That's it then folks, it's done, completed, I am officially an Outlaw.
Let's get the race bit out of the way, as noted in previous posts my target was for my time to be under 13:00 hours, but after all the hard work I was really hoping for around 12:30 hours. Not bad for a rookie.
I'm pleased to say my final time was 12:15:10, undoubtedly I'm over the moon, but I wasn't that aware of my overall time whilst out competing. The longer the day went on, the more just finishing became achievement enough.
2.4 mile Swim - 1:18:31
112 mile Cycle - 6:21:51
26.2 mile Run - 4:12:56
The swim was great, really enjoyable, it was the first time I'd done a mass start and there was plenty of contact throughout the course but all part of the fun. As I kicked off I got a twinge of cramp in my calf, and also again in the first third, I thought it may come back to haunt me later in the race, but luckily it didn't.
The cycle was also great, I got myself sorted on the lap around the lake and then it was out on the roads. The course is well known to me which gave me great confidence, however I was conscious of how fast I was going very early on. I had told friends and family estimated times of where I'd be planning on going 16mph, and I was pushing more like 18mph. In fact I did the first 56 miles in 3:01. It was great to see people around the course however not where I'd estimated. Thanks to everyone for coming out on the bike course, especially Catherine and Rusty who stayed for both laps of the South loop. It was great to see some club mates out on the course too, I caught Lisa on the A614, and I caught a certain someone else trying to find cover to take a pee ;-). I also got swallowed up by Chris Bennett as he was flying round his second lap of the South loop. Those words shared with club mates and fellow competitors just keeps you going. The guys on the feed stations were great too, the pirates and the Absolute crew especially, cheers to @jimboc29 for his encouragement.
I was hoping to go sub 4 hours on the run but my bike time was so far ahead of what I planned, it was all I had left to go 4:15, I'm pretty certain most people would be proud of that without the swim/cycle first. Again the support on the run was amazing, friends/family, club mates on feed stations, coach Steve and everyone at the Absolute Triathlon tent gave me something to aim for. The second half of the run was like nothing I've known mentally, as I passed the finishing funnel for the 3rd and last time as I started the last lap I had to blinker myself with my left hand to get passed it and keep going until it was my turn. Forcing myself forward and to keep running, just keep running. But the feeling of relief when you have 4 bands around your wrist and you head for the red carpet towards the finishing line makes the whole 6 months worthwhile. Smile, put your hands in the air, you're an Outlaw!
We may have only been racing ourselves, but on July 1st we were all racing.
Some final thanks, Sam who was there from start to finish, Mum and Dad, Lummo and Gabby coming all the way from London just for the race, Paul Manningtons words of encouragement at the swim start, Ann and Dave for being there and sponsorship support, Marco and Vic and Marcus and Janice, Ella and family for making the effort to come and watch, sorry I didn't see you at the end, everyone from Absolute but especially the Eakring lot who gave me the initial belief, Brendon and John Budworth for beasting me on the bike during training early doors, Nick Bestwick for the constant advice over the last few months, Coach Steve and everyone else behind the scenes at Absolute, a great club with great people. I hope I haven't forgot anyone, but congrats to everyone who took part and everyone who completed. Not too mention the great organisation of the race and every single volunteer, marshall and helper.
The amount of money the Karen Green Foundation has raised has been amazing. Mick was followed by a film crew on his bike so fingers crossed we get some great coverage for the foundation. Mick did a great job finishing the race and crossing the line with his 2 daughters, well done Mick, we're all really proud to be raising money for such a great cause. Still not too late to sponsor me either ;-) A MASSIVE thanks to everyone who gave SO generously, I've all but hit my £1500 target.
So, where next I hear you ask? At the moment, I'm not sure I could commit to another Iron-distance, although the draw of competing in an actual Ironman branded race may be too much to ignore over time. Although I'm very proud to call myself an Outlaw, I don't feel I can call myself an Ironman, call it a technicality but that's how I feel. I think this years Outlaw will be hard to top, sharing it with everyone was so special.
For the rest of this year, I'll take part in the Absolute Club Championships at the Erewash Tri, I've got lucky and scored great team in the Club Relays back at Holme Pierrepont (Absolute Outlaws - Karl Glendenning, Nick Bestwick and Dave 'Iron-Missile' Crossley), I'm entered in the Last Minute Tri at Southwell as I'd like to do it fresh and not the day after a 20 mile training run, then it's the Nottingham Half-Marathon where I'm after a new PB, I'm going to finish the season where I started my triathlon story last October at the Broxtowe Duathlon, I'll be interested to see how far I've come in a year. I still don't see myself as a Triathlete, but the rookie journey continues.
As for beyond that, I'd like to do the Vitruvian half iron-distance next year then I feel I'll know where I am come my 3rd season with good miles in these rookie bike legs. I have aspirations but lets see where this journey takes me and see if I can keep improving.
Thanks for everyones support along the way, I wouldn't have been able to do it without you and it wouldn't have been anywhere near as enjoyable... yes you heard me... enjoyable.