Tobias Mews
Tobias Mews | The Ballbuster Duathlon: Telegraph Men
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The Ballbuster Duathlon: Telegraph Men

The Ballbuster Duathlon: Telegraph Men

Why the Ballbuster Duathlon lives up to its name

Published in Telegraph Men 20 March 2014

Déjà vu is not something you want to experience when competing in endurance races. The main sensation you tend to feel during these events is the pain and discomfort of pushing your body to its limits. A creeping sense of déjà vu probably means you’re creaking, cramping, or worse.

For me, last month, déjà vu also meant I hadn’t learnt my lesson. I was taking part in the Spring edition of the infamous Ballbuster Duathlon for the third time… and I couldn’t feel my feet. Again.

The Ballbuster Duathlon is a manhood-challenging race that takes place twice a year (once in Winter, once in Spring) on and around Surrey’s Box Hill. It involves five laps of an eight mile course; two are done on foot, the other three on a bike. That kind of distance would be a test at the best of times, but the Ballbuster takes it to the extreme. Part of each lap runs along the ‘Zig Zag’ road that leads up Box Hill while reaching vertiginous gradients of 14.6pc. It doesn’t take a genius to see where event gets its name from.

Competing in this event is like a delicate game of chess. You have to think tactics. Hold back when your body is saying go forward. Push forward when you’re body is screaming for you to stop. It’s all about learning to pace yourself.

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Tobias Mews

Adventure Sports Journalist, Filmmaker and Athlete