Race Report – Marc Malloy takes on The Outlaw Half

outlaw half 2

After completing the Outlaw Half last year it was the first thing in my calendar this year.

Everything about the Outlaw Half is great, a real big event feel, without some of the less positive elements of some of the ‘uber races’. Everyone is friendly, the registration is quick and easy, there are cafes, retailers, the boys at Total Fitness Nottingham are there fixing bikes and doing last minute tune ups (as well as winning the relay event!), you can buy your weight in branded Outlaw gear and you even get free Erdinger Beer…its great!

As a Blueseventy ambassador (I swam in the new Helix yesterday and it was amazingly comfortable!), I am already involved at helping out at the event, fitting wetsuits and chatting to everyone, so it’s a great opportunity for me to meet some fellow racers, speak to some first timers and really get into the vibe of the event. The first thing that strikes you is the amount of people who are taking part for the first time, all looking for that last minute advice, asking about the course, asking about kit, wondering if they are ready…it’s a great buzz to be able to help and to get pumped up for the event myself. This year I was also helping the excellent team at Total Fitness Nottingham, servicing bikes and getting racers ready for the start line, an excellent service that really helped a few people out of a hole!

The race itself is fantastic too, a genuinely undulating bike course, a couple of bigger rollers but otherwise just steady up and down all day, not much flat in it, but taking in some lovely scenery through villages where all the spectators gather on the grass to cheer you through. The run is mainly on soft tracks so easy on the legs, but with 2 loops of the rowing lake thrown in for good measure its also a good mental test.
There are some thoroughbred racing snakes involved, which is impressive to see as they coming flooding the other way at various points of the course, but there are also a wide range of abilities out there so always someone to chase and someone to try and stay away from.

The weather this year did its best to dampen the spirits, and everything else for that matter! The roads did suffer a bit as a result, the team had been out and marked up all the potholes and other obstacles with orange paint, but the water had covered most of it, so in places it was interesting. When it wasn’t raining it was windy…it was also pretty cold too, luckily I had my excellent Quest gillet with me which kept me toasty! However, there were still people out cheering and the amazing volunteers never missed a beat, always cheering and helping.

I myself managed a 4.52, with a rookie decision not to wear socks on the run paying me back with a couple of nice big popped blisters on my heels and a resulting nice 7.30min mile shuffle for the last 5 miles. I had hoped for a sub 1.30 run and to beat last years 4.47 overall, but the weather slowed things down for everyone and times were down across the board.

Hats off as always to the race team, all the volunteers and officials. The volunteers really do make every race that they are involved in, but especially here where they have a great bunch involved. I myself tried to smile and say thanks to every single one, high fived every kid cheering on the banks and made a point of thanking everyone I could afterwards, as I do at every race…it takes seconds and makes someones day…please make sure at your races this year that you remember to do the same, without them you don’t get to race!

My next event is going to be the Cotswold 113, then a few smaller races such as the Cricklade Triathlon, a great local event raising money for local causes, but still not made ant decisions on races yet, so many I want to do! I’m off to the Cross Triathlon European Championships in July then hopefully a couple of Xterra Races and the Cross Tri Worlds in Sardinia if I can save up enough by then…A load of awesome races out there that I would love to do, just got to keep the body in fighting shape!

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