Mud Runner Icebreaker Duathlon


630 entrants held their breath last Friday lunchtime, awaiting the decision – would the race fall foul of the weather because the threatened gales? As it was, the day itself was relatively mild, sunny spells interspersed with stiff breezes & a little rain. 558 competitors crossed the finish line, the fastest in 02:24:47, the slowest in 06:12:34. To get there, each one had run 10k up & down hill, through mud & slurry and waded 60 yards downstream with the water up to waist level. This had been followed by a 20K, mainly off-road mountain bike ride, more mud, slurry above the pedals, lots of hills. Then came “a cheeky little 3K run” which included wading through a waist-deep swamp, crossing a chest-high stream & the same 60 yards in the river again before the finish. I crossed the line exhausted but exhilarated.
Two days earlier I had been limping, pain in the right knee at the ACL insertion & sore right sacroiliac joint. Some self-treatment & targeted nutritional support appropriate for my Metabolic Type put me right & on the day I was absolutely fine. I had won my age category in my last 6 Mud Runner events – could I make it 7 out of 7? Sadly, a puncture halfway through the bike ride deflated that dream. Change the tube with cold, wet, muddy fingers, wheel back on, but the disc brake is jamming. Rear wheel off again, try to lever the hydraulics via the disc pads but the screwdriver I’m carrying is too small. Off comes the wheel again, remove the disc pads so I have no back brake, wheel back on yet again. The little pump I’m carrying is great for portability, but pretty poor at inflating the tyre, so in the end I rode on with a half- inflated tyre. I finished 137th in 03:31:40, 20 min & 67 places behind the 60+ winner. The mud caked the timing mats in the transition area, so for many people not all splits were available, but I do know I ran the first 10k in 01:01:53, which was more than satisfactory & over 5 min faster than my main rival. I had a storming run in the third phase, passing more than 30 people, so it was definitely the bike phase & the puncture that let me down.
On the way home a text message tells me my finishing time. Knowing I can do this (& also the Mortimer Forest race in December) gives me the confidence to consider longer runs like the Ron Skilton half marathon in October, things I haven’t done for over 30 years.
Dozing on the sofa after a hot bath, my wife suggests I don’t fall asleep in case I have trouble dropping off at bedtime. Somehow I don’t think that will be a problem…………….

Comment on this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.