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Action from TrailMan

Race report from this weekend's TrailMan

Perfect racing conditions greeted the near 500 athletes who converged on Eridge Park near Royal Tunbridge Wells for TrailMan, the fifth and final race in the 2011/12 Off Road Race Series organised by Human Race.

A brand new event for this year, TrailMan featured an off road duathlon and trail runs of two distances with all three events taking competitors on a tour through the stunning scenery and surprisingly brutal hills of England’s largest deer park.

At the front end of the duathlon competition was always likely to be fierce with Richard Stannard keen to seal the overall win in the series points championship and Xterra pro Sam Gardner making his first appearance in his build up for the international season. Kate Robson was looking to make it five from five in the women’s race having taken the wins at every race in the series so far.

From the gun it was Colin Dixon who set the pace along with Gardner on the 6k run, coming into transition in just under twenty four minutes with a healthy lead of around a minute over Richard Stannard and Philip Westoby. Out on the very muddy bike leg Stannard set about reeling them in with Gardner’s choice of tyres eventually leading him to admit defeat to the terrain and retire from the race.

Stannard’s 1hr 6min time for the 20km bike was more than enough to give him an unassailable lead for the second go at the run lap and he duly held on for the win in 2:01:54 despite twice losing a shoe to the muddy conditions. Colin Dixon used another scorching run leg to seal second place in 2:02:53 with Paul Davies putting together a consistent race to take third in 2:04:26.

In the women’s race Fay Cripps used a brand new bike and some excellent form to set a phenomenal bike time of 1:12:49, which Kate Robson was unable to pull back on the run despite a valiant effort. Cripps took the win and ninth position overall in 2:15:49.

Behind Cripps and Robson the ever consistent Farah Arizar clinched another podium spot in 2:42:50 while in the Relay competition Team Hanson continued their total domination of the series with another win in 2:28:07.

Entries for the 2012/13 Off Road Race Series will open soon at www.humanrace.co.uk.

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.