It's a bit of a milestone, 26 weeks in and I have covered a total of 4,713km. That averages out at just over 180km a week, and puts me very much on track to complete my challenge by the end of the year.
After an easy post race week last week, this week I was back on form and managed to rack up the following:
I had a look back over some of the moments from the past 26 weeks and find it really validating to see that I have managed to train through all conditions.
In the first week I was cycling through snow and swimming in 3deg water. I am loving the current heatwave but still miss the post swim shivering.
This distance would now see me approaching El Palmar reserve, located in the Sudanes province of Chuquisaca. It has a surface of (595km2)with an altitude between 1,000 and 3,200 meters. The region is typically mountainous with deep canyons. In the Area there are 270 species of large plants, and 24 species of mammals - six of which are on the list of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). These are the eyeglass bear, puma, Andean cat or of scrubland or titi, mount k' uchi or mountain pig. There are a further 112 registered species of birds belonging to 30 families. The most important are the condor, mountain turkey, Ipicua, the woodpeckers (5 species) and eight species of parrots. Moreover, six species of amphibians, five of lizards and seven of snakes were identified. There are also 42 species of registered butterflies. The Area is sparsely settled by small communities of the Quechua that inhabit the valleys.
The closest I actually got to wildlife this week was being held at Richmond Park when I was cycling over to my Teddington swim on Friday. I am used to the level crossing at Mortlake, but this one was much more interesting. A group of us waited a good ten minutes whilst at the final count around 45 deer crossed the road.....just as you thought the last one had gone another group appeared and did a slow meander over. Another reminder to take the time to appreciate nature.
The heatwave lent itself nicely to an impromptu paddleboarding session on Sunday, organised by Ian as a way to put the 'Stand Up' element into SUP after his first go at this last month. And he did well, as this photo demonstrates - despite wake being caused by a speed boat that was circling past us. Only one dip in the water this time, hooray!
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.