Emily’s first middle distance of 2022…
Outlaw Half Ironman
I entered this with one goal – to serve as a recce ahead of the full Outlaw Ironman in July.
Arriving at Holmepierre Point on Saturday took me back to doing the National Relays there about 15 years ago!
My campsite was 7 miles from the start. Not insurmountable but when I discovered those 7 miles were along a closed road and the diversion was more like 20/30min I tried my luck on Saturday and got the last space camping on site at Holmepierre Point. Hoping I can repeat this in July.
Went to bed at 8pm with a full blown football match taking place around my VW. Woke every hour until at 2:30am I decided to fire up the (whistling) kettle – probably annoying the neighbours as much as the football match had annoyed me – and make tea & porridge. It seemed my day had officially begun. Took the decision to move to the car park and try my luck at getting into one of the car parks closer to transition. Lucked out by getting a space just 5 mins walk from transition. Set about eating another bowl of porridge and finished my book. At 4:45am I was ready to go back to sleep but instead I set off to transition. My swim start was 6am.
Looking at the swim on Saturday, it looked a flippin long way. This was mainly because it’s such a straight line course – up one side of the rectangle, across and part way back down the other side of the rectangle. Makes for ease of navigation, especially when I’m starting yet another season without prescription goggles!
Dive start off the pontoon was fun but the goggles didn’t agree and didn’t ever recover! Swim was relatively civilised apart from one human octopus who decided to thrash and bash me despite having a whole lake to swim in. Water temperature felt considerably warmer than the Blue Lagoon to my relief. Glimpsed 36min as I exited the water. Pleased with that.
Transition (otherwise known as run 1, it’s a long old transition!) No debate on layers today. Arm warmers, gloves and gilet on. It felt colder out of the water than in. Had a full on fight with arm warmers. Managed to somehow wallop myself in the mouth and left transition with two swollen lips. Only myself to blame.
Nice lap of the lake first to get comfortable on the bike and tri bars and get some nutrition in. Loved this. If only the whole bike course was laps of the lake I’d have been in heaven. Sadly we were then out on the open roads of Nottinghamshire which could give Hertfordshire a run for its money in terms of pot holes and poor quality.
A few nice stretches of dual carriageway where I embraced the tri bars but a combination of pot holes, lanes and a modest wind meant I didn’t use them as much as I’d have liked. Sadly only one hill – I love a good hill on the bike course – chain came off at the top so despite a lightning speed bit of bike maintenance (proud of that) all those I’d overtaken on the hill bombed past as I pulled over.
Last stretch of the bike course required a mountain bike. More akin to cycling on the moon, I imagine.
Pleased to do a sub 3hr bike. More confidence needed on tri bars but there’s plenty of time for that this season.
I was looking forward to this having not really enjoyed the bike course. A perfect course of laps of the lake with lots of support and an off road loop past the canoe rapids so lots going on.
First outing for my new tri suit and I was overwhelmed by comments I got “turn the volume down on the tri suit Emily” “love your tri suit” “yay, Ruth Astle” definitely more feedback than I’ve ever had from my Tri-Force one! 😂
Set off strong, overtaking far more than I was overtaken. Fast first lap, what felt like a steadier second lap and then blasted the final lap with an even faster sprint finish. Marshal pointed out the medical tent to me as I crossed the finish line but I felt fine. Even had the breath to reply bl**dy cheek.
Really enjoyed the run, definitely the best bit. 1hr39… not long ago I’d have been delighted with that time as a stand alone half marathon 😊
Finished in a time of 5hr21. Not a PB but very happy with that as a recce and a first triathlon of the season. Looking forward to returning in July (if only they could patch the roads up before then…)