A tough 16km trail run alongside a duathlon and canicross (running with a dog!) held at the Army Training Grounds in Frimley, Surrey. It’s the third of four off-road events in the Human Race Off Road series.
Where: Surrey, southern England
When: January (reviewed in 2014)
Size: Over 800 people participated in this event.
- There are no lockers, so best not to leave any valuables there.
- Prepare in advance by doing hill training intervals on a treadmill or outside of possible.
- Try not to set any strict time expectations as the hills can take a lot off your best race times
- Bring trail running trainers and running kit which you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, and bring a change of dry clothes and trainers for after the race.
- Don’t underestimate the hills, as they can be very mean!
Official race video:
Race Report – 16km Trial run
What’s the organisation and set up like?
You sign up to the race on the Human Race Events website. You pay for the event by card online and you then receive an e-mail with the confirmation and regular e-mail updates with regards to the event in the run up to the race.
When you turn up on the day, you need go to the registration tent. Upon showing of your ID, you are given an envelope which contains your race number and 4 safety pins and your timing chip, which you need to attach to your left ankle. The registration doesn’t take very long but participants are advised to arrive 1 hour prior to race starting time.
There are different races taking place as part of the event, which is 11km or 16km trail running, dog trail running and duathlon. Participants of each race start at different times. The year of this review, the 11km trail run started at 9:30am, the 16km trail run started at 9:40am, and duathlon starting at 10:20.
On the day there is plenty of car parking space and toilets on site.
There was also a small bag drop area but no lockers, so best not to leave any valuables there.
Duathletes could rent a fully serviced bike for the event on site, so if you don’t own your own bike you can still participate in the race.
What’s the course like?
The race course is set in the army training ground in Frimley. The majority of the race goes along forest pathways, with many undulations along its way.
The course consists of 3 loops of approximately equal length. The second and third loop are along the same track through forest and heath with steeper hills than the first loop.
The 11k contestants are required to complete the first and the second loop, and the 16k participants are required to complete all three loops. The second and third loop also has a long straight section which allows you to “rest” after the hard hills and catch up on the time lost while climbing up the hills.
The course is very muddy and impossible to complete with dry feet. The mud can also get slippery at times, and a number of obstacles in form of fallen trees and puddles are common.
Some sections of the course were very narrow making overtaking a difficult task. The course keeps you on your toes for most of the time and requires full concentration from the runners.
How difficult is Ice Man?
This reviewer considered the race difficulty as 7/10. This is because of the steep hills, with both climbing and running downhill having its own challenges plus the mud, puddles, fallen trees, uneven paths and difficulty overtaking.
What’s the atmosphere like?
What is there to do Apres-Race?
My Race Diary
Race number:1st time trial runner
Time: 1hr 36 (16km trial)
My time was 1:36:06, which gave me 166th place out of 270 people who finished the race, and 29th out of 76 female runners who finished the race.
This equated to an average pace of 6:00min/km, which is well over 1min slower than my usual road running pace, which is quite telling!
I was expecting a difficult race and hence had no expectations with regards to the time, as it was my first time and I didn’t know how many and how steep the hills would be, I just went there to do my best and enjoy the run and the lovely scenery.
You can find Zuzanna on twitter
For more muddy trail runs with added obstacles see: