This was the 7th year we have been to Club La Santa as an Otter Team, and now as veterans of the training holiday we have come to appreciate all the facilities the complex has to offer and tailor our individual training accordingly. Alongside two training sessions a day the Otters enhanced their training regime with Spinning, TRX and the infamous "Ultimate Abs" classes (who said training was boring?)
Each week at Club La Santa there is a series of competitive events and as usual Otter placed highly in all of them. From claiming the top 3 positions in the men's 5K run for Alex, Ollie and Mike (ignoring those who's 10K splits were significantly faster!) to Fliss' 1hr 35min half marathon on a very warm Tuesday morning to win the ladies event and place 2nd overall. Whilst we may have lacked the athletic appearance of a visiting Luxembourg swim club we made up for it in grit, determination and fear of being beaten by scrawny 16 year olds in the aquathlon and once again came home with podium finishes from Ollie, Fliss and Gina!
Trips abroad are a fantastic way to get to know your team-mates. We learned that Fraser will skip breakfast, lunch and dinner if it means he can spend those hours being pampered in the spa and an afternoon of athletics coaching taught us that Ollie is natural with a javelin but none of us can hurdle. Nico's love of board games was well known prior to the camp but this time we were still amazed at his dedication to check an extra bag full of games and had to admit defeat after hours spent trying to work out what animal he meant by a "Sea 'edge'og"...
A custom of the La Santa trip is the famed night out in one of Lanzarote's cultural hotspots, which we have affectionately termed "Puerta Del Chav". It was a delight to see Otters of all generations, and their partners, get into the spirit of the occasion by donning sailor-themed costumes for this year's event. Special mention here must go to Bob "The Commodore" Thomas for his immaculate costume and for playing master of ceremonies during the meal. The relative newbies to the camp, Alex and Fraser (not to be confused with the Alex Fraser) upheld the firm club traditions by whipping off their shirts to the Baywatch soundtrack quicker than you could say "Will Wall". Good work boys!
As always the camp culminated in the fun relays session on the Friday afternoon. Joana led the Green Team to victory with a clearly superior T-Shirt change over strategy despite a challenge from the Blue team thanks to Emma's imperious sculling. Maybe if Tim's backwards freestyle could have got off the start line the Pink team would have had a chance - but who are we kidding?
In amongst all the fun, there was some serious hard work. Two time trial sets were particularly painful but no one embodied the work ethic more so than Imran, who managed to get his heart rate up to 196bpm while trying to keep up with Ben and Dave during their bike ride.
We leave Lanzarote collectively fitter, stronger, injury free (mostly), more tanned and with considerably better six packs than we started.
A special thanks must go to Nico for organising the trip this year along with help from Jo, Gina and Emma and of course to coach Steve for his many hours on poolside too.
See you all next year for more fun in the sun!