As the name suggests, expect to get very muddy and messy at the third and final event in Human Race’s popular off-road series.
Taking place in March on Army military training ground, the Mudman duathlon, “won’t trouble your PB collection but is guaranteed to give you an adrenalin-fuelled ride,” claim the organisers.
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I always like to have a hearty meal the night before, something like a casserole or bangers and mash. I go for porridge with honey on race morning and try to arrive early to enjoy a coffee on site with a banana or energy bar about 1.5hrs before the start.
Dress in your race wear underneath your casuals, so there’s no chance of nudity at the race venue! Wear gloves for the whole race. I say this because when running your hands are warm but when cycling they’re not, and they’ll help when putting your run shoes on in T2. I’d also recommend using two pairs of off-road shoes – I use Inov8 RocLite and Talons. The first may get wet on the first run and slung anywhere in T1 when you swap to the bike shoes. If it’s really cold then put a gilet on in T2 for the bike. Stay hydrated by sipping on some hydration tabs until 30mins to go.
3 First run
The race always goes off fast but don’t be fooled, it funnels within a few hundred feet and soon enough you’re running single file. Create a bit of space between you and the person in front to help you plot where your foot falls. The Mudman’s first run is made up of steady climbs, and is quite open in places with a fast finish to T1. Aim to take nutrition on board when the ground is flat or else you might lose control. I take a bottle of water on my bike and energy bars or gels in my pockets for the whole race.
In T1 I always put my bike shoes on before running to the mount line, which actually doesn’t make my socks any more wet. I also carry any gels/bars in my jersey pocket so I don’t have to fumble with them in transition. Less faff = less likely to forget something. Keep it simple.
A two-lap course made up of a few, very short, steep hills, some sharp corners at the bottom and the rest steady. Take the steep downhills carefully unless you’ve ridden them before or are confident in your bike handling. It’s a great loop that can usually be improved on lap two. I’d usually run my tyres at about 28psi but I run tubeless on a 29er, so adjust yours accordingly.
6 Second run
This is a tough run! Within a few hundred meters of T2 you’re running up the firing range’s sandbanks, which are worse than any staircase! Shortly after that there’s a ‘water feature’ – if you fancy a challenge then run straight through it. It’s about knee deep. After this, keep your head up and look for the run signs, as the course twists and turns on the climbs followed by some fast descents. When you can see the car park, there’s still have about 750m to run, so dig deep and finish strong.
The Mudman race breakdown
Location: Camberley, Surrey
Distance: 7.5km run, 15km bike, 7.5km run
Highest elevation on the run: 470 feet
Highest elevation on the bike: 410 feet
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