WRC Duo Take on Outlaw X Middle Distance Triathlon

4 October 2020 - By James Montgomery

Triathlon has found a way around the Covid-19 guidelines to continue in the “new normal” and with a few changes to the format, mainly around the swim start, the remainder of the events largely continue as normal.

With this, Rach Pearsons and Anita Grainger headed up to Nottinghamshire into Robin Hood country to take on the only Outlaw event of the season. Former club member Carina Taylor, was also participating and James & Theresa Montgomery also headed up to marshal on the bike course.

Here’s the report, kindly supplied by Anita.

The duo were treated to racing with 30 pros who were taking part given the lack of racing all season & the ladies watched them ‘wooosh’ through T1!

After the warm weather spell, temperatures had tumbled over the days preceding the race with the wind picking up over the weekend…. More on that later. The duo racked their bikes on Saturday at their allotted time slots, with the wearing of face masks being mandatory in the transition area.

Race day….. Overnight the temperatures dropped further and the duo woke up to the news that the swim had been cut from 1.2km to 750mtrs, with the water temp now down to a chilly 12 degC!

Swim : Under the new time trial format this involved queuing for the swim start then running over the pontoon and jumping/diving/easing yourself into the water. The ladies took safer options, Anita can dive but opted for the jump to avoid the shock of the cold water. All done with commentary from the marshals trying to lift everyone’s spirits. The water was a refreshing 12 degrees. Anita was ok and got used to it after 500m & would have been happy to swim full 1.2km distance.

It was a long transition up from the lake to pick up bikes around 500m, nothing like running barefoot on grass and stones when you can’t feel your feet!

Bike: The course was a little bit longer than the usual middle distance event at 57.4 miles. It was lovely course with a nice hill 5 miles in Walesby forest to warm everyone up which all both took in their stride passing people up the hill however, it was sidewinds and headwinds for the first 30+ miles involving lots of ‘hanging’ onto the bike . The course can be described as rolling round the North Nottinghamshire countryside past the cooling towers of Burton, across Barnby moor, through Clumber park before heading back to Thoresby Park & could be a pretty fast course without wind. James & Theresa were marshalling around the 30 mile mark and watched cyclists battling away in the wind. The wind seemed to get the better of Anita who watched her average speed fall away over the course of the ride and had lost too much time when the tailwinds kicked on. Rachel fared much better on the course but all finished the leg slower than they would normally, possibly by as much as 30 mins . The marshals on the course were fantastic and there was traffic management in place meaning that the cyclists were given priority at road junctions, absolutely fabulous Even the cows had to wait to cross the road after milking!

Run: The run course consisted of 3 undulating laps around Thoresby park on a mixture of tarmac, grass & woodland paths. This would be a lovely cross country course, not so after a challenging bike course. This didn’t stop Rachel who had a storming run flying past Anita on the 2nd lap who was contemplating life, clearly the slightly later start suited Rachel & she clocked the fastest time of the trio. Carina ran round in a decent time running the entire course refusing to let herself walk even when she wanted to. Anita realised in T2 that It was going to be a challenge to complete at all with her legs shot from the bike and getting over a cold from the week before so early on adopted a run walk strategy of run for 10mins and then walk for 1 which worked. The marshals on the course were so encouraging with some dressed up in fancy dress to cheer on the runners.

All in all a fantastic event and we should be grateful to even have the opportunity to race with the added bonus of racing with pros.

Swim 750 m, Bike 57.4 miles, run 13.1 miles

Swim:            00:16:47
Bike:              03:14:14
Run                01:59:54
Total Time:    05:43:10

Swim:             00:15:44
Bike:               03:37:17
Run:               02:40:44
Total Time:    06:46:30

(Fomrer WRC member)
Swim:             00:13.30
Bike:               03:11:55
Run:               02:16:23
Total Time:    05:51:29


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