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Sunday 21 May 2017

Eight Seconds

So today I return to Holme Pierrepont for my third Outlaw Half in four years, having taken last year off. After being slightly injured in 2015, and desperately trying to not get more seriously injured so that I could do the Ramathon the following weekend, I recorded a slow-ish 6:07 that year.

This year I feel in much better shape, so it’s chance to get back under six hours and hopefully somewhere close to my 2014 time of 5:52.

The 1.9km swim immediately dashes my hopes of a new PB. With a time of 46:27, that’s over seven minutes off 2014 and three off 2015. So a PB isn’t going to happen. Unhelpfully they have also moved the swim exit this year which means there’s quite a long run to transition on tarmac, which has shades of last year’s Leeds ITU debacle. Can we have some matting please for next year.

The bike is better, much better, although I still can’t get it under three hours. My bike time for the 90km is 3:04:17, better than last time but just behind 2014. It would probably have been a PB had I not gone wrong in the final km and overshot the turn into Holme Pierrepont Hall with the help of some inefficient marshalling.

So to the run and that is where I do nail it. My 2:01:20 half marathon is better than both previous years and even two minutes up on my uninjured efforts in 2014. Yet still I pace it a touch wrong as I come in an agonising eight seconds over six hours.

EIGHT seconds. OMG. I blame that marshal, I mean I blame myself for overshooting, and that lengthened run in from the swim can’t have helped either. Oh well, there’s always near year. Did I really say that? I better not have done. It is an amazingly well put together event, better than any of the other 70.3s I’ve done but I must focus elsewhere next year.

The post-race rubdown is gratefully received along with the lashings of Erdinger Alkoholfrei, then it’s off for the post-race food which is posher than ever.

Throughout L and the boys offered outstanding and vocal support as ever while my Dad is also there to catch the run.

In the evening we head to the Crafty Crow for some recovery drinks but it’s not that great in there this week so we head across to the Trip To Jerusalem, where we haven’t been for a while, and they have some cracking dark beers on. Then we pick up a takeaway from the Park Tandoori, the four legged supporters deserve a recovery naan.

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