Outlaw Triathlon 2015
On the 26th of July 2015 I took part in the Outlaw Triathlon at Nottingham Water sports centre while raising money for Cancer Research UK. The race consisted of a 2.4 mile open water swim in the regatta lake, followed by a 112 mile 3 loop road cycle and finally a 26.2 mile run around the grounds of the water sports centre and along the River Trent.
My journey started 6 months previously when I saw the event advertised and managed to secure a place through Cancer Research UK. At this point I hadn’t been in a pool since basic training and had only had my road bike about 2 months and hadn’t used it very often. My training then started. I had previously been a keen runner and had competed in a few half marathons and 10km races so wasn’t overly worried about the run. My first swim however had me worried, 50m swims were followed by 5 minute rests and wasn’t managing much more than 20 lengths of the pool. My bike rides at this point were around 20km and I was needing days to recover from them.
I slowly built my training up alongside work and family commitments. At the peak of my training I was swimming most days and doing 3 hours training a day with rest days few and far between. 2 months before the event I bought a wetsuit and started to swim in a lake in Lincoln managing 1km on my first try.
The week before the event the nerves well and truly kicked in. At this point I was swimming the full distance in open water. My cycling had improved although my longest ride had been 80 miles, 32 miles short. My longest run was around 17 miles. I had gone from thinking how fast I could complete, to the point I would be happy if I could complete the event in the 17 hours allowed.
On the day of the event I was up at 3am having scrambled eggs on toast, knowing that all my kit had been dropped at the venue ready to go the day before. After arriving at the venue and doing some last minute checks the 6am start was fast approaching. After swimming by myself in a lake in Lincoln the sight of 1250 swimmers all entering the lake just before the start sent the nerves into over drive. I was advised to start at the back to try and get some free water but in my slightly confused state ended up near the front of the 2nd pen. The start whistle went and the race commenced! The swim was very aggressive and congested but I managed to hold my own and got out of the water in a time of 1 hour 14 minutes which I was very pleased with and I was feeling good. After a quick change I was then onto the bike where I planned to pace myself to get round just within the 10 hour time limit. This went out of the window and found my self going faster than I had ever gone in training, thankfully the adrenaline had kicked in and before I knew it was finishing the cycle after 6 hours 23 minutes, happy in the knowledge that I could now finish the event as I could walk the marathon in the time remaining. Surprisingly I still felt good and a mix of the crowd and other competitors was making it really enjoyable. Time for my first marathon, I set off trying not to go off too fast, again this went out of the window and managed to finish the marathon in 3 hours 56 minutes, which I couldn’t believe! This gave me a total time including transitions of, 11 hours and 56 minutes. Running down the finish chute was one of the best experiences of my life.
Before the event I thought I would never want to do another triathlon, a week after the event I am already looking towards my next event.
As I mentioned this was all in aid of Cancer Research UK, if anyone would like to make a donation my just giving page is www. justgiving.com/craig-renton.