Resolve was needed in spades for the 25th edition of the Winter BallBuster, with chilly wind and hammering rain battering duathletes on Box Hill in Surrey last Saturday.
Athletes struck up a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ on the start line to mark the occasion, with 220’s Matt Baird arriving just in time after meeting heavy traffic on his way there. Other athletes lining up included Mark Kleanthous, who took part in the first ever edition. Racers set off at a steady clip in calm but cold conditions for the first run – a 12km loop of Box Hill.
Andy Greenleaf led the way into transition after finishing the first run in 43mins, giving himself a lead of almost 2mins over nearest rivals Andrius Jaksevicius and Dan Gaffney. The heavens then opened for the 38km bike, a three-lap loop of the run course.
Greenleaf was overtaken on the bike by Chris Witcombe as they headed into transition again, but managed to wrest back the lead after posting a faster time for the second 12km run, finishing in 2:37:38. Jaksevicius came second with Anthony Webb claiming third place.
The women’s race proved to be equally dramatic with Lucie Custance giving herself a 5min gap over nearest chaser Frankie Snare going into T1. She increased the gap to nearly 10mins during the bike, and returned to transition still in the lead with Anna Sykes-Brown of Optima Racing Team chasing for second.
Custance was around 2mins slower for her second run leg – still fast enough to claim the win in 3:03:49, with Sykes-Brown and Nici Cahusac coming second and third respectively.
Next up for Human Race is WildMan on 22nd November, the first of the 2014/15 Off-Road Series events. Following this is IceMan on 7th February and MudMan on 7th March.
(All images – Matt Alexander)
Did you race the BallBuster last Saturday? Let us know in the comments below!