Outlaw Half 2014

I know it's been mentioned by a few people - who's in?

181 to 190 of 190 messages
05/06/2014 at 06:39

My race report is on the training for a shorter tri thread I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's reports!

05/06/2014 at 09:28

Here goes:

Outlaw Half 2014

An alarm going off at 4am is never a good way to start a day, but up I got and into the car – my other half was marshalling (and driving) so I could wake up slowly. The other benefit was a parking space right near everything! We arrived at HPP and OH started to put my bike together whilst I found a loo –one of the many pre-race loo trips! Had a quick spin round the car park on my bike and realised that my brakes were done up far too tight and I was quite liable to fling myself over the handlebars if I needed to stop suddenly. A bit of faffing with a bike tool and I was having a disaster – by this time, OH had gone off to commence his marshalling duties at transition, and I had now brilliantly loosened my brakes far too much. I decided my best course of action was to head down to transition and see if I could find someone to help me as my hands were starting to shake, which wasn’t incredibly helpful! Eventually after much faffing and gnashing of teeth, I had my bike sorted (sort of) and all my stuff was in transition – excellently placed by a giant inflatable beer which I knew would be handy after the swim.

I think at this point I still had over an hour before I needed to be lining up, so I went off to find some hot water for my porridge. A very miserable lady in the café told me that as it was my “personal” porridge, I wasn’t allowed any water, so I went up to the volunteers area and was told to help myself! A bit more wandering round and a few more loo trips later, it was nearly time to go. I bumped into Lee the Pea and had a nice chat before realising after all my faffing I was probably going to be rushing around at the last minute to get myself sorted. Typical.

Half wetsuited and holding swim hat, goggles and car keys – I lined up with all the other ladies and  caused chaos by dropping everything, not being able to do up my wetsuit and generally being rubbish. Dropped the car keys off with OH and the wave before us swam off – nearly time to go! With a 10 minute warning, lots of people jumped straight in, I thought I would wait a bit longer as the stench of the lake was rather off putting. At the 4 minute warning, I got in and it was bloody FREEZING. I blew bubbles to calm my nerves and before I knew it – we were off!

I managed to get into a rhythm quite quickly and everyone soon spread out – I chugged along, not zig zagging too badly and reached the midway point in around 23 mins, at this point I relaxed as I knew I’d be getting a half decent swim time (for me). Turned the second buoy and we were on the home straight. The rest of the swim was a battle through the weeds but eventually, with numb hands and feet I was getting out the water (and according to the race photos – more interested in my garmin than anything else) – 47 mins! Job done. I headed round towards transition, but I could NOT undo my wetsuit, but thankfully another competitor took pity on me and I was able to escape. OH was helpfully standing near my bike and chatted to me as I was completely unable to do anything with my frozen hands – it seemed to take ages but I was ready in just under 4 mins!

Off I went on my bike with the shouts of “GO PIRATE” in my ears and a big grin on my face as the sun was out and it was looking like a beautiful day! Round the lake and out onto the roads – I settled into it and started to get some gels and liquid down my neck! My hands and feet were still frozen at this point which was making everything more difficult but I started to thaw out around the 20km point and it was pretty much plain sailing from there. I didn’t stop at either of the feed stations as I had 3 bottles on my bike (and I never drink enough!) and plenty o

05/06/2014 at 09:29

I didn’t stop at either of the feed stations as I had 3 bottles on my bike (and I never drink enough!) and plenty of gels and bars. I even overtook a few people, which is very unlike me. There was plenty of “ARRRRRRRRGH”s from the marshals and other competitors on the way round and the views of the countryside were great – I seemed to be making good time and really enjoyed the ride. The last few kms were rather bumpy and I kept expecting a puncture, which would’ve been a bugger so close to the end, but I was lucky and finished my bike in just under 3hrs 30.

At this point I knew I was on track for a sub 7 hours which was way beyond what I had expected so I was chuffed to bits and headed out on my run – stupidly ignoring the lovely lady with suncream! The pirate support on the run was fantastic and really lifted my spirits, I smiled and ran with my head held high. About 10 mins into the run I realised instead of pressing “lap” on my garmin, I had pressed “stop” – rookie error! The out and back bit of the run was quite good fun, passing pirates, high fiving people and generally enjoying myself. Then back to the lake that NEVER ends – this was probably the most depressing bit of the run, knowing that I had to do the whole run section again, my feet were starting to hurt with blisters and my shoulders were burning so I chugged round, back past transition and wishing I was heading down the red carpet to finish – oh well, only another 10km to go! This time I liberally threw suncream over my shoulders and upper arms, but the damage was already done.

The second lap of the run was a bit calmer – less runners but the pirate support crew were even louder this time, if possible and the jelly babies really gave me the boost I needed. The run became more of an exercise in maintaining forward momentum, one foot in front of the other, until I was back at the lake plodding along with 2 wristbands and nearly done!

I was pretty pleased with myself for only walking through the feed stations and I’d kept a bit of energy for the run down the red carpet and I was finished, in 6hrs and 47 mins! JOB DONE.

Sweaty hug for Iron Little Sister and I was out into the food tent, quick pose with a giant beer and then it was SHOWER TIME – Best shower ever.

Popped down to the finish line to say hi to some of the pirates, eat an ice cream and then sadly it was time to head home as OH was worried about falling asleep at the wheel.

Brilliant weekend, brilliant event, brilliant supporters. Loved it!

BluePeter    pirate
05/06/2014 at 11:46

Two good reports there, well done Pirates!! 

05/06/2014 at 12:09

Smashing report IGIT, lovely to have met you and congratulations on doing so well.

The Silent Assassin    pirate
05/06/2014 at 12:12

Great reports from a great day out, well done all


05/06/2014 at 18:28

Cheers guys - glad you enjoyed reading it! It's nice to write about it and reflect on the event once all the excitement has died down.

Buttercup - good to read your experiences too, all the reports I've read mentioned the smelly water and the weeds! Nice things to stick in your mind eh? 

DS - good to meet you too! Was getting so confused with peoples pirate names and their facebook (real?) names! I'm bad enough with names at the best of times!

05/06/2014 at 18:56
One of many very sweaty hugs that day!
07/06/2014 at 11:47

Probably the most enjoyable athletic event i have ever done. Having had a couple of failures at marathons i was a bit nervous of the half marathon having done so much other exercise but managed to get round ok.

Was fantastic conditions for a swim and bike - not such great conditions for a run at around midday but you cant have everything. Tow path was a bit congested but i think most people tried to let people past where possible and jogging behind someone who was running slower was a good excuse to give myself a bit of a rest.

There were a few drafters around on the bike who were a bit annoying, ie you overtake them, they sit on your wheel and then come past you only slightly faster than you are going meaning you then have to ease up to drop back the required distance, but only a few.

Decided to take things easy on the swim and just breaststroked it. Its strange having someone swim front crawl alongside you when they are breathing to your side and pretty much just looking at you a lot of the time. I was in the 6;50 wave and it was impressive watching the leader of the 7:00 wave (relay team) come past - both speed and the way that he weaved through the people in front.

I think one thing that made it so enjoyable was the distance meaning that rather than thinking about pushing it all the time i was just relaxing and enjoying the day. Got a bit more serious towards the end of the run but by then i realised i was going to finish fairly strongly.

Lake section was quite tough with there being no real shelter from the sun and also seeing how far you have to go. I was trying to use the distance markers by the lakeside used for the rowing to help me feel that i was getting somewhere.

Shorter triathlons for the rest of this year though - means shorter training sessions and i can get more of my life back!

07/06/2014 at 18:12

My race report is on the Training for a shorter Tri thread. Warning it is long and you may want a cup of tea or mug of coffee.

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