Outlaw Half Nottingham 2016 – 29th May 2016 by Liz

Firstly a big thank you 13266049_10153421600776315_1563308282012157797_nto all for your kind wishes and messages of encouragement.

They certainly helped in the dark moments of my swim.

It was an early start as the first wave began their swim at 6.30. As in the Sprint on Saturday all the ladies were heaped into one rather large wave at the end and we set off at 7.00. Waiting around meant the feet got suitably cold which had the advantage that the water seemed pleasant on entry.

Found a good spot on the slow side, feeling great and we were off. The first 25-40m were fine I got into a rhythm and was feeling very confident. But I caught up with the folks ahead and there was no way through and the people behind also caught up and what followed was similar to a shark feeding frenzy. I lost count of the kicks, punches etc I received. As a result confidence went and I went into panic mode, couldn’t front crawl and breaststroke was a struggle. It seemed to last for about 150m by which time most of the field had whizzed ahead. It was at this stage I thought of all your support and decided I really had to pull myself together. It worked and I enjoyed the rest of the swim. My habitual cramp attacks started about 1.5k but with a few breaststroke kicks each time the spasms started I managed the problem. First milestone of the day I actually overtook at least 2 guys from the previous wave in the second half of the swim.

T1: Wetsuit off really quickly, only minor cramp putting on left shoe ( shoe horn very successful). Lot of sticky grit on feet when putting on socks all fairly swift apart from the gloves. Hadn’t practised putting on the two pairs with wet hands (took longer than everything else), but worth it as it was chilly.

First bit of bike fine apart from being unable to swallow whole food and wrapping it in foil didn’t work as I couldn’t open it with gloves. All was going well, happy with speed, overtook people and then after approx 25M (Southwell) we turned right and round the corner was a very wide tractor and trailor who hogged the whole road, not so bad but his max speed was 12mph. I must have followed him along with several cyclist and loads of cars for 3-4 miles min., before I had a chance to get past. Then quite a few miles further on- a big relief when I got through the cut off point with time to spare. The road surfaces varied from diabolical, even worse than some in S. Cambs, to OK. The event management had been to spray all potholes with orange paint. So there was pretty much a solid line in some parts! Driving the course the day before was beneficial. Pleased with the bike especially as I dreaded having a mechanical problem/puncture before the cut-off. Into T2 fairly quick apart from a visit to the toilet. There had been two excellent feed stations en route with 2 loos per station, but there were always queues and it seemed a shame to stop when I was pedalling well.

The run course was pleasant with two loops with an out and back along the river and a circuit of the lake. Out and back seemed to go on for ever and fairly narrow but not really a problem. Lots of folk charging past on the first lap but quiet on the second. Lots of camaraderie and encouragement on that stretch among the tail runners on lap 2. Unfortunately calves cramped up in the last 10K so ran/walked when necessary. But lots of support from the White-Brown fan club.
The red carpet was a wonderful sight and I felt ecstatic and very emotional. My secret goal was to complete in 7 hours 30. I thought with the cramps I would be miles off and as my Garmin had ceased to function after the first 5K of the run I had no idea how close I was. My fault as I hadn’t planned to start the watch for the bike as I knew the battery wouldn’t cope.

Post race treatment- brilliant once you have climbed up the large amount of steps. Not sure what I looked like when I crept into the food tent but a guy rushed over to support me to a chair and hurried around producing food and drink. Enjoyed the regal treatment it while it lasted. Then a massage. One advantage of finishing late is the queue has mostly disappeared. It was wonderful.

Overall. Would I do it again – yes and I would recommend it. The whole event is extremely well organised and all the team and volunteers so helpful and friendly. The only thing which I felt was slightly unfair was the cut-off. If you start in the first wave (most of the fast macho males) you get a half hour advantage as the cut-off time is the same for all waves).

Finally, thank you friends and family for all your support during training and for the race.

Comments are closed.