The race was called The Iceman but, unless the Oxford New English Dictionary has changed it’s definition of “ice” to ” soft, sticky matter resulting from the mixing of earth and water”, there was no ice in sight. There was, however, plenty of mud. So, without the usually daunting prospect of having to avoid slipping on the ice, I guess you could say I was in no danger of getting cold feet… Everything kicked off about 9:30am with the dog runners, or, as they are known in the business, Canine Cross, then the 11k and 16k trail runners. The weather was unseasonably mild with sunshine popping out now and again which made conditions very pleasant to run in but very slippery underfoot.
The course was tough although it did have some beautiful parts where I felt I could run all day on. Through the trees the ground was soft and fast especially on the downhill parts—lots of fun! Sadly that ended quite quickly and the series of hills that were just ahead really challenged my mental fortitude. As I wasn’t at my fittest I was very happy to walk behind the plethora of people who were also just trying to survive the 90% gradient of the hills (again, the dictionary might consider readjusting it’s definition of “hill” to “a steep or rugged cliff or rock face”…)
Finishing in a quicker time then I ran last year, go figure, I was very happy to pass the baton off to my team mate Simon on his Rose Bikes MTB. He had the exciting part of an 18k MTB ride in the mud, but being a true mountain biker I am sure it wouldn’t have even phased him. Leigh-Anne had the glory leg of our Dream Team, she was left with the last 5k run and lucky her, she only had to run that devilish loop once. We finished in second place a mere 30 seconds behind the team ahead of us—I guess you could say it was the “icing” on the cake for us…
For anyone thinking of competing in Humanrace’s OffRoad Duathlon Series I can not recommend them enough. These races are fun and friendly but tough enough that when you finish you have a real sense of achievement. It is a fantastic morning out for anyone who enjoys a running, cycling or just getting dirty!