The second of the ASICS Off Road Race Series take place at the MOD training ground at Camberley, Surrey at the weekend.
The event should have been renamed SnowMan due to the adverse weather conditions, but that didn’t stop over 350 athletes turn out to race the duathlon or 10km trail run.
The snow still lay thick on the ground between the pine trees as Heartbreak Ridge went from packed ice to slush, making the terrain tricky to predict for the racers.
Following an impressive line up of GB athletes at the WildMan event the field were joined by off road experts Jim McConnel and Colin Dixon, both out to ruin Jez Cox’s hopes of winning all four races in the series.
The 10k trail runners were first to set off, followed by another big turnout of canine runners. Winner of the WildMan 10k David Hellard came in first again in 43.58, setting himself up as the man to be beaten this series. Ross Muir came in just behind in 44.43 with Darren Bird in 44.45.
The top female finishers were Madeline Clements (51:27), Kate Robson (52:10) and Fiona Strouts (53:24).
The duathlon saw a hard fought first leg, as they went out on the bike Jez Cox was forced to retire leaving the rest of the field to battle against not just themselves but also the snow and ice that made the bike leg one of the hardest yet.
Jim McConnel came in overall winner in a time of 2:01:37 followed closely by Colin Dixon in 2:02:43 and Paul Davies in 2:03:01.
Jim was pleased with his performance saying “Today went really well for me and I’m really happy to have come out and done the performance that I did. This is my winter training for the 2011 triathlon season.”
Jim continued by saying “Jez Cox and I both live around the corner from each other, I am keen to push him in the next two races”.
Jez Cox said of his forced retirement “I obviously was leading the series going into the race and my aim today was to try and win because I want to win the series and wanted to win all 4 races if I could. Coming off the first run I was in second plane to Colin and unfortunately heading out on the bike I had a mechanical as my chain kept slipping off and had to retire.”
The female field were hot on the heels of the men with Freya Bloor finishing in 2:18:17, Fay Cripps in 2:26:30 and Gilly Banks in 2:39:10.
Freya Bloor, who usually competes in triathlon said “this was winter training for me, it was really good fun, so hard but good.”
The next race in the ASICS Off Road Race Series is IceMan on 22nd January 2011 in Frimley, Surrey. Places are still available, log on to www.humanrace.co.uk for more information and to register.