Outlaw Woburn or Grafman

I was looking at the new Outlaw Woburn or Grafman in June.
The Outlaw Woburn looks good, does anyone know the Woburn area or done the previous Woburn half?
Any thoughts on this course?

Same with Grafman, Ive not done this one either, any info or thoughts on it?

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I live about 5 mins from Woburn. Cycle round there all the time. Let me have a look at the course and ill let you know my thoughts.

There have been events there is the past. One of the lakes is quite muddy and cloudy but hoepfully they will use the other one.

I’ve done 3 Grafman’s and some Outlaw events.

Definitely a bigger event feel for the Outlaw events, if that’s your bag, don;t know how pricing compares. Outlaw events are really a weekend thing, rack day before etc whereas Grafman is a mid sized event but very much turn up on race day and rack.

Grafman is a nice event, reservoir swim in nice clean water, bike is flat/gently rolling and road surfaces reasonable so pretty quick and the run is a double out and back from transition - one out and back is flat and along reservoir wall - very exposed, the other more rolling, a bit of trail and more sheltered from sun and wind (you do each out and back twice).

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Thanks a lot.
Re the swim, they’re using 2 lakes. Start in the 1st then get out and run to the 2nd lake.
Let me know once you’ve had a look at the course
Appreciate it

Ok, I’ve had a look. On race check previous events they were complaining that the lake was very weedy, not muddy. Thats a fairly solvable problem and Outlaw have a good rep so that might not be a problem.

On to the bike course. What I think of the course can change depending on whether they are closing roads and having traffic measures. No mention of that so I am going to take it from a worse case position that they wont.

So you exit via the private road past Paris house (poncey overpriced restaurant who used to have a Michellin start but lost it, still charge the same), but then you have a right hand turn on to the main road out from Woburn. I dont like this road. Its NSL, narrow and fairly busy, I think of it as the pain in the arse I have to get past to get to the nice quiet roads. The Paris house turning is bottom of a slope round a corner so getting across this road could be hard without calming measures or closures. Although it would be early morning so less of an issue.

You then get into Woburn High street, it should be quiet at that time of the morning, turn left on to a reasonable road. Then it turns on the A5. This is a horrible road to be on a bike. I ended up on it once by mistake and couldnt wait to get off it. Now it might be quiet at that time of the morning, and there is a nice little dip to get some speed, but as you approach Hockliffe you come bombing down a hill and then have to brake sharp for traffic lights. Road surface is spot on though.

The next little while for the bulk of the course you are out into the quiet roads connecting the various villages of Bedfordshire. These are the roads I ride on. They are good, road surface on the whole is decent, they are narrow-ish, but not overly busy. Some nice villages to cruise through and some decent views of the countryside.

There is a small interlude on to the A6, thats not a bad road, but is busier than the others. You are only on it for a short while but then there is a right hand turn off it.

Short sharp climb out of Milbrook, nothing too bad though, they havent included the Lillington climb which is a bit of a leg burner.

Then onto the A507, again not a fan of that road and one I have to use rather than want to. Its busy, fast and narrow. If there is a wind you’ll really feel it there. There is then a drag strip road which is great for getting up some serious flat speed, its wide and not massively busy so cars can pass easily. When I cycle down there I put it in the big ring and smash it, nice road surface can really motor. Is exposed to the wind though.

You then follow the wall of the abbey back towards Woburn. That road surface is a little crappy. It shakes the bike a little (it may have been resurfaced though, been a while).

Up Woburn high street then back out towards Paris house. There is a crossroads at the top of the High Street. Hopefully closures or at least a decent marshal point there.

On the whole, its not a bad course, a couple of questionable bits but they could be improved with closures or traffic calming and they are relatively short sections. Plus being early morning traffic shouldnt be too bad. In the past they turned left out of the Paris house turning and they had bollards creating a filter lane so the bikes could come straight out. Wont be able to do that on this course.

I would say its definitely a TT bike course, no big climbs at all, just the usual lumps and bumps

Im not 100% certain on this but I think they have managed to avoid the the cattle grids around the deer park. They are horrific. Wide flat ones. I used to chicken out and use the gate.

Run course is round the grounds, mix of path and rough terrain, few lumps and bumps. Cant really picture what they are like as I’ve never bothered to visit the actual Abbey.

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It was talked about on a recent Oxygen Addict podcast, they has the Outlaw organiser on and he talked about the course. I remember the 2 lake swim bit, but not much else. Think it was classed as challenging rather than fast.

There is always the TT smackdown in July:


I used to live in Woburn. It’s a lovely park and a nice village.

The lake is muddy and shallow. I guess the run will be around the park which should be fab - when i did speed work in the park, the deer used to run alongside…

@GRamsay has described the bike course. Tight roads and often busy. Some poor surfaces. Undulating but not hilly.

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I’ve done the Grafman, twice I think and enjoyed it. As above a nice friendly race, but the bike course was a bit busy.

Haven’t done any Outlaw events though.

Thanks for the detailed review of the bike course. Really helpful.
The lake sounds grim. Holkham was similar with loads of mud and weeds.
Cheers guys

Anyone else entered or entering ?