Seeing the family really helped in T2, there were not many bikes racked so despite the time thought I was doing OK. A bit disappointed that for £400 we had to rack our own bikes! So, after a quick change I was off on the run.
I felt good on the run. The course was hillier than expected, but nothing too bad. Once up on the 3 lap loop, the support was great. A real buzz around Bolton Town Centre couldn’t fail to put a smile on your face. I went through 21k in 1:45, ahead of target, feeling fine and hopes on making up more lost time was feeling achievable.
Then, my over exuberance on the bike and missed nutrition came back to bit me on the backside. At 24k it was if someone had given me a grand piano to carry!
My form went out of the window and an old patella tendon injury in my left knee flared up. The next 10k were EXCRUCIATING. Only once I’d got back in to the town centre and managed to procure some painkillers was I able to start running again. Using the cones that marked the course. I went from run 1, walk 1 to, run 3, walk 1 and eventually up to run 9, walk 1. The run walk strategy was helping and I managed to start making some places back up, but nowhere near quick enough.
The encouragement from Crookie, Red Dog and even a man hug from Holgs was great and helped get me over the line in 4h 6m and a total time of 11h 51m, a full 51m behind my target time!
Post Race Reflection
So I didn’t have the day I wanted, some of it down to bad luck, but most of it down to not reacting in the right way when things change. But as lots of people have pointed out, I need to expect this in a 12-hour race.
In hindsight, there were some positives.
I swam a PB and averaged 3.5kmph. That is a massive improvement from the Outlaw in 2013 when I averaged 2.9kmph.
My moving time on the bike was 5h 51m, take out the punctures and that puts me 15th in the AG (up with the shaved leg brigade)
My run was 25 minutes quicker than the Outlaw.
I came 253rd, just outside the top 10%
So, I still think there is a sub 11 in my legs somewhere. The question is where, and when?