From Left to Right - Adam K, Murray "The Holy Hammer" Lapworth, John Newsom

From Left to Right - Adam K, Murray "The Holy Hammer" Lapworth, John Newsom

At the start of day 8, the points have Adam K in the Polka Dot Jersey (King of the Mountains), Murray "The Holy Hammer" in the Red Jersey (Over 50 Points Leader), and John Newsom in the Yellow Jersey (Overall Points Leader). Adam K has been crushing the King of the Mountains competition and has a commanding lead. (Walter, John, Shannon and Peter are other top KOM finishers, but still a good bit behind overall.) Murray took Red on day 1 and has been fighting off Peter Mills to maintain it. John and Adam have been duking it out for the Yellow, but John has kept it largely through wins in the aquathon and triathlon races.

As for me, I'm way behind on points. Not having my bike on Day 1 put me in last place and I've been slowly crawling my way back to a respectable position with some decent races and casual 'tack-ons'. I honestly think that starting in last place was a good thing. It's kept me from getting tied up in the overall points race and has allowed me to stay focused on getting the most out of the camp from a training perspective.

For background, prior to camp my coach Justin Daerr and I had a convo about how to approach the 11-day Epic Camp sufferfest. The goal would be to get solid training in (particularly on the bike) while not overdoing it. While it could benefit some, for me, red-lining day in, day out would leave me too smashed coming out the other side. With the camp as part of my Kona build, it would be best to "pick my moments" and keep things under control the rest of the time.

In all honesty, it's been pretty hard at times to hold back on some of the rides, particularly the KOM climbs. Every day I've chosen to ride with the guys who leave last (those who plan to ride the fastest), so it's pretty humbling to be dropped (quickly... like, shot-out-the-back-door dropped) on nearly all of the KOM climbs. I think I'd have more difficultly doing this if I didn't have a strong Ironman finish time to my name. It definitely helps me approach much of the camp with a "nothing-to-prove" type attitude.