, and those have ranged in size from twenty athletes all the way down to a camp of three a few years ago in these same Carlsbad hills. Over the past six days, I had the privilege of facilitating a camp for the amazing Wattie Ink. Elite Team, all with the powerful support of Herbalife 24. From Tuesday to Saturday, 75 athletes swam, rode, ran, struggled, and laughed together. I'm feeling super grateful this morning to have been a part of it. A huge thanks to Wattie, HJ, team director Tu Tran, Jennifer and the team at Herbalife, Campsite Media, the entire roster at Wattie Ink., who helped in every way possible, and my business partner Molly Balfe, who shouldered the bulk of the load all week long.
Team Director Tu Tran carrying a flag in honor of Gold Star Lance Corporal Abe Simpson during Oceanside 70.3, which predated camp by a few days
Team members supported each other and got supported during the race | photo courtesy of Durst Breneiser
Hit Squad athlete Robbie Walker raced and then took part in the Elite Team camp after Oceanside | photo courtesy of Durst Breneiser
Team members volunteered the day after Oceanside with the Challenged Athlete Foundation and Ironman Foundation, helping disabled athletes get some time in the surf | photo courtesy of Durst Breneiser
Camp kicked off Tuesday with a team picture, swim, and run at the excellent Alga Norte Aquatic Center
Coach Molly taking the group through its paces during our first session
Early morning swim session at Alga Norte Aquatic Center, image courtesy of Dylan Haskin
The camp "director" doing what he does best...talking
Riders at the base of Couser Canyon, our big climb on Wednesday
Thursday morning we headed to Camp Pendleton, for bike/run repeats over two hours on a closed course
Team member John Dambrauskas trying to stay away from a rogue rollerblader
Team members added an impromptu open water swim and...calendar shoot on the beach Thursday afternoon
Friday, the group headed to Calaveras Hills for a long aerobic trail run
By Friday, teammates were tired but happy
The man himself, in his natural environment
I've run a lot of camps, but this was the first one for such a big group, and it was a really impressive experience. The Elite Team is a large, boisterous, welcoming, high-performance family, and I'm sitting here Monday morning, writing this, incredibly grateful to Heather and Wattie for the opportunity to help out with camp and be a part of this group for a short period. Thanks to all the team members, in particular, for for making me and Molly feel welcome the whole week long.