The Outlaw Half was one of the very few long distance events to survive the CV19 pandemic and four St Helens Tri members set about making the best of the late season opportunity at this iconic venue in the East Midlands. The race was well attended and of high standard, not surprising given the lack of opportunities for the UK triathlon community to race in 2020, and the course was a tough one; individual start times in 12c water which led to the swim being cut short. The character building wasn’t over yet either, as the athletes faced 30mph gusts of wind on the bike and a mostly off road run which was more akin to cross country than multi terrain. Leading the way was Eddie Hirst, who parlayed his traditional rapid bike split into a remarkably quick 13.1 mile run of a little over 95 minutes to finish in 4:46:22 giving him 154th overall and 13th in his age group. Next up was Ian Wright who enjoyed a close battle with Peter Rawlinson for much of the day, but pulled away on the run; his final time of 5:25:48 put him just outside the top 500 and around 20 minutes clear of his teammate. Gary Davies was remarkably close to Eddie in the water and stayed ahead of the dynamic duo behind him for part of the bike stage before Ian and Peter found a way past. In the event Gary’s time of 6:10:29 was good enough for 887th place.
Next weekend sees the return of the autumn duathlons as several club members will be taking on the Oulton Park Autumn special, which is closely followed by similar events in Milton Keynes and Clumber Park on 18 and 24th October, both of which are sure to be popular.