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How to master the Outlaw Triathlon
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Friday 22nd July 2016


Tags  Outlaw  |  Outlaw Triathlon  |  The Outlaw


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How to master Outlaw: Tips from six-time competitors

Six athletes have done all six editions of the Outlaw since it was first launched in 2010. Their tips and stories might just prove helpful, and their stories of the Outlaw over the years are entertaining.

If you’re taking part, put your feet up and have a read through the tips from David Manning-Ohren, Gary Goacher and Graham Yare, who have not only done every Outlaw event, but also every edition of the Outlaw Half too, including the new Outlaw Half Holkham earlier this month.


David Manning-Ohren

Age Group: 45-49
From: Kegworth, Nottinghamshire
Best Outlaw finish time: 12hours 03 in 2012

The first Outlaw was my return to long distance after two years, and my wife also raced it that year and hence the training and race day meant that little bit more. As a local to the event, six miles away, I found that the transformation of your home venue into a long distance party was brilliant.

I was also shocked by the sheer number of spectators who came to watch the race, starting the run you were (and still are) met with a crescendo of noise on the first section of the lake before the scoreboard where it is standing room only!

2013 was, without doubt, the most difficult. As a 90kg(ish) triathlete I do not perform well in the heat. That day we got off the bike to 33°c and had to do two laps of the lake with no shade. I was also going for a specific time, that I had told everyone was possible (big mistake), and hence pushed it too much on the bike and too hard on the start of the run. I was reduced to a walk/shuffle, fellow athletes were dropping around me.

David’s tips for newcomers:

Set yourself process rather than time goals; all it takes is the wind to change your bike split by 20 minutes. Your race could look like this;

  1. Register early so you can plan/fill and practice your transition bags at leisure – think about where to start the swim by going on YouTube and looking at all the swim starts that have been on TV.
  2. Choose your briefing time and rack time to avoid any weather issues (rain/too hot in afternoon etc.) and enjoy the free ERDINGER!
  3. Arrive on race day in plenty of time.
  4. Do not go too hard on the swim and be patient – if someone makes contact with you in the swim it will be accidental, this is not a race against competitors it is us versus the course and weather.
  5. Make use of the strippers! (wetsuit strippers – don’t get too excited).
  6. I only take on water for the first 20mins of the bike to wash through the lake water in my stomach.
  7. Use your bike computer to time alert function, I use mine to bleep every 20 mins so that I take on board a gel and every hour it will be a bar for the first four hours and then I go liquid only.
  8. Have a run strategy and stick to it, pros will walk the feed-stations, no reason why you cannot do the same, in effect this distance is an eating contest, that you have sussed out in training, DO NOT CHANGE WHAT HAS WORKED AT THIS STAGE.
  9. If it is hot then carry water with you, 250ml is fine but you could be 12-15 mins between feed-stations especially during your second lap.
  10. Think about another layer if you are going to be out when it is dark and maybe a head torch as it can get lonely by the Trent
  11. The spectators are fantastic all around the bike and run course, acknowledge and engage with them.
  12. Enjoy the finish the chute and the ERDINGER afterwards!!!

David Manning-Ohren

Gary Goacher

Age Group: 50-54
From: Selston, Nottinghamshire
Best Outlaw finish time: 11hours 13:30 in 2012

I’m as ready as ever for the Outlaw, despite a chest infection and pulled calf! My favourite year could be 2010 or 2012 as I got my best times then, but probably 2015 as I raised funds for Jon Cusick who had suffered a massive stroke two years previously. Anyone who saw the footage of he and I crossing the line in the torrential rain can see the emotions we both underwent that day.

My worst year was 2011 when I was struggling with plantar fasciitis and 20 miles of the run was a total hobble. I have done all the Half events and surprisingly I’m getting better with each year despite being a pensioner.

There are many great things about the Outlaw; friendly, fast course, great venue. The volunteers are all encouraging and it is a very inclusive event. There is no snobbery about it and although there are some very elite athletes taking part, there are also some very novice ones, and we need the newcomers at these events.

Gary Goacher

Graham Yare

Age Group: 40-44
From: Knaresborough
Best Outlaw finish time: 11hours 57:26 in 2010

My best year was 2010, it was a week after my second IMUK. I managed my best swim and bike rides at the Outlaw. I do love every year as we make a long weekend of it and spend time with family and friends on the campsite.

My worst year was 2013. I don't race well in the heat and that year was ridiculous. My run was almost 40 mins longer than my ride. I managed to run the second loop of the lake (miles 3 to 6) but walked the other 23. On my second lap of the embankment I had to take off my shoes as it felt like my feet were about to explode. Total time 15:46.

I’m hoping things cool down over the next few days. Times have been coming down since 2013 but I’m not hopeful for getting a PB this year as I've been ill over the last six week. I shouldn't have done Holkham, but wasn't going to miss it!

Graham Yare


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