Sunday 24 August 2014

The Outlaw Win!

Well It was a long time coming but I've finally got something to blog about! A WIN!
Over the past few seasons bad luck seemed to have followed me around with punctures, crashes, mechanicals, injuries, illness.....the list goes on. I was just fed up of having to write another shit blog about how this went wrong and how that went wrong etc etc. But how amazing I would have been if it hadn't gone wrong! Boring, no one want to read crap like that, so I didn't write anything.
But now I've got a win I can write in glory! So okay The Outlaw isn't the best quality race, in terms of depth of the field, but there were some very good athletes racing and I would have to push hard to win.
The week before I did Ironman UK in Bolton but crashed at about 60km on the bike taking current Ironman Wales champion, Scott Neyedli down with me. We recovered and got back up but I had landed on my back and seemed to have lost all power, and then lost all motivation to carry on, so I pulled out. Fair play to Scott, he soldered on and finished! So for the Outlaw I was very motivated to win so I could salvage something from the past few seasons.
The Outlaw is in Nottingham so living in Leicestershire it was just up the road for me and quite a novelty to be able to sleep in my own bed the night before the race! No bike box, no shit hotel food, just my own comforts. Everything was far more relaxed before the race, even though I had the pressure of being one of the pre race favourites, and everything that goes with that, TV interviews etc I felt really relaxed and confident. My race plan was no secret, swim well and get a lead on my main rivals, bike hard to get a bigger lead and then hang on during the marathon, and to top it off break my training partner, Joel Jamesons, course record of 8hrs 47min. Everything went exactly to plan apart from breaking the course record bit! In fact I only just hung on for the win from a much faster moving Phil Mosley.
So it went down like this, great swim, out in just over 50mins. One other guy was out with me but I took him in T1, the other swimmers were in relays, so were of no concern to me. My Xterra Vendetta wetsuit was faultless, by far my best swim for a good while.
On the bike I rode hard but comfortably. I wasn't getting any time splits so just assumed that my rivals would be working together and closing whatever gap I had. I had actually rode into 2nd on the road, only one relay team time trialling ahead of me and about three relay teams around 5 minutes back. With about 40km to go 2 guys in a soft top Porche, who were spectators, pulled up along side me and told me I had an 18 minute lead! This shocked me as I had assumed they would be closing, not me pulling away! This did help me relax over the last 40km and I eased back on my pace a bit.
So onto the run and I felt OK to start with. I hit a very bad spell very soon though at about 7km and had to take a toilet stop and get some sugar! It was very early in the marathon to be going for the coke but I needed it and it had to be done. I came around quite quick and got running again. I got another bad patch about 10km later and again had coke and it passed. But at around 30km the bad spell came again but this time it hung around for about 7km! I was moving very slowly and knew that if the guys behind had any kind of pace whatsoever then they would be closing very fast. Its amazing how in an Ironman an 18min lead can be whittled down very quickly. I kept asking for time splits of the lead bike but wasn't getting any. I was hanging! All I kept saying to myself was put on foot in front of the other and don't walk! I was very light headed and struggling to keep it together, but going into the last 5km I started to come out of it. I didn't run fast over the last 5km but at least I was able to pick the pace up from the previous 7km! If I'd have carried on at that pace I'd have been caught easily!
In the end I did win and it felt awesome coming down the finnish shoot high fiving everyone and really milking the victory to the max!
So in the end my winning margin was only around two and a half minutes, down from about eighteen off the bike! I would love to say I paced it to perfection and was able to jog the run, but I'd be lying.
I would just like to say a massive thank you to Tim at Speedhub for all his support this year, also Martyn at Xterra wetsuits UK for the endless supply of Xterra goodies and to Shayne and Jane from First Endurance UK. It was the first time I was trying their products in a race and I won! Enough said I think! I will be posting a review on their products next.


  1. Just watched the Outlaw highlights in 4OD, Awesome job Craig!

  2. This article help me . Thank your for sharing.