Outlaw Half Holkham – Sunday 1st July
So whilst all focus was quite rightly on the ATC Ironmen and women in Austria last weekend – Martin and I travelled up to Norfolk to take part in the Outlaw Half at Holkham.
It would be fair to say that I was under prepared for this event – life/ work/family commitments all taking priority over my training, excuses yes but a reality. I’d trained some but nowhere near as much as the expensive training plan suggested but I’m not one to give up or bail out, so went with the mentality “it’s a brick session and a test for IM70.3 Weymouth” which is later in the year.
Swim – Now I’d been told that the lake was known for being 3 parts duck poo and 1 part weeds but assumed that this was a wild exaggeration. It was not. The 5 minutes in the water before the start was vile and the smell… Well I’ll leave that to your imagination. Anyway, the start horn blew and I found a rhythm straight away and avoided fighting with the competitors around me whilst mentally blocking out the fact that I was swimming in a sewer. 1900m turned into 2100m and 42 minutes later I was exiting.
T1 – Out the water and handed a bottle of water straight away by the marshals – told this was because it was going to be warm but I think it was to distil the taste of the lake from my mouth! Over to my rack, wetsuit off and bike sorted with no dramas – not a particularly quick transition but ok. I’d spotted that Martin’s bike was gone, as he started in a different wave, so I knew he was out safe and away.
Ride – 57ish miles through some lovely undulating countryside – rode past Sandringham and saw some of the Queen’s horses, then into a headwind for 14 miles along the A184 which wasn’t great. Still no mechanicals, just good solid riding keeping a good pace with a low HR. Happy days! Saw Martin, who had just started the run, as I rode back into T2.
T2 – Slow as I needed to apply some sun lotion and have a wee. Now for the hard part, the run….
Run – x3 7km loops of hills during the hottest day of the year!
Prior to the race Martin and I discussed our plans for the run. He had a plan of 7min/KM and he found a pace and just kept going. I didn’t have a plan or pace as it turned out……..
Suffice to say I achieved a PW for my half marathon which involved a lot of walking, stopping at every station for water and stuffing my tri-suit with wet sponges to keep cool and ensuring that the lovely marshals with the sun tan lotion just kept covering me in it. The end finally came and I crossed the line in 6.46 (2.38 of that was the run).
Bragging Rights to Martin on this one – quicker by a minute overall – as of the both of us he was slightly better prepared having raced the brutal midnight marathon the week before?!? – a well-deserved win.
Despite the above, the event was well organised, supported and the location was stunning. I’d definitely recommend it.
Now to do some proper training for Weymouth.