Thursday, August 19, 2010

Outlaw Run

At the start of the run there was plenty of pirate supporters and general support for pirates. I blame this for me going of closer to a 10km pace (8:30 minutes per mile) for the first half a mile or so. Plus I was also chasing down the person in the Norwich city top.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The run route was a lap of the lake and then it was 3 times out and back to the turnaround point in the city centre and a lap of the lake.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The out and back section was on the banks of the River Trent which was mostly a gravel footpath until near the city centre at Nottingham forest ground which you ran under a stand before about another half mile to the turnaround point. At the turn around point was an aid station and you could also see all the music festival and fairground rides on the other side of the river (this is where the Nottingham marathon and half finishes).

The run aid stations were said to be on average 1.2 miles (10-15 minutes) apart, so there was plenty available so was down timing the nutrition right for the conditions and the state you are in at this point.

There was a lot of support at the finish end of the lake on both sides of the lake with only a few at the far end.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

I waited until the second aid station to get some just to settle my stomach from the transition form cycle to run. For the first lap around the lake I kept it at a fast but comfortable pace but the person in the Norwich top had a 1km lead on me. You got a bit of support as you ran the other side of the finish line which you had to do 3 times before finishing. You could see the (rowing) finish tower from the other end of the lake some 2km+ away.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

From this point I was trying to run but walk through the aid stations. At the aid stations I was trying to alternate having from a combination of gels, sports drink, water and crisps. This was to ensure I was getting enough fluids, salt and carbohydrates (calories) but not too much to put stress on digestion. I was trying not to have any semi flat cola until the last 10 or so miles when I would be starting to hurt.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

This plan was working well to about 12 miles when I started to hit the wall and had to take more walk breaks. So I decided to have one of the extra sodium gels I had taken with me before I got the next aid station (to save time) but they had ran out of water and this type of gels you need to take water afterwards.

So I was run/walking along and was chatting to a few of the other triathletes. One of them offered some of the drink he was carrying with him, I had the nerve to ask what it was as I did not want to get a dodgier stomach but any liquid would have done. It was just water with a salt tablet I have used, so it was ok. It was only another half mile to the next aid station at this point. When I reached it I had a few drinks and started on the cola drinks from then on a few aid stations.

At this point I was gone due the heat and fatigue but still walking along getting closer to the finish. I had to use various mental techniques to get me back running al be it at slower pace by about 1-2 minute per mile.

The one that got me moving again at this point was remember my nephew lying motionless in a hospital when he had meningitis, thinking he did not quit so why should I on bit of a swim, cycle and run. Plus he and his sister (my tri coaches) told me for the previous Ironman I just need to run fast. With that in my head I was getting a bit emotional (again) which I was using as a distraction to run through the pain.

When I got back to the lake side again I could hear my brother from about 1 mile, well it was the air horn he had. This gave me a bit of an extra boost.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

I just had one more out and back section and a bit over ¾ lap of the lake to do. Looking at my time and distance on my GPS I did a bit of arithmetic and worked out I was possible on for a sub 5 hour marathon at the end of an long distance (Ironman) triathlon. That was my target for the remainder of the run.

I got chatting to person who was doing the same pace as me, it turns out he came from somewhere in the same country I am from. We ran together for a good few miles until near the end of the lake as it was his last lap, I asked if he would pace with me for one my loop but he declined.

On the last out and back section I over took the person on the Norwich city top, now I just had to maintain my lead. This gave me an additional incentive to keep going at the current pace/strategy.

Once I reached the turnaround point for the last time I think I started to pick up the pace slightly or it felt like it as I was on the last section before it will be over. When I collect the last band on the way in to the lake are it felt so good (low tech backup to timing mats and counting laps). I think it helped being lots of pirates doing the race and supporting as you did not have to go far to see another pirate. On occasions you were running with pirates who were on a different amount of laps, did this a few times on the last 10 miles of the run and within the last 3 miles.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

With about 2 miles to go when running around the lake for the last time a gander of geese decide to waddle across the path. At this point I thought if they attacked me I could not run off that fast so I gave them a wide berth just to be on the safe side.

Within the last 1/2 mile I saw one of the pirates I knew who said that there was a “rival” tri group person ahead for me to chase down. I somehow managed that with a good few hundred meters to go and over took a few others. I did think about sprinting down the finish line area to overtake another person but I already had “sprinted” the finish at Ironman Austria so I decided to soak up the atmosphere this time.

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

The Outlaw Triathlon 2010

I crossed the finished line and commentator said “You are an Outlaw”.

I finished the marathon in a time of 4:56:10 which is a PB (at Long Distance Triathlons).

I completed the triathlon in 13:32:54 which is a PB by another 59 minutes on top of the 58 minute PB improvements set in Austria just 5 weeks previously. This makes my average pace for the marathon was 11:18 minutes per mile.


Plus I finished in daylight for the first time!!!

From there I headed to the medical tent apart from the obvious fatigue I was feeling dehydrated, bit nausea plus feeling a bit sunburnt despite being covered up. After a well deserved sit down (not bad enough to lie down) and some water and ginger biscuits as was starting feel a lot better.

Now just need to collect my kit.

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