Off-Road Series winners crowned after a suitably muddy MudMan
Saturday 5th March saw hundreds of hardy trail runners and duathletes flock to Camberley for the final event of the Winter Off-Road Series. MudMan is a notoriously tough course, with relentless hills and the famous water trap, making for a fitting final test.
Going into the series finale, the men’s duathlon leaderboard promised for an exciting race, with only a few points separating the top three athletes. We were also looking forward to seeing another dominant performance from Charlie Elliott and Alice Hector, who had won both of the trail run events so far.
MudMan offers a 10km or 15km trail run alongside the duathlon, which consists of a 7.5km run, a 15km cycle, then a final 7.5km Run. Taking place on military training ground, the terrain is stony and muddy in equal measure, and the competition is always fierce.
Kicking off the day was the 10km run at 9:00, after a quick reminder to keep an eye out for rubber ducks – yes, ducks – along the course, as collecting one would mean a reward at the finish. A couple of minutes later, the start line got very noisy as our community of Canicross runners lined up for their start. The Off-Road Series welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes to run alongside their owners, and this year’s MudMan was no different. A special shout-out goes to Tom Quirke and Wanda, who came out top in the 10km.
Next to go at 9:15 was the 15km run, with Charlie Elliott heading up the field, ready to defend his position at the top of the trail run leaderboard. The duathletes then began to fill up transition, preparing for their kick-off at 10:15.
Maria Kowal was the first runner across the line in 48:40, taking the win for the ladies and beating the fastest male 10km runner of the day! Sophie Biggs came 2nd in 54:31 and Cathy Strickland came across the line in 3rd (56:49). Martin Hollywood was the first man, in 49:15. Jacob Batchelor (50:18) and James Dark (54:05) made up the podium.
Charlie Elliott tied up his overall series victory by once more dominating the 15km trail run, crossing the line in a storming 1:03:06. Alex Juggins came second in 1:05:52, then Jonathan Dunkley scooped up some more valuable series points by taking third position (1:07:42). Nicholas Brown’s 5th position meant that the final leaderboard shows him and Jonathan tied for second place overall.
Alice Hector mirrored Charlie’s dominance by taking her third victory in a row, crossing the line in 1:15:40 and securing her overall series victory. Jennifer Millett came second in 1:20:18 and Mina Gts completed the podium in 1:29:11. Katy Toms secured enough points to get herself up to third in the overall leaderboard behind Jennifer in second.
There was early drama in the men’s duathlon race, with Rick Fetherston having to withdraw due to illness, leaving Ross Smith and Pete Wilby to fight it out for the overall series victory. Whoever crossed the line first would take the overall win, so it was all to play for. Harry Smith of East Sussex Tri Club came across the line first in 1:52:57 having blown everyone else away with two extremely quick runs. Everyone was craning their necks to see who would come round the final bend next – who would it be? Ross Smith stormed across the finish line in 1:54:55, securing his overall series victory ahead of Pete Wilby (1:57:39) in third. Alex Warner got himself up into third on the overall leaderboard with a strong performance, finishing in 9th position (2:03:56).
The women’s duathlon series had so far been dominated by Jackie Field, who unfortunately couldn’t race at MudMan. On the first run, Rachel Clay and Melanie Eyre were neck-and-neck, but Rachel produced a stunning bike leg to then give herself a comfortable lead going into the final run. She took the win and the overall series victory in 2:25:44, followed by Melanie in 2:29:06 and Louise Goddard in 2:40:55, whose strong third place performance secured her 2nd place overall on the series leaderboard.
All finishers were given a technical t-shirt to show off their achievement. Also up for grabs were SiS WHEY20 sachets and GO energy bars, with GO electrolyte drinks available at the drinks station.
The next event for Human Race is one of our favourites – the Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run on 3 April. Perfect for anyone training for a marathon, the event offers 20.1, 16.2 and 8.1 mile options, with one of the best goody bags around waiting for you at the finish line.
Find out more and enter at www.humanrace.co.uk.