The Outlaw brand has become a mainstay of the UK triathlon scene over the last decade, with four permanent races now on the calendar across the half and full distance. But for many, despite the popularity of the North Norfolk and North Nottinghamshire events that run under the same name, THE Outlaw is the original and best.
It’s a testament to the commitment that Outlaw inspires that there remain a select few athletes that have completed every single edition of every single Outlaw race at every distance since its inception!
The OSB team, much like the races they produce, have also become well known on the race circuit, and this only helps the races improve year on year, as they’re on the ground at every event, talking with the athletes and taking it all in.
But what of the race? Why this race over other long distance events? What is the secret sauce that keeps triathletes coming back time and again, and helps first timers conquer their maiden half and full distance races, eager to hear those now famous words… YOU ARE AN OUTLAW!
Location – Midland Convenience
Set around the 2km World Class rowing facility at Nottingham’s Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre, The Outlaw consistently ranks top of race experience lists due to its varied course, fantastic support, ease of access and first class event management.
The venue in the East Midlands also plays a big part in its endearing success. Easily accessible from most of the country, with several major motorways and an Airport within 20 minutes of the lake and transition area, it’s one of the most well connected and easily accessible races in the UK.
Finished every Outlaw since 2010
THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE
Just ten minutes from the city centre means there are plenty of accommodation options and amenities within easy reach. Hotels from the functional, such as the Travelodge and Premier Inn nearby, through to offerings like the Hilton Double Tree and the Lace Market Hotel for athletes looking for a more refined experience.
For a large proportion of athletes, especially those in teams and groups, the best value is the onsite campsite, literally yards from the action. It’s a great way to reduce race morning travel nerves, and the post-race party goes long into the wee hours as athletes make their weary way back with their medals and smiles (or grimaces!) Make sure you book early though, as it sells out every year without fail.
Course – Flat & Fast
It would be remiss to talk about The Outlaw without mentioning the aid stations. As well as providing the essentials and being well stocked and frequent, every year the OSB crew recruit clubs, teams and sports groups to ‘take over’ each aid station. Expect singing, dancing, fancy dress and generally epic encouragement. Be warned, they get LOUD (looking at you, pirates!)
Swim – 2.4M
BIKE – 112M
RUN – 26.2M
My target is to maintain a high cadence, consistent effort level and to stand up out the saddle (only for a few pedals) every 30 minutes. Doing this meant my overall finishing time was faster, so it makes gains down the road.
Spectators – Fun For All
The host venue is really well set up for large scale events, and as such is a great place for your supporters to spend the day. As well as the facilities within the Water Sports centre itself, cafe, toilets, viewing area and so on, the tiered finish line seating area gives a literal grandstand view of the orange carpet and the finish line. Set alongside the bike in and transition area is the event village, with a range of triathlon brands showcasing the latest kit, and a great place to snag a bargain or a last minute essential, think tubes, race belt or nutrition.
As most of the bike course is on open roads, organisers discourage spectators from driving on the course except for an early exit to a designated spectator point where you can see your athlete up to three times. There are a few well known spectator locations that are great fun, but you may only see your athlete once, so it can be an unnecessary hassle. Expect lots of supporters around Southwell if you do venture out on the day.
If you would like to keep the family active the event weekend includes a children’s run (age 4-15) and open water swim events (age 13+) on the Saturday, whilst kids can join the main event on the Sunday by accompanying racers down the finish line, which makes for a wonderful family photo.
Head To The City
For a really fun experience for the family, Penny Lane offers great food set in a kitsch, vintage style restaurant alongside a collection of retro video games. The Olde Trip to Jerusalem, cut into the rock below the Castle, purports to be the oldest Inn in the country and is steeped in history, definitely worth a visit.
The newly revamped Nottingham Castle, perched high above the city is a great place to visit before or after the race, with brand new exhibits and a Robin Hood themed adventure park. Check out the City of Caves attraction and learn about the huge network of carved sandstone caves beneath the city that for hundreds of years have been used variously as homes, cellars, pubs and even air raid shelters.
Why Race Outlaw Nottingham?
3rd in 35-39 AG with 11:36:19 in 2022
THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE
RACE-cation – Robin Hood anyone?
As well as all that the city of Nottingham has to offer, Alton Towers Theme Park is around 45 minutes away, White Post Farm is fantastic for younger family members, and head north of the city to visit the real Sherwood Forest.
See the Major Oak, where legend has it Robin Hood himself would meet with his Merry Men, the Rufford Abbey Country Park and the East Midlands Center Parcs, perfect for post-race relaxation. Right next door is the Sherwood Pines Adventure Centre, hosting themed play parks, Go Ape high ropes course, segway hire and a huge mountain biking centre.
There’s also a beautiful ParkRun at this venue if your supporters fancy stretching their legs before the big day.