Hundreds of competitors and one ice cream take on the Iceman trail run and duathlon 2014
The Army Training Grounds in Frimley, Surrey, was packed with athletes, bikes and dogs early on Saturday morning for IceMan; the third event in the Human Race Off-Road Trail Running and Duathlon Series.
Over 800 competitors gathered in the village before 9am ready to take part in one of three races: an 11k or 16k trail run or an off-road duathlon. The duathlon comprised an 11k run followed by 18k bike course and 5k run to finish. As ever with the Human Race Off-Road Series, among the many two-legged competitors were a number of the four-legged variety ready to “pull” their owners around the course in the “dogs” category.
Supporters from Rainbow Trust, the official charity of the series, joined friends and family of the competitors to cheer on the 11k trail runners who set off at 9.30am, joined by a rather odd looking athlete in the guise of a cherry-topped ice cream. Anyone who was able to beat the ice cream across the finish line was rewarded with a prize, so well done to all who managed that as rumour has it the ice cream has Rio 2016 in its sights! One competitor who achieved this feat was Martin Threakall, who was the clear winner in the men’s field crossing the line in 49:31, over two minutes ahead of his closest rival David Herron.
The second athlete to finish, and winner of the women’s 11k race was Sophie Coleman (54:41). Sophie spent the morning fuelling her competitors from her position working in the Oat Hut van in the event village. After a quick change she headed to the start line to take part and was back working within 10 minutes of finishing – perhaps porridge is the secret to achieving trail running success. Sophie Horsburgh (55:33) and Heike Godwin (56:11) finished in second and third respectively.
Also amongst the 11k runners was Human Race’s very own Flo Morgan-Wood, who was running in her first ever Trail Running event. Well done to Flo who completed the course in 1:15:26.
The second race of the day was the 16k Trail Run, with the results over this distance counting towards the overall Off-Road Series Leader board. Dan Falconar went into the race having won both events in the series so far. With scores from the best three of four events counting towards the Championship, victory today would seal the prizes and prize money for the athlete from the ONE Triathlon club. Falconar didn’t disappoint, romping home in a mightily impressive 1:05:35 ahead of Ewan Taylor (1:07:40) and Simon Reeves (1:08:03). Well done to Dan – our first Championship winner of the season.
Claire Rogers went into IceMan at the top of the leaderboard after consistent second place finishes at WildMan and MudMan and was this time able to claim the first place finish (1:14:33), making her a strong favourite for victory in overall Women’s Trail Run Championship. Coming in second was Gemma Farrell (1:18:01) and Rachel Palin took third in a time of 1:19:24.
Runners with dogs were set off behind the Trail Run athletes. Paul Chandler and his furry companion were the fastest over the 11k distance and Tim Fraser-Hook with his dog in the 16k event.
Finally the duathletes got under way at 10.30am, darting across the start line to take on the notoriously gruelling course. Going into this event, three athletes – Alex Dewar, Rick Fetherston and Roger Fowkes – were separated by just one point. But it was a new face, Ross Macdonald (1:5748) who was first home, followed by Fowkes (2:00:19) and then Dewar (2:03:05) , meaning it’s still all to play for in the next event of the series, TrailMan.
Series Leader in the women’s Duathlon Championship, Samantha Aplin (2:26:23) was beaten into fourth place by series rival Alena Stevens (2:26:25). The winner in the women’s duathlon event was Fay Cripps in a stunning time of 2:14:26, followed by second place competitor Rebecca Hoare (2:23:52).
The competitors were pleased to be fuelled around the challenging course with energy products from PowerBar and all finishers received hydration from Vita Coco after crossing the finish line.
On 22 February the Human Race Off-Road Trail Run and Duathlon series will head to Eridge Park in Sussex for its finale, TrailMan, where athletes will compete in either an 6k or 13k run, or an off-road duathlon made up of a tough 6k run, 20k bike and further 6k run.
For full event results or for more information on the next series event, TrailMan, visit www.humanrace.co.uk/off-road