T2, another 6 mins. Wet stuff off and dry (soon to be wet) stuff on. Away we go!
Running is my least favourite of the swim, bike, run stuff but as long as I was out running by 1pm all I had to do was a 4 hour marathon - something I was reasonably confident I could do. As it was I was out at 12.55pm which gave me an extra few minutes that later proved crucial. I know a lot of people don’t like the round the lake run - I’d happily run the entire 26.2 miles around the lake and not do the football stadium / river bit. We were parked next to fellow Pirate “Just Plod On”s tent and for a good chunk of the run I was running along using “just plod on” as my own little mantra. For a while I didn’t think I’d make the sub 11 hours but as long as I could knock out my 3 fastest miles as the last 3 it’d all come good. Despite seeing Ironholgs on the home straight - it was his fault I started playing this tri game - somehow I did and went over the line in 10 hrs 58mins. I’d really pushed it on the last bit and as I finished I grabbed a fence to hold myself upright - then I was “selected” for the medical tent but I persuaded them that I was okay and avoided it!
Afterwards I decided that after two goes I was done with Outlaw but within 24 hours I was thinking that it was such a good day, and that in 2016 it’d have to be warm and dry - if not sunny - so I reckon I’ll be back again. The marathon was ended up being just over 4 hours but 6 minutes quicker than last year - but there are gains to be made there, I just need to do a bit (or possibly a lot) of work.
Even with the weather getting it wrong it was still a great day. We’re away on holiday in the motorhome now. I’ve told myself I’ll have a break for the rest of July but the bike is with us and come August (Saturday!) I’ll be back on it.
Sunday was a lovely morning and, along with everyone else, at 5.55am I was in the water, peeing in a wetsuit. I’d expected the water to feel warm but was surprised by how cold it felt. My swimming has improved a little over the past year and, more by not really thinking about it than anything else, I started in front of the jetty between bay 2 and bay 3. Last time at Outlaw I had a great swim with no biffing about; this time I seemed to end up in a washing machine, certainly not one on a fast swim but probably a medium one. (If I’ve got the terminology wrong then sorry, I genuinely don’t know how to use our washing machine - probably not something to be proud of!) The swim went ok, I had odd patches of quiet water and then some busy bits but got out the water in 70mins. A 4 min PB for a 3.8km swim so happy with that. Came out with chilly feet though.
From memory, T1 took about 6 minutes. In view of the forecast rain I made sure I got everything on properly and had all I was likely to want on me.
Out on the bike all was good, with the toe covers soon getting my toes all toasty! I wanted to get as much of the bike done before the rain came and the rain being later than forecast (the BBC had said 10am for the rain) helped. I cruised along quite happily, overtaking people and doing my best to not draft and ensure any litter I had was properly stowed in a pocket. Everything went well and it rained for about the final 30 miles. I deliberately don’t look at how far I’ve covered as I do the bike but I knew that the timing mat after the second Pirate feed station was 80 miles. Once I went over that I realised that sub 11 hours was going to be realistic and also that at 11.30am I was half way through the event.
Some other bits that stick in my mind were the first feed station - a human tunnel of vocal black and yellow - which was fantastic, going through Southwell and seeing nobody else from the race for miles then being followed by a motorbike for a couple of miles - so I behaved impeccably and then when it did pass finding it was the camera crew - maybe I was filmed! Finally having two people fall off pretty well in front of me (they were both ok) on the horrid last bit. Got back in 5hrs 31 mins - 7 mins quicker than last year so again, happy with that.
Lots of Pirates sailed out at Outlaw so they’ll be lots of race reports. What I’ve read so far have been excellent so I thought I’d better drag the overall standard down by waffling on about my day.
I did Outlaw last year and loved it. There was never really any doubt about me doing it again this year and I was looking forward to a warm, dry day. It being England at the end of July I realised we may not get sun and was okay with that. About a fortnight before the race I started looking at weather forecasts and it seemed promising but things gradually deteriorated and in the run up to the event I was checking various apps to try to find one that got the forecast “right”. None did, they all said rain, with the expected amount of rain seeming to increase every time I looked. Since the end of May I’ve done 3 events, at each one it has hammered down - if this is divine retribution for something I’ve done then I apologise to everyone else!
We have the luxury of a motorhome and, in heavy rain, we arrived at HPP last Friday and went to register and said hello to a few pirates that were milling about.
Saturday saw me buying some neoprene toe covers for Sunday’s cycling (something that turned out to be an inspired purchase), racking, doing the briefing (where I noted they said that after the race you couldn’t just visit the medical tent - you had to be “selected”), faffing and watching my son take part in the Big Swim.
I expect I'll be there. Yesterday I decided twice was enough as I want to do Vichy next year. 24 hours later and I'm going to see how I go at Cotswold Classic Middle Distance on 23 Aug and if two Iron distance in 5 weeks seems feasible I expect I'll have another go. And if I don't have another go it'll be a relay place or the feed station