Our Zone3 Local Hero Andrew Diplock has continued support throughout 2017.
Andrew updates us on his latest race – 2 July 2017 – Outlaw Holkham Half
Outlaw Half Holkham was a highlight from my race calendar last year and I was really looking forward to racing there again this year. OSB always organise their races very well and this time they even managed to arrange for the great English summer weather to come along too.
The Elite wave was a really thoughtful addition to the race this year which saw ~50 competitors starting in the first wave at 6:27am. The absence of this format last year made it very difficult to work out where people were placed as the top seeds were setting off at different times.
The large prize pot up for grabs attracted some of the biggest and best names from the triathlon scene. Two notable absentees were Mark Threlfall and Reece Barclay (last year’s winner) who were late withdrawals and would have made the race a lot more interesting. Mark is on top form at the moment and it was a shame he couldn’t make it.
Racking the bikes the day before took some of the stress away from a typical race morning and meant we could make the most of the beautiful Norfolk coast with our friends and have a lovely dinner the night before the race.
Swim – 28:26 Although the start was promising with a sunny 6:27am start and a yet undisturbed lake, the swim proved hard to navigate (mostly for James Gill, recent winner of the Henley Classic, who got a bit lost round the last buoy) leading to a less than ideal swim time for me too. I was with the lead pack to start with but the pace was just too aggressive and I had to let them go after a few hundred metres.
At T1, a slight wetsuit malfunction (those guns get in the way, you know) meant Tom ‘the cookie monster’ Vickery slipped away in front of me with a head start that should have been mine.
I knew Tom’s quick transition was a vital part of the race and I started to plot my counter-attack, but getting away from him on the bike was going to be a tall order.
Bike – 2:25 I quickly caught up and went past Tom on the bike, but then that smurf haunted me like a shadow for most of the ride until he dared to attack again.
Regular updates from my support crew let me know that we weren’t losing much ground to James ‘Quadzilla’ Gill who was just 3 minutes up the road.
Ben Webeck put down a late surge towards the end of the bike and Tom managed to go with him, whilst I on the other hand struggled to go with the change in pace. That left me isolated for the last 10k or so of the bike and not feeling confident for the run.
T2 – 1:16 I arrived into T2 just as Tom was leaving and he told me to get my act together! I was really suffering but luckily the blond bombshell support crew were there to cheer me through T2 and onto the run.
Run – 1:31 The run consisted of 3 laps around the Holkham Hall Estate, the grounds of which are immaculate. Adam Brittain was the first to attack me on the run and I let him cruise past. Barney Palmer, a.k.a. BP had his game face on and was next to pick me up, running past me at the end of the first lap without any signs of recognition. I tried running with BP but I had no gears. I still had some hope of catching up with the quadzilla monster who according to some rumours was still within reaching distance. But I didn’t catch sight of his prominent thighs until past the finish line.
Overall time – 4:28 (16th place)
Conclusion We were all soon joined by the ‘Blond Bombshell’ relay team consisting of Kathryn and Lauren, and… Dave ‘McDaddy’ McLean. With Kathryn’s huge swimming guns, Dave’s cycling pedigree and Lauren’s running prowess, they made a very strong team indeed.
The post-race massage and banquet was very well received again this year and it offered a chance for everyone to get together and debrief on the race.
Very well done to all my friends who raced hard and fast, it was an honour to race against you! Gill, you’re not retiring yet.
See you next year, same place, same friends, same weather, but hopefully a better (chip) time.