2016 Outlaw Half Holkham

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2016 Outlaw Half Holkham

Postby King Sad » 04 Jul 2016 19:53

Where: Holkham Hall and environs
When: 03 July 2016
Organiser: OSB formerly One Step Beyond
Course details: Based at Holkham Hall, lake swim, undulating out and back bike course, very undulating 3 lap run
Distance(s): 1.9km swim; 90 km bike; 21 km run
Marshalling: Excellent!! Road closures, partial road closures and traffic control. Lots of very friendly, smiley volunteers
Facilities: free parking, toilets, massage, trade stands
Technical: Chip timing, live tracker, live commentary feed.
Freebies: Technical Polo shirt, big heavy medal

OK, so if you have read my previous reports .. health problems .. lack of training ... yadda yadda
When this was announced, thought in for a penny in for a pound, particularly when a team mate said, it’s Norfolk it will be flat and fast ... mmm :?

Registered and racked Saturday, met with loony team mates then to hotel, too old with this camping lark. Had a good sleep at a cosy pub/hotel (original building 13th C, exposed beams, 5' 6" high doors etc}.

Race day
Parked up, no queues, sorted out the bike, chatted and then made my way down to the swim start. 1200 starters, five waves starting at 6.30, I was in wave 5 @ 7.30. Weather forecast mainly sunny, bit of cloud, light wind.




SWIM - 1900m
About 1200 starters in 5 waves.
At the swim brief, Paul the swim director, explained that some of the guys from the earlier waves had a problem with the concept of keeping the bouys to the left, the girls seem to find that amusing.

Our wave called forward, water not too cold and the mud on the lake bottom caused a lot of discussion, very warm and feet sank about 6 inches into it, found out afterwards that is accumulation of duck poo :o probably wouldn't have kept putting our feet in it and joking about it.

Off, splish, splash up the lake, around the island, splish, splash back, got out.
44.53, not quick, not last, I would guess at about 2/3 point.

Out, ran to bike, still a fair number of bikes on the rack, wetsuit off, bike shorts on, socks n shoes on, Marmite butty in gob and off. My long swim transitions are long as I do have to sit down to steady myself, nothing I can do about that I’m afraid.
4.25 - about average in our AG

Bike - 90km
First 3k out up the avenue to the obelisk, very ‘iconic’, bit uppy downy, gradual ascent of 30m max gradient 10%, 46.1kph max, 22.8kph av.
Next 3k, out of the estate onto the boundary road, further 15m ascent then some downy stuff, then uppy stuff, keeping it very steady, long way to go, av 33.4kph max 55.4kph.
Onto the open road, proper with excellent traffic management so we had priority all the way, through Wells in Sea, up to the 10k mark, flattish, aiming for 71rpm cadence, I seem to be happy at that, 33.8kph 44.7kph max.
10-20km, flattish overall but a couple of cheeky 5% thrown in, 28.3kph av 45.4kph max.
20-30k, through Burnham Deepdale, gradual ascent of 55m but with some uppy downy stuff chucked in, past the first feed station, didn’t take on here as my plan was to replen at the next one. As usual a very well organised and enthusiastic station. 26.1kph av 46.8kph max.

30-40k, continuing to climb for the next 4k then the next 4k gradual descent with slight winding bits, final 2k another uppy bit with some 4% in, 27.2kph 42.8kph max.
40-50k, heading south past Sandringham towards Flitcham. First 5k uppy downy... By now you may be asking, as I was ‘isn’t Norfolk flat?’ Just past Sandringham was the second feed station, here my replen went to cock, pulled out my second bottle to replen the bottle between the bars and somehow managed to lose the top and dumped 700ml of drink over me and the bike, clod. Picked up a bottle though and replenned using that. Through the first bike split at 45km, 1.42.48 26.3kph av. 10k av 28.1kph 47.9kph max. I though ‘that’s not good, the second half looks lumpier, ah well’. Didn’t vary my plan, take it steady, average 71rpm where possible.

60-70k, onto the A148. Quite a busy road. First 10k gradual climb from 25m altitude with a 2km 5% stretch to 91m then over the next 10k a gradual descent through East Rudham towards Fakenham and a terminal altitude of 37m. Some knob drivers but in the main not too bad but as you know traffic brings an extra stress but kept my cool and preferred to hang back rather than attempt to overtake (although I did get a few in). Talking of overtaking, thus far I had been steadily overtaking riders from earlier waves but an odd one or two would then overtake me and I think ‘where have they come from?’ I was in the last swim wave and one of the slowest swimmers, had I slowed down? Were they getting faster?

70-80k, skirting north of Fakenham now set off back towards Hokham, more damn climbing, in the most part 1-2% some uppy downy, roads a bit quieter. Past the third feed station, no replen required even though sticking to my short sip every 1k when prompted by the gps. I was getting quite tired/achy at this point, my back/shoulder muscles start to protest because of my arthritic bits and the sun went in so I felt a bit chilly and the wind was whipping up a tad, but then I thought 24k to go, that is Woodhall Spa, man up John.

80-90k, those blessed words, last 10k. Sligh descent over 4k and then a very sharp 160 left onto the estate boundary road. I must admit this drag was a bugger. I was feeling cold, the wind was whipping up a touch more and the next 2.5k was a gradual slog with touches of 4.5% and 6.5%. At last flick right onto the estate avenue. A 40m descent over the last 3km but I didn’t hammer down on the bars for several reasons: 1) it was coned off down the middle for the runners so it was quite narrow, with about half a dozen riders in front 2) it was quite bumpy and I could feel it in my shoulders 3) I decided the extra comfort and control was worth an extra few seconds.

2nd split; 1.31.52, 29.39 kph av

Overall 90.7km by gps, 562m of ascent, time 3:14:40 28.0kph av, 55.4kph max. Think again half to two thirds point, not sure.
In my opinion that was harder than Outlaw Half Nottingham and +4 minutes so quite happy with that.

Racked bike, bike shorts off, run shorts on, marmite butty in gob and off .. Via portaloo .. Stomach was cramping ... Nothing, had wee, chided myself and off. My right calf was also cramping which I couldn’t understand; I had kept it steady, kept my electrolytes up .. Crack on.
Total for all that 4.25 again

Run 21.6 (by gps)
Within 25m hit the first feed station and a climb over the first 1k at gradients of between 1.5% and 11%, I was very unhappy with cramps in my right calf and stomach so resorted to walking which was actually faster than my run and by walking on the grass verge alleviated the stress to my calf. The next 1.3k was uppy dowy, mostly uppy but I was able to run at my target pace on the occasional flat/descent. After about 2.5k of this, flick left onto the road/track leading to the barns and the second feed station. Again a lot of uppy with some flat/downy for about 1k to the feed station. I needed to sort out my stomach and leg cramps so took on Isogel, Zero, banana and crisps. Onwards for the next 1.3k or so uppy downy gradients to 5% into the woods, left turn and then joy of joys, 2k of fairly flat good surface to run. Pick up band, fantastic support from supporters, team mates and the boys n girls I know from OSB, onto lap 2. Really struggled with this lap, felt like throwing up but all I had to do was finish, started on coke at the Barns which seemed to ease the tum, into the woods, dropped down to the end of lap 2, band 2 again great cheers and support.

Last lap, where is everyone? That was so depressing, there just seemed like a handful of us there. Through the barns, thanked the crew dropped my last coke. Headed for the woods, feeling better and kept a steady pace, then upped the pace a touch. About 1.5k left Paul who was the swim director was manning a checkpoint and told me to pull my finger out as a team mate was just in front. Through the camp site, more cheers, pace increasing and then left onto Golden Gates drive for the last 800m. Feeling much better and pace really started to pick up, I made out my team mate about 400m ahead and just dug in, 600m gap definitely closing, 400m really catching up now, 200m crikey in with a chance here, 100m just in front, 50m and I pass him just before the chute. I expect a response so really dug in, I sensed a shadow 20m out, shadow getting closer, 5m on my shoulder and Ian takes the tape 1m ahead of me. The commentators, Kyle and Lee from my club chided Ian for taking the tape saying ‘what was that about, he’s given you a 15 year advantage’ all in good fun though and in any case because of the waves I had actually beaten him by 30 minutes.

Time 2.37.28 223m of ascent

(obviously not me)

Overall 6.45.22, 36 out of 46 in AG, 757 out of 1000 or so with about 60 DNFs (the med tent was full).

Tough day at the office but it definitely started to unravel on the run.


I was only resting my eyes... Not a 'nanna nap' ... Well might have had a little doze...

Never mind. I take a crumb of comfort that the lead placed Army team member beat me by 22 mins ( I am 30 years older than him) and I beat the other member by 4 mins (but then he was only 15 years younger than me). Go on please, allow me a little smirk.

So that concludes my manic 5 weeks starting with the Outlaw Half Nottingham, Leeds Standard, Woodhall Spa Sprint and finishing with the Outlaw Half Holkham. Didn’t plan that very well did I?
It seemed like a good idea at the time :? .

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Re: 2016 Outlaw Half Holkham

Postby Jack Hughes » 04 Jul 2016 21:19

Err... you are racing so much, I doubt if you actually have any time to train... Well done :D Awe inspiring as usual :D
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Re: 2016 Outlaw Half Holkham

Postby ris » 05 Jul 2016 00:23

i know the area very well - my mum lives up that way (i think the route might have gone past her place, even) and it isn't 'flat' in the pancake 'norfolk broads' kind of way. it is exposed and if the wind is up then there isn't much to slow it down that close to the coast. the road surfaces aren't terrific, either, so i'm not surprised you found it tough on the bike.

holkham is a delightful setting - the grounds are lovely and the villages around are rather pretty if the chelsea tractors aren't clogging them up. despite it being a tough day out, king-s, i hope you enjoyed it. i should probably do this race one day, but my dad lives close to castle howard and i've not touched that half distance yet i don't think the odds are good!
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Re: 2016 Outlaw Half Holkham

Postby Worrying Will » 05 Jul 2016 06:32

Another cracker in my eyes and a great read as usual

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Re: 2016 Outlaw Half Holkham

Postby King Sad » 05 Jul 2016 07:01

It was hard, you're right Ris, the wind did pick up at times but mostly it was a 'gentle push' rather than gusting, but the run did it for me :(

No excuses, just hadn't got the training in that I needed over winter so this year has been getting the racing in, cos I enjoy it, racing in lieu of training :D

Fingers crossed will get some proper training in over winter to hit next year and new age group properly :D

## EDIT ##
Oh yes forgot to mention, absolute awesome performance by the leaders in my AG, the first 5 knocked out sub 5h 15 :o
It seemed like a good idea at the time :? .

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