Saturday 25th January. 1 Van. 1 bike, Lucinda, some trainers, some lycra and a forest in Frimley, Surrey.
This was the setting for the Iceman Offroad Duathlon, race 3 out of 4, part of the Human Race Duathlon and Trail run winter series. Now it's probably worth pointing out this wasn't my idea. Lucinda seemed to think this would be a fun thing to do in a relay. A 10k run. 18k bike. 5k run. I obviously wasn't going to be doing the run, that was Lucinda's job, so I was on the mountain bike.
We arrived with plenty of time to spare, ready for the 10:20am start, register, coffee and a quick walk around the arena to familiarise ourselves with the transition area and formulate a plan for handover.
The route snaked around the army training ground in Frimley, the route mainly consisted of wooded trails and very steep muddy hills, certainly was going to be quite a testing course!
First off was the 10k run, there were around 270 entries into the Duathlon, so a large field, most were doing the whole thing on their own. Conditions were perfect, not raining, sunny and not too cold. There had however been a fair bit of rain so It was guaranteed to be muddy. All good fun then.
Lucinda went off to complete two laps of the 5k circuit, so I went to the transition area, sorted my bike out and made sure I was ready for a quick transition. 31 minutes in and Lu went past so was on target for a quick 10k time! 1:04 for the 10k. Brilliant time. Transition went well, swapped the electronic tag and I was off. I hadn't ridden the circuit before so didn't really know what the expect... Straight out the car park across concrete and you were onto fireroads, lots of standing water, mud and ruts. This was going to be fun! The route was mainly on wide fireroad tracks, with some steep, sharp climbs to really get the legs burning! I felt very good for the first couple of miles and covered the first lap (3.4 miles) in around 16 minutes, slightly quicker than I was expecting. Second of the three laps and the course was getting quite busy, and to add to that my bike was now not really working that well. That is to say the rear brake was shot, the gears were not really working and I was getting some annoying chain suck! None of these were ideal, but I just decided to push on as I felt good, and only had one more lap to go. Came into the transition area after three laps and Lu was there for the final 5k. Final time for the bike was 53:05, that was fun and I was pleased with the effort, if not with the bike. Now was the hard bit (well not for me) after waiting around for 53 minutes Lu had to go out and run another 5k! 31 minutes later and she crossed the line after a sprint finish, awesome!
1st Mixed Relay
2nd Relay overall
Well think it was safe so say we were both very pleased with the results, had a great time and the event was run very well. I was also pleased to see I was the fastest bike of the day. This is good to see benefits are paying off, and certainly made me want to race the mountain bike even more! Now I just need to get around to cleaning my bike...
Anyway, some pictures: