I chose The Outlaw because I’d heard good things and it’s known for being considerably flatter than Ironman UK. I’d say if you’re not signed up for an M-Dot event then this is the next (or arguably should be first) on your list of must-do long-distance races.
Myself and a friend camped on site, only 200m from transition. They also offer luxury wooden pods to stay in, which I’d recommend for extra comfort. Registration is a breeze the day before, and set-up is quick and no hassle.
The Outlaw swim is a proper Iron start. None of this small pens of starters at a time; it’s a mass underwater wrestle! If you’ve positioned yourself correctly according to your predicted time, though, you should be fine; it soon thins out. It’s one large lap, which is right to the end of the rowing lake and back again.
If it’s a sunny early morning, sighting on the swim can be quite difficult as the sun is low.Unless you’re flying at the front, just do as I did and follow the few hundred people in front of you! The transition area is great, slick and easy to get through, and there are lots of great viewing spots around the lake for family and friends to cheer you on.
The bike course is a flat-ish 180km. It’s more rolling tarmac than anything else and a good average speed can be met quite easily. You get some nice views of the Nottinghamshire countryside, and the course is three laps (laps one and three are the same), making it easy to mentally divide up.
The feed stations are long, which make it easier to grab nutrition en route, and the support is excellent, even though the weather in 2015 was absolutely terrible!
The run is a flat and well-supported route, which starts off with a lap of the lake and then continues along the River Trent. This is done twice before a final loop of the lake to finish off.
Walking through the aid stations helped me immensely, and my general Iron race tip would be to never stop completely and keep walking through.
There are plenty of feed points en route so plenty of chances to recharge your batteries. The great marshals are particularly appreciated towards the end of the run course when, although you’ve had a long day, theirs has probably been even longer!
3 tips from other Outlaw finishers
1 “The marshals were fantastic, nothing was too much trouble and there were no ‘stupid’ questions, just help and encouragement in every way possible.”
Vicky Gill, via email
2 “Be careful on the last couple of miles on the bike as the tracks are quite rough and bumpy. The run course can get busy at certain points where the paths narrow but it’s nice and flat.”
Martin Beare, via email
3 “Arrive early! The access for cars isn’t brilliant as it’s a single lane, and I noticed some people having to rush to the start area in the morning. The rest of the organisation is great, with clear signage on the course and an excellent post-race recovery tent.”
Russell Squires, via email