Lucy Charles and Sam Pictor won the Outlaw Half Nottingham in glorious conditions at the National Water Sports Centre. No course records were broken, but there was a high-quality field that produced some exciting racing.
The elite men’s and women’s wave set off at 6:10am towards a beautiful sunrise at the far end of the Regatta Lake. Charles was right up front of the 1900m swim, exiting the water just two seconds behind Matt Leeman before getting on her bike for a 56mile ride around Nottinghamshire. She completed that with a sizeable lead over the rest of the women’s field at the start of the 13.1mile run.
Charles, who is undisputedly one of the best long-distance athletes in the world, was using this as a training event with, but had an eye on the course record. She was just short of it at the finish, but won the event by a convincing margin.
She said: “I really enjoyed it. Great course, great crowds out there. I knew it was going to be close for the record. I’ve got a couple of big races coming up, so I’ve not been allowed to rest, but the times were pretty good. Hopefully, that means that things coming up next will go well.”
Leeman was the early leader in the men’s race but out on the roads Phil Graves was powering around the bike course demonstrating why he’s one of the most highly respected triathlon cyclists in the world. Graves started the run with a small lead over Reece Barclay and Lewis Eccleston. However, it was Pictor, a former World and European Age-Group Duathlon champion, who produced the best run.
Pictor’s run split of 1:13:08 propelled him to what he described as his biggest career win to date. He said: “When I heard I was fifth or sixth off the bike I was very surprised and luckily I had my run legs today. I worked my way forward one at a time.”
There was expectation of the relay course record being broken by a team including international athletes Chris Hine, Matt Bottrill and Mark Threlfall. However, a puncture put paid to their impressive progress and Team 100% Tri, featuring Matt Jory, Mark Redwood and Jordan Skelly took the lead. They were within seconds of the course record, which is held by Redwood’s former shop team, TFN. They finished in 4:02:08 ahead of Team Phil Hall.
Today’s race featured plenty of novices as well as the stars, and many people raising money for charities including Cancer Research UK. Three men, Gary Goacher, David Manning-Ohren and Graham Yare all completed the event, maintaining their record of having completed every Outlaw and every Outlaw Half event since the first launch in 2010.
Entries for Outlaw Half Holkham on 1 July and the full distance Outlaw Triathlon on 29 July are both still open via osbevents.com.
RESULTS: Outlaw Half Nottingham; 1900m swim, 56mile bike, 13.1mile run: