Outlaw Triathlon – David Threlfall – July 2011.
Standing in the water with the sun rising in a clear sky the nerves of the day and night before had gone and I felt surprisingly calm waiting for the six o’clock start.
The swim was an out and back down each side of the rowing course at Holme Pierpoint – with my appalling sense of direction while swimming this suited me, just keep between the concrete wall and the lane buoys for about 2km to the big orange turn then the same on the way back. The start was a little congested but I settled down and looking for space when possible made a good time – swimming nice long strokes and trying to breathe easy. Out of the water in 1hr21 I felt really good going into transition.
T1 was a bit a struggle trying to get my tri-suit on and an extra dollop of lube where it might be needed, grabbing my bike and settling down for good days ride. With all the mucking about I’d forgotten to do my zip up and had a bit of bother trying to negotiate the 90deg bends round the lake with one hand behind my back. A quick unexpected (but very welcome) wave and cheer from my wife and friends at the exit from the lake and out on the road towards Southwell for the 180km bike leg. The first section was a rolling ride through a couple of villages to the start of the lap section. The main section of the ride had a steep climb up to the feed station but an excellent long descent after giving lots of time to eat, drink and get down on the tri-bars. Through Southwell past lots of vocal support and out on the seemingly long drag round the rest of the lap, more great support at the White Post Pub, even from Stafford Tri! Blown away just past the pub by the leading bikes, then a really good TT section down the A-road back to the hills. 3 laps of this feeling harder on each climb but still without too much burning in the legs. Then head down for the long return to the lake, trying to keep it nice a tight in the tuck… The last part of the bike leg, over a vast number of speed bumps, and a wiggly section into T2. Back home in 6hr19, feeling very good and another not-so-quick change for the marathon.
Out on the run just as the first finisher (team) came in, and round the lake for the third time that day. The lake seemed a long way in the swim, and was still a long way while running! Round the lake then alongside the river past Notts Forest and up to the town hall for the turn around. There were lots of supporters for the run and plenty of food/drink stations. Taking on gels, water and oranges and keeping to my steady long distance plodding pace (practised for so long over the chase). The run section was really hot with full sunshine over most of the course, I was really glad I’d got some suncream on after transition. Going into the last lap of the run I started to feel a little wobbly and started grabbing bananas instead of the orange pieces – that seemed to make the difference and I could keep running all the way through. Back into my last lap round the lake I realised a sub 12hr finish was possible. I’d been keeping in sight of a Meynall Valley kit on most of the laps and set him up as my target to draw me round the last section. I caught up about 2km from home but had nothing left to kick and pull away. High fives from the Stafford Tri supporters and into the funnel for a cheer from the wife (and the whole grandstand) and over the line in 11hr59min17 for a perfect end to the day. The after effects? Really ‘good’ sunburn, sore legs, a big blister on one little toe and the worst stomach cramps ever.