Having won the Naunton Nearly 19 off road run in January, the Sandwell Closer To The Edge Duathlon was a chance to test my resilience to mud on the bike, as well as on foot. The format was 4km run/20km bike/6km run. It was an interesting course featuring some fast, technical sections but also a lot of deep mud which has turned my Worcester Tri suit a nice shade of grey despite half a box of Daz. The marshalling and signage had a little to be desired for, and after a strong first run and bike leg in which I was extending my lead, I was surprised to enter the 6km run staring at the backsides of several other competitors. Battling back to 2nd place I crossed the finish line a little perturbed. It soon became clear that other competitors had been sent the wrong way and finished the bike course prematurely. I’m just glad I wasn’t sorting out the results because though I was made the clear winner the rest of the field had to fight out their positions based on which way they thought that they had gone. The lesson to organisers is to ensure that signage and marshalling is explicitly clear as even the most prepared competitor can lose their way when fatigue and adrenaline take over. Otherwise a very successful day and it was nice to hear some shouts for WTC around the course.