25 years since it all began
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25 years since it all began
IIRC the course has pretty good PB potential from what I recall, right? Very flat bike a run courses?
Is it the largest full-distance race in participants behind the Ironman events? I've done a few of the Castle series and would have thought their events would rank right up there, but I guess most people at those will be doing the range of shorter distances.
I bloody love this race, but unfortunately this year I'm a DNS. I've totally failed again to maintain any fitness through the winter (little kids at nursery and primary school collecting diseases for a hobby) so I pulled out, I probably shouldn't be on the start list by now. I'm also a bit of a fatty right now.
I did this as my 2nd full distance, after I did Austria the year before to pop my cherry. Austria was the hottest on record and non-wetsuit, so I was banking on Outlaw for an easier day out... how hot is it going to be in Nottingham? But it turned out to be one of the hottest days on record in the UK.
This shouldn't happen in Nottingham through 3 layers of factor 50 P20...
If you are wondering when and where to book your next holiday, check my race schedule.
I don't think my fitness was quite so good for Outlaw, but I did go 20 minutes faster than Austria, so; it is a fast course. I reckon you'll get your 10 hrs here mate.
The swim is as simple as you get.. it takes place (as you'll know) in the Holme Pierrepont watersports centre which is basically a really long rectangle with a run/bike path around the outside. You swim out along the left hand bank for ~1mile, turn right, swim across the width of the lake, turn right, swim back. Simples. It is really easy to navigate because once you've sighted your line you can just check that you are keeping straight with the bank when you breath left.
Logistically very simple. Bikes are racked at the bottom of the lake on the hardstanding you can see there by the pontoons. There are tents with your transition bags and seats to the side where you come out, bottom right of this picture. Everything is within 50 metres. Easy as peas. I'd heartily recommend camping if you don't mind that kind of thing, it is a 10 minute walk across the road in the morning. And the layout of the watersport facility makes for a pseudo stadium kind of an affair with supporters lining the lake. The finish is off the the right there aswell, with a banking and tiered seating next to the chute for your fans. You'll know the layout if you've ever been to the National club relays.
Bike is a south loop and a North loop, and then repeat the South loop. It is pretty flat and accurate for length. As you can see I rode 5:2x on fairly pathetic watts.
It isn't closed road but the traffic must stay away and everything is really well marshalled. A bit of major roads to get out of town but then lots of flat and slightly rolling country lanes through villages and whatnot. The only climb of any significance (and it isn't very significant) is on the North loop, and there is usually a decent crowd there. You need to keep your ego in check! I had loads of guys there from my club, including our lead coach, and because I was pacing with my power meter I was holding it down under FTP all the way up and basically going backwards, so I was getting a bit of jip from my mates! But the proof is in the pudding, because those guys nailing it up that hill were all passed again within a mile or two. On the 2nd South loop I rode a 1 minute negative split and it felt like I was flying with everybody else blowing up around me.
You will lose a bit of time coming back into T2 over some pretty rough private lanes, it is unavoidable because of the layout of the place, but it's only a half mile or so and you just use it to get your legs ready for the run.
Run is a lap (or two, I can't remember) of the lake, collect a wrist band to show you completed it, and then you head out along the river, bottom left on the image above, and follow up past Nottingham Forest FC and Trent Bridge CCC. You'll go under Trent Bridge and carry on up to the smaller pedestrian bridge and cross to the Victoria embankment, big aid station there and good crowds, then follow the river up to the park, turn around, come back down and over the bridge, back to Holme Pierrepont for another lap, collect a wrist band. Then repeat, so you follow the river out-and-back twice. It is pretty much flat other than the bridge, accurate for distance, and there are plenty aid stations. The next time you come into HP you'll do a final 2/3rds victory lap (you will fucking hate that lake by this point) then into the finish chute. Great crowds, great noise, see your family, collapse, then go find some lasagne or whatever they have andsome alcohol-free Erdinger.
As per previous post, I fucking love this race, it is dear to me. Chills down my spine thinking about getting ready to set off as the sun comes up. Wear tinted or polarized goggles! This race has a real family atmosphere and sense of community and support. It is a big part of my club's calendar and we staff one of the aid stations every year. You can't miss us, we are Wakefield Tri Club in black and yellow and you'll know it by the noise and the amazing encouragement you will get from all of our lunatics. Our club is fucking ace.
Very jealous now writing this. Oh well, it'll have to be next year and I'll take more vitamin D this winter! Good luck mate, let us know how you got on.
They also lay on free buses for spectators to take them out to Car Colston to watch the bike where racers pass through twice between the north and south laps
I've raced at Holme Pierrepont before at one of the organisers half distance events so can vouch that the set-up is great and the organisers really know what they're doing.
Hoping for something around 9 and a half hours this time around all going well (best case scenario!). Raced a half last month and managed a 4.15 so I think it could be do-able. Race report on that race is here if anyone fancies a read;
Did my last long ride and a 10k brick today. Bit warm for my liking, but a 20 mile run 3 days ago might have been a factor too; collapsed into a shaded gateway when I finished! I've been fighting the fatigue & that annoying coughing virus during my peak volume phase, and thankfully just a long run on Sunday left to complete the 4 week block.
I've done enough of these fulls now to know not to take anything for granted, so much can happen over that distance. Weather aside, it's all about execution. I really need to rein it in starting the the run. I MUST!! I can do my long runs at the desired pace, but the bricks I just get all silly, like an opening 4:18/km today.
Really looking forward to the taper now :)
25 years since it all began