The Merrell MudMan mountain bike duathlon took place at an army testing ground in Guildford, Surrey, UK on March 7-8 with over 160 athletes taking part.
The first leg of the duathlon was a 7.5km run, followed by a 15km mountain bike ride, then another loop of the 7.5km course for the final run.
In the men’s race Sam Gardner took the win ahead of Eliot Challifour and Paul Davies. Aileen Anderson won the ladies event, beating Fay Cripps and Becky Crisp who were second and third.
After the first run, Sam Gardner and Eliot Challifour (Vo2) came into the first transition neck and neck in 30:58 and 31:04 respectively. Gardner, however, used his bike skills to create an insurmountable lead, completing the 15km bike course in 39:13.
The second run was a formality with Gardner taking the overall victory in 1:43:07. Challifour had been pushed on the bike by the improving form of Paul Davies, but re-claimed his lead on the final run to take second in 1:49:59 with Davies third over the line in 1:52:47. 18 year-old Bradley Hales finished fourth, showing strong future potential.
After his win, Gardner who is about to start a world tour on the XTerra off-road triathlon circuit said: “Doing a race like this is perfect preparation. You would never work as hard in training, and it’s brilliant to push yourself on a challenging course.”
Women’s winner Aileen Anderson said: “I love hills. This course suits me down to the ground!”
For full results see www.humanrace.co.uk