1. Rempstone Roast MTB Duathlon Series
2013: 3 November, 1 December 2013; 2014: 16 February
A three-race series based in the beautiful Purbecks, making use of the numerous bridleways and forest tracks.
2. Evil Sheriff Off-Road Duathlon
9 November, 2013
Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire
A great family day out with loads of other activities going on; an ideal course to cut your off-road multisport teeth on.
3. Whinlatter Duathlon
10 November, 2013
Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria
An adrenaline-fuelled race on a course that favours strong hill runners and technically skilled mountain bikers.
4. Human Race Off-Road Race Series
2013: 16 November, 7 December; 2014: 25 January, 22 February
Various locations in SE England
A long-established and highly competitive off-road duathlon series.
5. HellRider Adventure Duathlon
Early Summer, 2014
Hambleden Estate, Fawley
Eight hours of alternating trail running and mountain biking laps. Enter as a team of five, three or, if you’re a long-course nut, go solo.
Sound good? Here's the bike kit you'll need…
A hardtail mountain bike is a great off-road all-rounder, so don’t think you have to have the latest long-travel, full-suspension bike to ride technical trails.
If you think you’ll mainly be sticking to tamer trails, a cyclocross bike is the perfect choice. You’ll be amazed what you can do on it, and, with road tyres, it’ll make a brilliant commuter or winter trainer.
Most of your road riding clothing will be fine on the trails, but you’ll need MTB-specific shoes with recessed cleats and grip for inevitable hike’n’bike moments. A rucksack with a water bladder is also a better option in the mud than frame-mounted bottles.
… and the run kit
The most important piece of kit is a proper pair of off-road shoes. Trail shoes offer a decent compromise on non-technical terrain or if you’ve got sections of road to deal with.
But if you’re really planning to get off the beaten track, go for some aggressively studded fell shoes. Don’t worry about the relative lack of cushioning or support – this keeps your foot low to the ground and stable. Also, because every foot strike is different, biomechanical problems aren’t such an issue.
If you’re heading into the hills, be sure to carry a proper waterproof, a mobile phone and a whistle. You’ll also need a map and compass – and know how to use them.