Weekend Triaction

30 July 2019 - By James Montgomery

Saturday 27th
National Watersports Centre, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham
To kick off the weekend of tri-related action, James Montgomery took part in the Outlaw swim, which took place in the rowing lake and is the warm-up to the big event of the following day. There were various distances on offer, James went for the 2.5 kms. The weather was pretty awful, but he was going to get pretty wet anyway and didn’t think too much more about it but there was also bit of a chop with the breeze that was blowing to make things a little more interesting.

James was fine up until the half-way turn but then had a wobbly moment and had to hold on to one of the safety canoes for a few minutes until he got his breathe back, but this destroyed any hope of finishing in under the target of an hour. Once on his way again, he was fine all the way back to the swim exit, which he passed under in 1 hr 8 minutes.

Sunday 28th
National Watersports Centre, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham
Having put his life on hold for 6 months while training for The Outlaw Triathlon, this was supposed to have been Lee Blake’s big day where all that training would be put to use to cover the 3.8kms swim, 180 kms cycle and 42 kms run. A large group of us that shared some of those hours with him also made the trip up to Nottingham in support.

The Outlaw is a terrific event with a great organisation behind it, however, even they couldn’t factor for what was to happen over the 24 hours leading up to the event and on the day itself. During the week, we’d experienced some of the hottest days recorded in the UK and one worry leading up to the day was the possible heat, thankfully (so we thought…) the forecast was for cooler and damp conditions over Saturday and Sunday.

6:00am Sunday morning and 1200 starters, including Lee lining up at the end of the rowing lake and at that point the rain turned torrential. The gun sounded and off went the swimmers. The 3.8 kms swim was a new format 2 laps of 1900 meters with an “Australian exit”, where the athletes exit the swim at the end of the first lap, cross a timing mat and then dive, jump or slip back into the lake for the second lap.

Meanwhile, we were being told that the cycle leg was being cancelled due to flooding on the route. A deathly silence swept through the crowd with the realisation of what this meant. The heart was being ripped out of the event as for many, the bike is mainly what it is all about.

As the swimmers exited the second lap, there were many confused, frustrated, sad and annoyed faces at being told they would not be collecting their bikes at T1. Instead, the organisers had said the event would be a Swim and run with the 42kms run starting from 9:00 to 10:am depending on the athlete’s number. Lee would be starting at 10am.

It appeared that many had decided not to continue and as a group we were equally divided on whether we’d continue to the run or dnf. A tough decision for many and Lee decided that taking all into consideration, not least having to wait more than 2 hours to start in the cold and wet (yes, it felt cold… ), that going back to the hotel and having a few beers seemed a much more attractive proposition.

It is understood that Lee has now entered another event to take place in a few weeks time, The Midnight Man, to take place near Dartford in Kent. Watch this space.

Maldon, Essex
A bit closer to home, Sandy Karl was again in action. Having had the disappointment of missing out on the Alton Water Triathlon a few weeks ago due to its complete cancellation, she was taking part in the Maldon Triathlon in prep for Ironman Vichy 70.3.

Registration was at 7:45 and there was 2 distances on offer, a sprint and standard distance. Sandy was taking part in the standard distance of 1500 meters sea swim, 45kms bike and 10kms run.

The two lap swim in the salty water was not the nicest tasting and the squelchy mud wasn’t great either while standing before the start, but soon they were off and thrashing through the maelstrom, Sandy received a hard kick to the solar plexus, temporarily winding her and forcing her to breaststroke in order to get her breath back. Still, this didn’t stop her from posting an excellent swim time, just missing out on a sub-30 by a few seconds.

A quick T1 and onto the bike leg, which is slightly longer than normal for a standard triathlon at 45 kms going out through Mundon and towards Bradwell-on-Sea. The exit from Promenade Park had a speed restriction of 5mph, but this was the same for everyone, however a road closure at Mundon meant a walk-through section on a muddy path, which was far from ideal. A headwind on the return leg, made it hard work and pacing important to avoid overstretching things before the run.

Into T2 and another quick change into run gear for 4 laps around Promenade Park, with a steep, but short climb and some muddy sections but a good part of the course tarmacked making for a relatively fast run to the finish line and 7th in age category.

Swim:        00:30:38
Bike:          01:36:06
Run:          00:53.17
Overall:     03:02:48

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