Sunday, 17 April 2011

Reflections (mostly from the Sports Bar) on SAS Club La Santa Trip-

By Ranjiet Kainth
The recent St Albans Striders trip to Club La Santa, Lanzarote had something for everyone, from baby wipes to bicycles, from budgie smugglers to bikinis……. I’ll come back to that later.
Of course variety is the spice of life and the group had that in spades.
·         The experienced “La Santas” were relaxed, laid back (quite literally) and knew how to pace themselves
·         The serious athletes were pretty driven (mostly by their own pedal power, arms and legs)
·         The “newbies” ran around in circles and some ended up injured
·         Some excelled at everything (Paul), and some didn’t (Petra swimming backwards comes to mind!);
·         Some were world class and humble and ended up with their picture in the Hall of Fame,  (well done Clare ), the rest of us didn’t.
·         Some decided it might be fun to trip over the lava (it wasn’t honest), and
·         Some kept a low profile and let their performances do the talking. Just because they wouldn’t want to be mentioned , I am particularly referring to Deirdre, Chris P and Luke.
This was my first visit to Club La Santa, so I could easily bang on about the fantastic facilities and the multiple classes.  However you can read all that on the website, so this is a more personal reflection.
For the 6 blokes (Rav, John Hope, Luke, Mike, Phil and myself) billeted together, it got off to a flying start when, at check-in, we were upgraded to the penthouse (aka Jenson Button suite).  We did rather boast about its’ size for a while (nothing new there).  However we did open it up to the rest of the group (yes it was that big) as the venue for the 2 part Jubbmeister quiz.  Mike’s rather large and eclectic taste in music played to Lucy and Chris O’s strengths, so that was a good team to be on.  Unfortunately, for all their other undoubted talents, this was not a good event to team up with either Sally or Clare.  Also, if Gary tells you he knows anything about cheese, he’s most likely exaggerating.
The host La Santa sports team “The Green Team” were without exception  knowledgeable and helpful; just ask Gladstone and John H about the Welsh guy who had them practicing walking “as if in high heels”.  Something about front foot landing apparently! Nicoletta’s morning stretch became strangely more-ish and on a personal note, if you fancy spinning (or even if you don’t), check out if Ronya is giving the class.  She also does swimming lessons!! 
I could ramble on about the orienteering, duathlon, mini-triathlon, 5k and 10k, half marathon, swim-athon, pool,  crazy golf etc, but suffice to say all who participated had fun, and if you’re not sure who won, then  Paul, Mike and Sally are fairly safe bets.
Mike did a fantastic job in providing the right amount of competitive team events and a couple of light touch track sessions; and Sally, leading by example (mostly from the front actually) was always there to remind us  that you are never too tired or injured to do “just one more event”. Thanks to both Sally and Mike for all their efforts to put the trip and schedule together.
So what of the budgie smugglers, bikini, baby wipes and bicycles?
For the budgie smugglers, check out the picture on the Striders website of “the boys” prior to swimming in the lagoon. Well done Luke, you’re a brave man.
Petra, you need to be practical. Wearing a bikini during a swimming lesson when you are surrounded by lots of thrashing arms is a recipe for losing one or other element of the two-piece.  Or maybe you knew that already? 
And finally the baby wipes and bicycle. The sight of Phil each night on his knees using baby wipes to clean, one by one, each link of his bike chain, will live with me for a long time. In fact I may well need therapy to get over it.  
Until the next time....
Ps. Good luck to Rav and Mike when they return to Lanzarote for the Ironman in May.

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