Race Tips: Clumber Park Duathlon
New on the scene in 2013, the Clumber Park Off-Road Duathlon is now in its 4th year and attracts competitors for an exhilarating combination of woodland biking and trail running. The 3,800-acre National Trust Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire is the setting, a beautiful parkland with vast areas of woodland.
The course’s two runs take in internal roads and trails, with the occasional hill thrown in to test the legs. The 16km bike features narrow technical woodland trails that occasionally open out into straights where you can pass the opposition.
If you fancy repeating the experience, Clumber forms the first round of the Midlands Off-Road Series, with two further events in November, the Evil Sheriff Duathlon and the Nottingham Off-Road Duathlon.
For a good all-round test of fitness and an early winter workout, Clumber should appeal. Darren Sharpe of RAF Triathlon, first in the 2013 men’s race in a time of 1:13:41, and series winner for the 30-39 age group, gives us his tips for some fun in the forest…
“The weather can be unpredictable in late October,” says Darren, “so bring plenty of clothing options – long-sleeved tops/arm-warmers, base layers and full-finger gloves. If it’s very cold, your glasses can steam up easily as the air isn’t moving as quickly in the tree sections of the course.
“Try to avoid mountain bike shoes with buckles as they’ll slow you down in transition. A hardtail mountain bike with front suspension is the ideal set-up for this course and it’s 29er-friendly as there aren’t too many technical sections.”
The first run