Jon Marsdens' account of the Outlaw Full Distance Triathlon
Ok so I ran a bit at the end. But if anyones interested this how my tri went….
Outlaw - Full distance Tri
Where do I start?!
I’ll split it into two halves - how the day went and a bit more if you want to read on.
Didn’t drown, didn’t fall off and didn’t fall over.
We travelled up on the Friday to get set up and settled into our accommodation. Saturday’s agenda was to register, rack the bike and meet up with some of the other STC club members. I had booked Joshua in to do the future outlaw run in the afternoon, so after getting sorted he did this - not fast but the sight of him running down the orange carpet high giving everyone was something I will treasure.
Sunday started early, alarm at 3:30am. Fellow STC member Paul Edmonds was staying in the same accommodation so we traveled the short distance to the venue together. The swim was scheduled for a 6am start and they had the week before changed it to a mass start, 1000 competitors all starting together. Having never started off with that many in the water, I decided to just start slowly and try and find a spot once all the quicker people had swam off. My plan seemed work well until 3500m and whack, a punch to cheek. Normally this would have thrown me right off my swim but I just counted to 10, reset my mind and with the finish line in sight made it slightly dazed up the ramp.
Swim 3.8km 1hr22m01s.
Oh yeah and I’ve never swam that far before even in training
After a leisurely T1, on to the bike. My nutrition and hydration plan seemed to work well, drink every 20mins, eat every 30mins. I had already decided that at the fuel stops I was going to get off the bike have a stretch and a comfort break if required. The first half of distance flew by, under 3hrs. But the second half was a different story, the wind had now picked up considerably, gusty wind making a flat feel like a hill. I just remembered what Paul had said and try and stay aero as long as you can. The last 2miles on what could only loosely be described as a road was not pleasant either but I ground it out. 180km - 6hr25m3sec
oh yeah I have never cycled that far before even on a road bike let alone a TT.
I decided on the run to full change, it certainly felt nice to have some fresh gear on for run. I wanted to make sure I got round so employed the run walk technique. Ok it wasn’t going to be the quickest way to get round but I was sure it would get me round. The start of the second lap I had a little moment where emotions got the better of me, maybe it was just because I’d seen Amy and Joshua cheering me on. But I had to have a little word with myself. As the km’s ticked by it wasn’t long until there was only 15k to go, I thought hang on that’s only three park runs….I can do this. The last lap round the lake seemed to go so quickly, and it wasn’t long until I was at the family collection point, where Joshua was waiting for me so I could run down the orange carpet with him.
Run 4hr45min. Only my second ever marathon.
The support for the volunteers and crowd was amazing, Outlaw was such a well run event I would certainly recommend it as alternative to Ironman.
I thought long and hard about what I might say in this bit if I completed it or not but training for 5 hours on a bike you have a lot of time on your hands.
It was on the bucket list to to do a full, talking with others who have done the distance before and said how training takes over your life but thinking how I might somehow be different. How wrong could I be! Yes the day is hard, but it’s the months and months of training beforehand that really take its toll, physically, mentally and relationship wise. A typical training week would be 6 days - Tuesday bike, Wednesday 5:30am long swim, Thursday Run, Friday swim, Saturday long run 2hr30, Sunday long bike 5hrs. It’s tough, you want nothing more to curl up and sleep but you need to be a husband and father, something that I neglected a bit too much.
To that end I want to thank Amy and Joshua, for supporting me though the training and the event. Without them I couldn’t have done it.
Thanks to Gill, Sonia, Paul, Paul and Sarah for brilliant training partners. And all their partners and friends who gave such great support on the day.
Thanks to tri club coaches for the help and advice.
Thanks to Amanda wilding Pinckney for sports psychology talk.
Outlaw full done