Outlaw Half – Neil Sheppard AKA Shep





So let’s tall about the Outlaw half……

Turned up Saturday morning straight from work after a crap night and a busy week not the best prep to be honest. Managed to catch the end if Stuart Turner and Jay Jennings sprint qualifier, great to see some dogs racing. Registered and Spent the rest of the day with Rob Nyland and Tri Harder, had the race brief and drove the course for familiarisation, before leaving for this I had noticed some really loud music emminating from some where nearby and over a pizza dinner later that evening the two Robs explained that it was in fact a music festival taking place next to their plush hotel, somehow me camping didn’t seem so bad against their plush hotel. I was in bed at 10, humming away to the dance music from the festival thankfully I wasn’t asleep when the fireworks finished it all off at 11. I was woken at 1 by a loud crash from inside my tent and found my bike had been blown over and fallen onto My full kettle and gas stove that i had carefully prepped for the morning, water everywhere, that was to become a common theme. Alarm woke me at 4 am and porridge and coffee followed soon after it was still raining and was windy and this made me change the bikes rear wheel from the borrowed zipp 808 to my more familiar Mavic cosmic. I was in transition by 5.30 and walked my entry and exit routes and visually marked my racking position. Final prep done and kit laid out inside a water proof bag, it was still raining the first wave went off at 6.30 and I and my fellow 6.40 wave starters, Mark Sigley and Rob Smith ( Tri Harder ) were called to the water, after a little swim about the countdown started and then the Claxton and we were off. I think the smaller waves instead of a mass start are easier but the first couple of minutes are still chaos, being a larger individual helps me a bit and I fought my way into space and latched onto the draft of 3 swimmers in front and while they battled amongst themselves I progressed nicely behind until they two of them tired and I moved passed them and into more space the rest of the swim went great considering it was my first open water swim this year and I was pleased to be out after 33 mins, when I got to the bike I was really light headed and almost fell over as I bent down to get my wetsuit off so I sat and continued to remove it, club socks on, shoes, helmet, race number belt and a gillet and I was off on the bike, it was still raining. No real issues on the bike except the weather which made some of the corners a little more interesting, I know I can go faster but am happy with a 2.45. On entry to T2 I saw Club mate Ronnie Evans just in front of me and after another slow transition, change of socks and calf guards were put on with hands that just would not function I was of and running. It was great to hear support from Esmerelda Biggins and Katy Sigley as I ran out and started the first loop. I made it to feed station 3 before I needed a toilet stop, full bladder emptied and a deposit left I was back out and running again and feeling a lot better, I could now see Ronnie in front of me as he was wearing a red hat and I used him as marker for most of the rest of the run it would pass him just before every other feed station and as it walked through he would run past and the cycle would begin again. 1.56 for the run and considering that’s only my second half marathon I was really pleased. 5.18.50 total for my first half and room for plenty of improvement, 5 hours is a reasonable target, look out Vitruvian I am coming for you. Well done to all the club members who took part it was great to see the dogs racing.




Shep OLH 2

Shep OLH

Shep OLH3

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