Woke up before my alarm went off on the morning of the race, thanks to some techno music rattling away in the distance somewhere. Showered and changed then wandered over to HPP at about 5am to spend the obligatory 30 minutes faffing about with my bike in transition. Stood on the grass bank with various pirates to watch the swimmers depart, then killed an hour or so by sauntering about chatting etc.
Made my way down to the relay handover area, and waited for Mrs SA to come ashore. She duly arrived, having had a great swim, and passed me the 'baton'. I grabbed my bike and got on my way, as SA shouted some words of encouragement
I felt good going into this, and my legs seemed reasonably fresh considering I'd done IMUK the week before. The weather was good and I was really looking forward to the ride.
The course was so flat, compared to others I've done and to where I've done most of my training rides in recent months. This wasn't unexpected, as I'd spoken to a few people and they'd described the course to me. I mistakenly thought flat = easy, but now know this isn't the case. Being so flat meant that I spent 95% of my time on the aerobars, so my shoulders were aching a bit towards the end. Also, at least with riding hills, there is a certain amount of free speed on the downs, albeit with more effort needed on the climbs. With a flat course, it does feel like a constant grind sometimes to maintain momentum.
That said, I managed to keep up a reasonable speed and averaged just under 21mph over the course.
Passing the pirate feed station was fantastic. The noise, the encouragement and the sheer number of pirates manning it was just brilliant - made me proud to be a part of it all Also passing Horse, Razor and Lofty at the junction just after the feed station gave me a second boost too - as they were really giving it some
Passed a few pirates on the way round the course....Seren (told you I'd catch you ), Raf, Barley and others that I can't remember now, to share an 'arrrr', or a 'go pirate'. Very impressed that Seren even started the day considering how poorly she was, but to get a PB was superb - well done coach!
Made it back in 5:23, so pretty chuffed with that. Handed over the timing chip to our superstar runner UltraKaz, who went on to hammer the run.
Spent the rest of the day supporting, eating and drinking. The finisher chute at Outlaw is a really great place to hang out as it's possible to cheer on all those coming home aswell as those completing their laps of the lake.
Had such a great weekend, so thank you to all the pirates for making it so
p.s. Mrs Digger - you are one of the wickedly funniest people I have had the pleasure to meet - thank you for making me laugh.....lots!!
Great reading so far Citizen - looking forward to the next instalment
I tried a MDS backpack (almost fully loaded with kit) on for size at the weekend (it was DK's - he brought it to the Outlaw so I could have a gander) and had a little jog round with it. Those 2 minutes arsing about up and down the campsite, with all the gear and no idea, were enough to convince me that I should do this race.