7km Run: 42min
15km Bike: 1h
7km Run: 43min

Thanks to Jon Heasman and Myburgh van Aswegen, I entered the 2015 Mudman. This being my first event that involved racing a mountain bike and with only a battered 8 year old Specialized Hardrock in the shed, getting a new MTB seemed a good idea, or should I say excuse. So with a brand new 29er I was off to the Mudman.

Set within the Army military grounds of Camberley in Surrey, this was going to be a challenge like no other.

The first 7km loop started off well until we hit the knee deep water trench soaking our shoes through, great way to start a 2h30m race and setting tone nicely for what was to follow. Relentless hills, up ridiculously steep gravel inclines to find a switchback and then descending to the next, 6 or 7 times I think. The terrain did ease a little towards the end but flat is not a word that can be used to describe any part of this course.

Into transition I was feeling good, just before starting the bike loop my friend Rob Sharp, (his first ever race of any kind) got to his bike next to me, quite surprised that he managed to do the run in just over 45min with no training whatsoever.

The bike loop started on the same course as the run, through the water trench and then some fast descents with short steep climbs. Mercifully the organisers only had us do one of the ridiculously steep hills rather than all of them, more pushing the bike than riding at that stage. The bike course was great fun, not a skilled rider by any means but I enjoyed the technical bits and getting stuck in the mud every now and again. 3 laps and 15km later I was back in transition.

The second run went well,the same course only one minute down compared to the first loop, a good sign that my legs are getting stronger ahead of the two oceans marathon in April.

2h32min in total, 12 minutes behind Myburgh and about 5 min behind Lizzy Doyle (third female on the day). Rob managed to finish about on hour later in high spirit.

This is what racing is all about, for me that is, a mere mortal not gunning for the podium. Racing with friends and having a great time doing it. Thanks for the support of those not racing on the day: My wife Alechia (helped with filming), Lee-Anne, and Matt Davy who I can thank for the still photos on the day.

As usual I had to make a film of the race…


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