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Mark Livesey's Outlaw Triathlon
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Thursday 30th July 2015


Tags  Mark Livesey  |  Outlaw  |  Outlaw Triathlon  |  The Outlaw


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Coach and athlete Mark Livesey was under a bit of family pressure at The Outlaw Triathlon on Sunday, given that wife Caroline had finished second a week previously at Ironman UK! The Livesey's are a very swift couple though - as we've highlighted before - both having qualified for Kona and winning Age Group titles in Ironman racing.

Mark's race in Nottingham went well and after holding "some resemblance of running form" over the final miles of the run, he was able to cross the line in third position in a time of 9:20:04.

Having chatted to Caroline earlier this year after her third place at Ironman Lanzarote, here we find out more about Mark's race on Sunday.


Mark, congratulations on your third place at the Outlaw on Sunday. Was the pressure on you after Caroline's second place at Ironman UK?

Caroline had a fantastic race in Bolton, so yes, I had to produce a good race myself at The Outlaw. I left Ironman UK with a sense of foreboding because I was watching all the athletes (Elites and AG), go through hell in the final stages of the run. It was a sobering reminder that this was what I was going to subject myself to in a week's time.

You weren't tipped for the podium for this race – did this bother you?

Not at all, I knew I was in good shape and that a podium finish was achievable, so being under the radar worked well for me. My training is going well and I knew I could produce a good result if everything went well. The only people who knew I'd be up there were Craig Twigg and Harry Wiltshire, who I have raced against many times.

We saw a tweet you pushed out that you and Craig having a combined age of 85 years. It's impressive that you and Craig are still managing great results in your autumnal years. How do you do it?!

Craig is a seasoned professional and he knows how to get the best from his body, even at 43 years old. He's actually getting faster too which keeps me motivated. I do a lot of strength and conditioning work in the winter, just doing classic Olympic lifting and functional balance and proprioception work.

There's also a lot to be said for experience, especially over the ironman distance race. I know not to get involved in individual battles within the race, especially the bike leg. It's a long day so you need to keep your powder dry. Can I just say that Craig had a brilliant race and I have the utmost respect for this guy – he has a great attitude and love for the sport.

Briefly tell us about your race?

Swim
I found myself isolated after about 800m so I pretty much swan the rest of the course on my own. I am lucky enough to be still sponsored by HUUB and this was the first 3.8km swim I had swum in my new Archimedes II wetsuit. I just settled in and kept it relaxed, reminding myself I had another eight hours of racing to do. It's a really easy swim to navigate and with a calm morning it was uneventful. I've been on many Ironman swim starts and it has been carnage for the whole swim. I got out at 56:20, which was 90 seconds up on last year.

Bike
Once on the bike I concentrated on finding my own rhythm and paying attention to my nutrition. Again, at 42, I find myself in a fortunate position of having a great bike sponsor with local bike shop Langdale Lightweights. I had the privilege of riding the new Boardman AIRTT/9.8 with Di2 which is fast, but also very comfortable. I was getting a few splits from Caroline so I knew I was six minutes down at around the 90km point. I kept company with Tom Vickery for a while but decided to push a little harder at 120km because I knew he had a good run on him. The remainder of the ride was on my own so staying focused and keeping the tempo going was difficult at times. I had a wobble at around the 140km point so had to tap into my emergency baby food; this seemed to do the trick. The aid stations and traffic management was excellent, the guys did a superb job, even better than some of the more well known events I could mention. It was also really refreshing to see the locals out in support for this massive event even with the poor weather.

Mark Livesey

Run
Once off the bike Caroline informed me I was in seventh position overall and around eight minutes off of third place - and that Craig was 20 minutes up the road (BOOM)! This took the wind out of my sails, to say the least! This was further compounded when I had to stop within the first mile for a toilet break and my pace for the first 10 miles wasn't great either. Things weren't looking good – I was in the hurt locker and still had 16miles to go!

Experience now told me to stay relaxed and keep the nutrition on board. Caroline was giving me splits for third place, which was Karl Alexander; this was now my only real objective, as I knew first and second was out of reach. It's always very helpful to be given splits on a race like this. Being told you're catching athletes ahead of you is what you need to hear, allowing you to soak in the incredible pain only this type of race elicits. I managed to catch Karl at around the 18mile point. He was very magnanimous as I passed him, offering support and encouragement. I also managed to offer him a place at my Middle distance race (Rubicon), in August but it probably wasn't the best time to be honest as he declined! The offer is still there Karl, be good to have you racing against Joe Skipper.

Mark LiveseyI now found myself in third position and the dynamic of my race changed in an instant. I was no longer chasing, but being chased, which is a whole different sensation. As all long course athletes know the race isn't over until you cross that finish line and I still had six of the hardest miles to run including the penultimate lap of the lake which is just an absolute killer. You know it's only a three-mile loop but when you can see the curvature of the earth it just saps your mental strength and resolve. This is by far the hardest bit of the race so it comes as a great relief knowing you're on the final lap. I was lucky enough to hold some resemblance of running form which allowed me to finish third overall. Not bad for an old man!

I've got to thank the event organisers for producing a slick, but more importantly, a safe race. Thanks to Caroline and my sponsors, Langdale Lightweights, Boardman Bikes, HUUB and the Karen Green Foundation, which is a charity I raced for. Finally, congratulations to Craig for owning that race!

You mentioned the Rubicon Middle distance you're organising in North Yorkshire on the 30th Aug. I see you've managed to attract some impressive names to race. How did you manage that?

The Rubicon has grown over the last four years. I put it down to providing a great product with a great price without any hidden costs. It's also a great venue, Newby Hall is a stunning backdrop with the best swim exit in the country.

I have worked hard trying to get some of our top male and female athletes racing at the Rubicon. The Elite women's race is going to be an epic, I have some big hitters who will be locking horns. I'm really looking forward to watching that race unfold.

Joe Skipper will be using this race as his final preparation for Kona this year. Joe attracts massive attention so other elite athletes want to try and race him or see how close they get to him. The current Elite start list is:

Nikki Bartlett FEMALE
Amy Forshaw FEMALE
Elaine Garvican FEMALE
Rachel Hallam FEMALE
Kathryn King FEMALE
Tracy Markham FEMALE
Suzie Richards FEMALE
Georgie Rutherford FEMALE
Claire Shea-Simonds FEMALE
Richard Anderson MALE
Tommi Baker MALE
Jim Cresswell MALE
Lewis Eccleston MALE
Brian Fogarty MALE
Michael Lavender MALE
Sam Parker MALE
Douglas Roberts MALE
Joe Skipper MALE
Tom Vickery MALE

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