Outlaw triathlon by GTC’s Stuart and Fiona

Stuart and Fiona with their Outlaw medals.

Stuart Mcintyre and Fiona Beck completed the Outlaw ironman distance triathlon in Nottingham last weekend. Here are their race reports.

Stuart’s race report

After doing a half ironman in 2016, I decided I had enough of long-distance races. But as time goes on, you forget the pain and want to do more!

So, I then entered the Loch Ness Marathon for 2017 and having trained hard and completed it I thought, “What next?”

The Outlaw Triathlon opened for entries three days after Loch Ness. I thought: “Strike whilst the IRON is hot!”

I entered on the day the entries came out, researched accommodation and booked a B&B a 10-minute drive from the race location. The next 10 months were the most focused I have ever been in training.

Fiona and I drove to Nottingham on Friday morning and all week we had been checking the weather and it looked perfect. But this soon changed when we again checked with gales and heavy rain forecast. My first thought was they might might cancel the event.

At race briefing the race organiser was hoping the forecast was wrong, as we all were. We checked the forecast on the news at 9:55pm and 35mph gusts were forecast.

Breakfast was at 4am, then we headed to the Outlaw site. The water looked calm. I change into my wetsuit and entered the water and, surprisingly, I felt very relaxed and prepared.

Stuart’s Outlaw swim

The swim was changed from one full circuit of the lake to three shorter laps with land exits. Exiting to T1 at the far end of the lake was deemed to dangerous to swim in due to the wind.

I stayed wide on the swim to miss most of the washing machine effect and I was redirected once buy a kind canoeist. The first exit out of the water was slow, but I thought: “What’s the rush as there is hours of racing ahead.”

At the start of lap three, people in front of me were diving in, so I thought why not! I was delighted my goggles stayed on.

My swim time was 01:10:35.

T1 was slow as I decided to put on a rain jacket and long trousers for warmth and protection. Any aero advantage of wearing only a trisuit were reduced but I would rather be too warm as it is a long way to cycle and be cold.

T1 time was 00:10:24.

Stuart’s Outlaw Bike

Loop one on the bike was windy but manageable,.

Loop 2 was nasty and seemed to be into the wind, made worse by getting blown into the path of cars.

Loop 3 was trying to stay positive ready for the marathon.

Bike time was 07:22:08.

T2 was also slow. I changed into dry shorts and running vest.

T2 time was 00:09:32.

Stuart on the run. Credit: Lynsey Palmer.

Stuart’s Outlaw Run

I managed to run for 10 miles and only stopped at the feed stations but then I needed to walk/run to various points.

I has spotted Fiona on the run and calculated I was four miles ahead. This was good as she beat me in Inverness and she doesn’t let me forget it!

I found it very difficult running past the finishing chute three times and hearing other Outlaws finishing.

Run time was 05:04:00.

Thoughts on the Outlaw

My total time was 13:56:39 and while I had been hoping to get under 7 hours for the bike, I am happy with swim and run times.

However, I have achieved an ambition to complete the ironman distance.

Now I am sticking to shorter distances to utilise my speed, rather than endurance.

On reflection, it was great day out in challenging weather. It was well organised, with brilliant support from the marshals on both the bike and run course. as well as the spectators who turned up to watch.

Fiona’s race report

It has been a long 10 months since we signed up for the Outlaw.

I wrote a 10-month plan with my distance goals for each month and then planned a day-to-day schedule for each month. I confess I do love a spreadsheet!

The snow this winter… when they needed to train.

The winter months were hard as it was difficult to achieve long bike rides, however, there is always turbo. You know you are slightly mad when you have to dig yourself a path through the snow from the back door to get on your turbo in the garage.

A week before our event, I was quite emotional about it and filled with self-doubt as I am not the best cyclist and worried that I would not complete the bike leg before the cut off at 4pm.

Fiona’s Outlaw race

Race day arrived and I was eager to get started. I knew I had trained as hard as I could and I would try my best.

The swim was good after I got over the initial nausea caused most likely by the overwhelming smell of duck and goose poo.

Swim time 1:20:29 which was 10 minutes quicker that I thought.

T1 was quite slow as I struggled to get my leggings and long sleeved top on despite trying to dry myself.

T1 time 11:35.

Fiona during the swim. Credit: Terry Lawson.

Fiona’s Outlaw bike

Once on the bike course, the wind and rain really hit. I managed to stay positive throughout although at 40km to go, I was beginning to tire and when I turned the corner into the wind I shouted “come on” at myself, unaware a man was cycling right behind me and asked if I was ok.

I replied with a “yes thanks” as if it was the most normal thing to shout at yourself.

I was relieved to get back to transition safely and within the cut off time.

Bike time 7:56:32.

T2 was also slow as putting twin skin socks on wet feet was not an easy task. I also had to have a portaloo visit.

T2 time 13:20.

Fiona’s Outlaw run

Off on to the run, I felt good for the first 10 miles, taking a gel and water every mile. But then nausea hit me.

I walked and ran the rest, staying off the gels and taking a few crisps every half a mile.

I saw Stuart on my first lap and then on my third just as he passed through the finish chute.

I recently bought a Garmin watch and, as anyone who knows me, technology is not my strong point. I was unaware of what the actual time was, only how long I had been running.

In my befuddled brain, I tried to work out what my potential finishing time would be on my last lap. I kept getting the time of just over 15 hours.

This seemed incredible and I assumed my arithmetic was a bit off (as usual).

As I approached the finish chute, I could see the race clock – 14 hours 57 mins and 39 sec. Unbelievable! (My run time was 5:15:43.)

Fiona’s Outlaw thoughts

To me, people who complete ironman distance are superhuman and I am overwhelmed that I have done it, albeit very slowly. It just proves that anyone can achieve their dreams if they put their mind to it and just keep moving forward.