It's warm for this time of year so the IceMan didn't live up to its name. It has, however, rained a great deal lately (you might have noticed) so there was lots of water and plenty of mud.
Having recently returned to running from injury, a trail run seemed a more forgiving way to start, and a forest in Surrey a more picturesque location to get back into shape. The IceMan, part of the Human Race off-road series, offers an 11km, 16km trail run or a duathlon as well as a chance to bring your dog. It pleasantly distracting running alongside some very happy huskies and spaniels enjoying their morning out in the mud.
The setting is a former army training ground in Frimley, Surrey and has lots of hills and mud and plenty of eager participants. I opted for the 11km run, which offered plenty of chances to get really muddy and a few more hills than I bargained for. The first section takes you along the bike course with wide tracks and a few hills that turned out to be a good warmup to the second gruelling section. The track narrowed and the hills got steeper and more frequent – in fact we seemed to be either going up or down for several kilometres without a break. I had to resort to power-walking up a particularly steep stretch and was overtaken by several pooches who barely seemed to be at full stretch.
Although I ended up tired and covered in mud, it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning and get back up to form. I will be signing up for some more trail runs before the triathlon season starts again – any recommendations?