Near-perfect racing conditions greeted the 200 runners and duathletes lining up for the Merrell ICEMan Duathlon in Frimley, Hampshire, at the weekend.
In the initial 12km off-road run, David Chapman (Tri Talk) and Gary Blesson (Total Racing Inc/Sigma Sport) had a real ‘ding dong’, swapping places many times before Chapman finally took the win in 46:27 with Blesson only one second behind in a sprint finish. Darren Bird was third in 52:21.
In the women’s race, Clare Mullenger (Wimbledon Windmilers) took the win comfortably in 52:48 and an excellent eighth place overall, with Clare Weldon in second in 53:04 and Bryony Britten taking third in 54:52.
The Merrell ICEMan Duathlon was a 10km run, 15km mountain bike ride and final 5km run on a challenging track across an Army training ground. Organisers Human Race had promised pain, hills and fun, and athletes weren’t disappointed.
Colin Dixon led from start to finish, and was once again the winner with a time of 1:33:42. Jim McConnel (XTerra Pro) was only seconds behind, having been breathing down his neck the entire race, and took second in 1:33:58. Sylvain Garde (Addiscombe CC) was third in 1:39:22 in his first duathlon, so he’ll be one to watch in future.
In the women’s race, Maddie Horton racing as Team Certini again led from start to finish and never looked in any danger, taking the win and ninth place overall in 1:46:05. Second over the line was Aileen Anderson (Mudman Winner from November) in 1:54:08 and third was Nikki Barron (Ashford Tri) in 2:02:49.
XTerra Pro Jim McConnel said: "These races are great sharpeners for the season ahead. You really find out how your fitness is and what you need to work on."
Paul Davies, who came eighth overall, said: "It was my first race back after injury, so I was pretty pleased. I had a lot of fun on the bike, the course was great, you could really get stuck in. I’ll definitely be back for more."
Full results are on www.humanrace.co.uk. The next event in the series is the Merrell MudMan duathlon and run on Saturday 7 March near Guildford,