Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons

Black Mountain Canberra

A genuine bush race in the heart of the national capital

A genuine bush race in the heart of the city
The only annual off-road duathlon event in the ACT
The only athletic event staged within the National Botanic Gardens
Long course for experienced athletes; short course for novices and those in a hurry
Race solo or in a relay team of 2 (one runner, one mountain biker)
Mid-morning start for the best of a mid-Winter's day
Well-marked, scenic courses through gardens and natural bushland
Friendly, supportive atmosphere
Post-event barbecue breakfast
Full results by category, published online same day

About the event

"Ride 'n Stride." Normally held in mid-Winter, the Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons for 2022 will be staged on SUNDAY 11 DECEMBER.

A genuine bush race in the heart of the nation's capital, featuring a long and a short course option. The first run course circumnavigates the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The ride and second run courses explore Black Mountain Reserve.

2-person Relay Teams – where the runner completes both running legs – return in 2022, in both the Long and Short course races.

Both Long and Short Course races commence from behind the ActewAGL substation at the end of Frith Rd, Acton at 10 am.

Course maps and desciptions

The short course race is designed for novices and those seeking an enjoyable, relatively easy, non-technical course. View the maps and read the course description for the short course event.

The long course race is for more serious endurance athletes, and is both technically and physically more demanding.  View the maps and read the course description for the long course event.


Short Course 2km run/7km MTB/2.5km run

    • 10.15am
    • $37 before 5pm Friday 2 December
    • $47 after 5pm Friday 2 December
    • Add $10 one race licence fee for non-TA members

Long Course 3.3km run/23km MTB/6.5km run

    • 10am
    • $52 before 5pm Friday 2 December
    • $62 after 5pm Friday 2 December
    • Add $10 one race licence fee for non-TA members


Prachar Stegemann
0404 071 327
Send Email

Award categories

  • Trophies for top 3 solos under 50 and top 3 solos over 50 (long and short course)
  • Trophies for 1st placed team in each category (long and short course)

Event information

This race is sanctioned by Triathlon ACT as a member of Triathlon Australia, and is conducted in accordance with Triathlon Australia race rules, with the exception of those rules covering drafting on the bike course and the carrying of mobile phones, whihc are required on the mountain bike and cross-country run courses. Drafting is permitted in this event.

The race rules which pertain to this race are set out on the Triathlon Australia website.

There are 3 Team Divisions for each race. The Divisions are: All-Male, All-Female and Mixed.

The race is designed for teams of 2 members: one runner (who completes both run legs) and one mountain biker.  Teams of 3 may enter, though they are not eligible for awards.

For all pre-entered Teams and Solo Athletes, compulsory registration will commence 60 minutes prior to the start of the race at the transition area alongside the ActewAGL sub-station at the end of Frith Rd, Acton.

If you have made any changes to the membership or composition of your team, these will need to be entered into the database at Registration. At Registration you will collect race numbers, receive information on any last-minute course alterations and meet with some of your competitors.

All competitors will be asked to sign the participant waiver before commencing the race.

Any competitor who commences a leg without first signing the participant waiver will be subject to automatic disqualification, and will be no longer deemed a participant in the event.

For safety purposes, to enable the rapid reporting of any accidents or injuries on course, athletes are required to carry a mobile phone on the mountain bike and cross-country run courses of each event.  All athletes will be required to program the Race HQ phone number into their phones at Registration.  Please note that mobile phones are not permitted to be used during the race as a music or communications device other than in such an emergency.

Please play your part to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all.

The race will be attended by personnel from Sports Medicine Australia, who will be on hand to treat injuries.

The most important component of ensuring a safe event is common sense, particularly on the mountain bike course. Carefully check your brakes and tyres the day before the race. Please exercise care while negotiating all descents, especially if you are unfamiliar with the course. The time lost through sensible caution is nothing compared to the time lost through a trip to the hospital.

Every athlete must carry a reasonable supply of water and fluids during legs 2 and 3, either in a back-mounted hydration system or in drink containers held in belt-straps or clothing.

There will be an aid station at the transition point, offering water and sports drink, sun block and vaseline, as well as rudimentary bike repair equipment.   Mountain bikers are advised to carry a full repair kit and 2 spare tubes.

This event takes place in environmentally sensitive areas.

We are very fortunate to be allowed to stage these races. The authorities and officers of the ACT City Ranger's Office, National Botanic Gardens and Environment ACT have been overwhelmingly cooperative and helpful.

Please be aware that these events take place in a public as well as a natural domain. We do not have exclusive use of any of these areas, all of which are used by many people on weekends.

The first run courses for the Off-Road Duathlons are on roads within the National Botanic Gardens. It is expressly forbidden to run off the roads at any stage while inside the Gardens.

The second run courses occupy tracks which are designed for walkers, not runners. We are the walkers' guests. Please give way and show courtesy to all walkers using these tracks.

All mountain bike courses are on 4WD tracks through Canberra Nature Park. Keep to the left at all times and respect other users of these tracks.

Please do not litter any where on the course. Carry your litter with you and dispose of at the transition area. Our aim is for each race to leave no footprint.

The management of the National Botanic Gardens and Canberra Nature Park reserve the right to cancel any or all of the legs through the National Botanic Gardens and Canberra Nature Park in the event of a total fire ban, extreme heat, cold or potentially dangerous weather conditions.

If any leg or legs are cancelled or amended either in the lead-up or on the day of a race, organisers will endeavour to stage an alternative leg or legs, subject to prevailing conditions.   Organisers reserve the right whether directed by authorities or not, to shorten, alter or cancel any leg or legs of the race within reason, and without warning.

In the event that the race is called off completely prior to the start, the race will be postponed to a later date.   Only if the race is postponed, entrants may elect to transfer their entry to the revised date or place their entry on hold.   Entries 'on hold' will be valid until used once for the same event within 3 years successive to the date of the original entry.

Once the race has commenced, the race entry will be deemed to have been 'used' and is not redeemable, even if the event is called off before its scheduled finish.

Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlon Long Course Records
  Overall Time Run 1 Bike Run 2
Male Under 50

Ben Hill
1:30:52 (2021)

Michael Chapman
9:41 (2015)

Ben Hill
51:56 (2021)

Trevor Spencer
27:30 (2021)

Male 50-59

Adrian Sheppard
1:43:29 (2021)

Adrian Sheppard
11:20 (2020)

Adrian Sheppard
59:48 (2021)

Adrian Sheppard 32:15 (2021)

Male 60-69

Trevor Jacobs
2:15:04 (2019)

David Alder
13:02 (2018)

Trevor Jacobs
1:13:13 (2019)

Trevor Jacobs
45:23 (2020)

Male 70+

Trevor Jacobs
2:22:25 (2021)

Trevor Jacvobs
15:19 (2021)

Trevor Jacobs
1:20:54 (2021)

Trevor Jacobs
46:12 (2021)

Female Under 50

Penny Slater
1:50:48 (2020)

Penny Slater 11:20 (2020)

Michelle Cooper
1:05:01 (2018)

Penny Slater
33:58 (2020)

Female 50-59 Margaret Hemsley
1:57:45 (2021)
Margaret Hemsley
12:13 (2021)
Margaret Hemsley
1:10:48 (2021)
Margaret Hemsley
34:44 (2021)
Female 60+ Catherine Hanley
2:46:13 (2019)
Catherine Hanley
15:09 (2019)
Catherine Hanley
1:30:58 (2019)
Catherine Hanley
1:00:06 (2019)
Male in a Team  

Craig Benson
9:48 (2016)

Kel Boers
55:25 (2015)

Daniel Oehm
32:09 (2017)

Female in a Team  

Elizabeth Humphries
10:45 (2019)

Eliza Smyth
1:06:06 (2019)

Elizabeth Humphries
35:34 (2019)

All-Male Team

Andrew & Ben Tuchler
1:40:03 (2017)


All-Female Team Lize & Eliz (Eliza Smyth & Elizabeth Humphries)
1:52:25 (2019)
Mixed Team

Not so Puffs
(Elizabeth Humphries & David Osmond)
1:45:43 (2018)

Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlon Short Course Records
  Overall Time Run 1 Bike Run 2
Male Under 50

Bradley Morton
34:09 (2005)

Daniel Waugh
5:04 (2012)

Bradley Morton
18:20 (2005)

Charles Nicoll
9:35 (2012)

Male 50+

Kim Houghton
39:45 (2017)

Gerry Smith
5:42 (2015)
Nick Smee
21:12 (2017)
Kym Houghton
11:14 (2017)
Female Under 50

Laura Darlington
40:27 (2019)

Olivia Stutchbury
5:42 (2019)

Christelle Van Niekerk
21:40 (2011)

Amy Bainbridge
11:21 (2005)
Female 50+ Carolyn Dews
50:48 (2020)
Carolyn Dews
6:23 (2020)
Liz Widdicombe
28:51 (2011)
Carolyn Dews
12:58 (2020)
Male in a Team  

Brendan Mulhall
5:17 (2005)

Sean Scott
18:26 (2006)

Brendan Mulhall
10:47 (2005)

Female in a Team  

Kym Chisholm
5:56 (2006)

Thea and Sam
22:17 (2018)
Kym Chisholm
10:27 (2006)
All-Male Team

Team Bennie (Tom Bennie & Jacob Stewart) 38:49 (2016)

All-Female Team Hard to See
(Thea and Sam)
39:31 (2018)
Mixed Team

Brunch Bunch
(Isobel, Robert & Benjamin Magrath)
37:27 (2010)



Previous Results

  • 2021 Aug 1st
    Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons, Sunday 1 August 2021

    Whoa! We may have seen a smaller-than-usual field today due to various social restrictions presently in place, however the quality of the field – like thick, rich cream – was condensed and even elevated within the more intimate setting. The intensity of racing in the Long Course event in particular, was of the highest order, producing a record crop of outstanding course records on a day when Australia collected a record 4 gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

    In a day of head-turning performances, the most phenomenal was surely Margaret Hemsley, who smashed a famous 12-year-old course record for the Female 50-59 category, her amazing time of 1:57:45 placing her 2nd fastest female ever, behind only the stellar Penny Slater. Margaret’s split times (1st run 12:13; bike 1:10:48; 2nd run 34:44) were of course each new best times as well.

    In the men’s race, Ben Hill led from the front with an incredible new all-comers best time for this well-established event of 1:30:52, just 22 seconds ahead of the flying Trevor Spencer (whose final run split of 27:30 is a new course best) with 1:31:14. While it must be noted that the overall course is now faster following the shortening of the 2nd run leg last year, the quality of Ben’s win is exemplified in his lowering the long-standing bike course record set by the legendary Dylan Cooper, with a new time of 51:56 (the bike course has been unchanged through the years). Ayden Toovey in 3rd place with 1:32:58, was also inside the previous record time.

    Adrian Sheppard followed suit to break his own M50-59 record with a sensational 1:43:29, also breaking his own best times for the bike course (now a sizzling 59:48) and final run (32:15) in the process; winning his category from Mark Duncanson (2:05:16) and 3rd placed Darren Blackhurst (2:08:09). Meanwhile the remarkably consistent Trevor Jacobs, who at one time held the record for the M50+ and still holds the M60+ standard, stepped up to a new category and established a debut record for the M70+ with 2:22:25.

    The women’s race (under 50) was won by Matilda Stevenson in 2:16:10, with Mathilde Batailler following in 2nd place with 2:20:26 from 3rd placed Lucy Skeldon’s 2:26:37. Analise Arnold gets the award for most patient competitor of the day, for ‘enjoying’ the course for the longest time, in 3:42:16.

    Outright winner in the Short Course race came from the Male 50 and Over category, with Bruce Jenkins showing his younger rivals a clean pair of heels to take out the race in a fine 40:32. Next home came Cameron Pensini, taking out the Male Under 50s, from Justin Hayden’s 41:59 and Robert Berrell with 42:51. 2nd M50+ was Kim Houghton in 43:04, from Geoff Ives’ 46:51.

    Samantha Morley was fastest among the Female Under 50, her 46:41 just edging 2nd placed King Cayzer’s 46:45, with Anna De Vries taking 3rd in 55:35. Sally Thauvette was best among the F50+ with 54:58, from Razz Wilkins with 1:04:14.

    Our gratitude to all who helped behind the scenes to bring this event into being – to the representatives from the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Environment ACT and Triathlon ACT; and specially to Iain Adinell and Petra Lean, technical officials, and Rebekah Stamatis, event medic.

  • 2020 Aug 9th
    Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons, Canberra, Sunday 9 August 2020

    For all the things that have changed in our lives this year – staying apart from each other, avoiding gatherings, missing concerts and parties, working from home, all becoming experts in epidemiology – it’s worth acknowledging and appreciating how much has stayed the same – Canberra Winters are still cold, hills are still steep, rain is still wet, mud is still great fun, and exercising in Nature is still one of life’s deepest thrills…

    For the annual Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons (2020 edition), held in the heart of the city within the grounds of the National Botanic Gardens and Black Mountain Reserve, Canberra prepared some of its best ‘social distancing’ weather, to ensure spectators stayed away, and participants lingered only fleetingly before racing directly to leg 4 of the day’s event – a hot shower at home.

    With “Breakfast Hill”, our accustomed route up Black Mountain, closed to foot traffic for regeneration, a revised second run leg in the Long Course race measuring almost one kilometre shorter than the “old” route, meant that course records were bound to be challenged, despite the sloppy surrounds. Sure enough, new best times were set for this leg in all 4 age categories represented today.

    It was Jarrod Osborne who set this new course alight with a sizzling 29:15 in the men’s race, though Trevor Spencer’s all-round consistency proved the winner on the day, cracking Dylan Cooper’s legendary Long Course record in the process with his new best time of 1:38:36. Next home was Dave Hardwicke in 1:40:46, from Daniel Simpson’s 1:45:28. Newly minted Male 50-59, Adrian Sheppard – one of the stalwarts of this race since earliest times – came 5th overall and claimed new records for every single leg of the race: 11:20 for the 1st run, 1:01:37 for the bike, and 34:25 for the 2nd run, for an impressive overall record of 1:47:24. Trevor Jacobs took out his accustomed 1st place in the Male 60 and Over in 2:27:22, his 45:23 now the record for Run 2, to sit alongside his bike and overall course records.

    Penny Slater blitzed the women’s Long Course race, setting new best times for both 1st run (11:20) and 2nd run (33:58) en route to her outstanding overall course record time of 1:50:48, and a 6th outright placing amidst a tough field. Following Penny in the women’s standings were Jennifer Davis (2:10:46) and Melissa Clarke (2:14:58).

    While there were no Over 50 women in the Long Course race this year, this category was the most outstanding race of the day in the Short Course event – Carolyn Dews raising the bar for a new Course Record performance of 50:48, which saw her also claim new best times for the 1st run (6:23) and 2nd run (12:58). Not far adrift of Carolyn were the impressive Simone Annis in 53:54 and Helen Way with 57:00. Alexandria Nicholls took out the women’s overall race with a fine 44:27, from Katrina Cousins (45:44) and Clarinda Sheeley (49:23).

    Guy Jones ran and rode the Short Course men’s race as though breathing a higher grade of oxygen from everyone else, reaching critical turns on the course before marshals were even in place, to win in 38:04, from fast-running Steve Sibraa’s 40:10 and Cameron Pensini’s 40:57. Kim Houghton showed customary class in the Male Over 50s to take the top prize with 46:07, from David Baussmann with 53:19 and John Kennedy’s 58:27 (sorry David and John, there’s no Over 60 category in the Short Course race!).

    Astonishingly, for a day when surfaces were at their slipperiest and potentially most treacherous, our medic Mike Corrigan reported not a single scratch or scrape to any human, with the greatest damage to be revealed in the coming week’s cleaning bills!

  • 2019 Aug 4th
    Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons (Long and Short Courses), Canberra, Sunday 4 August 2019 – full results by category

    The Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons have a small but loyal following – which may be just as well, for the foot trails of Black Mountain and cosy transition area would not be amenable to large crowds. Those who participate come not to be seen or for world fame, but for exactly what they get – a few hours of strenuous yet uplifting immersion in the rejuvenating embrace of Nature. It’ a niche event that aspires only to be exactly what it is: an appreciation in the best way possible of the nourishing beauty and joy that is the heart of Canberra Nature Park, an integral partner of the life and training of every Canberra runner and mountain biker.

    Such events really on help and support not only from organisers but also from volunteers as well as staff and officials from various agencies. Our special gratitude to Lesley Steel for helping out on the day, to Craig Johns and Emily Stacey of Triathlon ACT for all their support (look out for Craig’s video on the TACT website later this week), to Technical Officials Glen Sturesteps and Katie Binstock, and to Mike Corrigan of Sports Medicine ACT, as well as to the staff of the National Botanic Gardens and the Public Land Use Team (ACT Government).

    Both Long and Short course races today witnessed some superb individual and team performances.  The women’s course record for the Short Course race, like a proud mountain had withstood all challenges for 14 years – until this morning when Laura Darlington submitted a late entry and proceeded to devour the course in a wonderful new record time of 40:27, for 3rd place outright – though Laura couldn’t catch the flying Olivia Stutchbury in the first run leg, Olivia taking out a new record for that leg of 5:42. After Laura, came Bron Ryan in 42:11 and 3rd placing Rowena Woods with 43:44.

    Guy Jones was an impressive overall winner of the Short Course race in 36:41 – so fast indeed he beat one of the marshals to their position – from Steven Sibraa’s 39:47, and Michael Smytheman a solid 3rd placing in 42:24. Keeping it in the family, John Smytheman meanwhile took out the Male 50 and Over main award with 46:23, adding to his burgeoning trophy collection from this event.

    1st All-Female Team in the Short Course race were the “Super Skinny Prawns” in 54:47; with “Team GRR” taking 1st in the Mixed Team category in 44:30.

    First-time entrant in the Long Course event, Tomas Krajca, in a barnstorming race came within a whisker – a mere 25 seconds – of the world-class course record established in 2016 by superstar Dylan Cooper, finishing in an outstanding 1:40:01. In breathless pursuit were the impressive Mark Bourne (2nd in 1:41:29) and Dave Hardwicke (3rd with 1:42:17). Just outside the podium finishers today were race stalwarts Dave Osmond (1:45:18) and Adrian Sheppard (1:45:40), who continue to race at an elite level regardless of the turning over of the seasons. A great tussle came in the Male 50-59 category, with eventual 2nd-placed finisher Patrick Kluth (2:03:25) leading for most of the race, only for the flawless finishing instincts of Martin McCready to run away with the victory in 2:03:06. In the Male 60 and Over, champion Trevor Jacobs set a new course record of 2:15:04 to remind us yet again why he is one of Canberra’s all-time legends. En route to his win, Trevor also set a new age-group best time for the bike course of 1:13:13.

    Katrina Cousins was the outstanding Female Long Course winner today in a fine 2:21:15; from Bianca Pietrass-Wong (2:30:16) and 3rd placed Heather Gow-Carey in 3:09:11. Sonja McKenna took out the Female 50-59 Solo category with an indomitable 2:51:45; while the sparkling Catherine Hanley went home with the Female 60 and Over award – and Course Record with her 2:46:13.

    Among the Long Course Teams, the combination of “AWC 1” took out the main prize in the All-Male category in a convincing 1:54:05, while “Trailbreakers” were fastest among the Mixed Teams, finishing well in 2:03:44.

    Nevertheless, it was the winning All-Female team of “Lize and Eliz” which turned the most heads with a record-shattering display to win the category – and best all the other teams of any combination – in a whirlwind new record time of 1:52:25. Along the way, Elizabeth Humphries broke her own records for the fastest split times for the 1st run leg (10:45) and 2nd run leg (35:34), though she also surrendered a record in the process – her time for fastest bike leg, which is now owned by her team mate from today, Eliza Smyth with a scintillating ride of 1:06:06.

  • 2018 Jul 29th
    Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons, Canberra, Sunday 29 July 2018

    Given the potential for freezing cold conditions in July in Canberra, today was remarkably mild and much appreciated by all participants and helpers in the 15th annual Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons. Overnight rain also softened the parched ground, making for excellent riding while freshening the forest to present a soothing welcome for all who were out and about.

    Star performance of the day came from Michelle Cooper, who set a new Female course record in the Long Course race of 1:57:24, only one year after the 2 hour barrier was broken for the first time. Michelle’s victory was established by her dominant new bike course record of 1:05:01. Husband Dylan Cooper also produced the second fastest time ever recorded for the Males – though his 1:40:00 didn’t quite match his own record from 2 years ago.

    Following Michelle were Jennifer Davis with 2:06:46 and Alice Patterson-Robert in 2:13:50 to complete the minor placings. Dylan meanwhile was shadowed through the first two legs of the race by his friend Rowan Beggs-French, who clocked a fantastic 1:41:30 of his own. David Hardwicke came in 3rd with an impressive 1:47:37. Tony Williams took out the Males 50-59 with 2:06:37; and David Alder the Males 60 and Over in 2:30:40, including bettering his own age group record for the 1st run leg with a new time of 13:02.

    Dave Osborne and Elizabeth Humphries are the most-trophied athletes in the history of this event, and this year they paired up to break their own 8-year old course record for Mixed Teams. Their new mark of 1:45:43 included Elizabeth recording new fastest times for both run legs, of 10:51 and 37:29 respectively. "Susie and Claire" took out the All-Female Teams in 2:09:39; while “Fat Boy and the Chump” were victorious in the All-Male Teams with a cool 1:57:18.

    David Simpfendorfer was too fast in the first two legs of the Short Course race to be challenged, winning in 36:21 from Guy Jones returning from injury with 37:52 and Steven Sibraa in 39:32; while Geoff Ives took out the Male 50 and Over with 44:08. Narelle Desmet’s superior running strength enabled her to win the Female Short Course race in 44:18 from Jacqui Oberg’s excellent 45:09; while Razz Morgan won the Female 50 and Over in 59:22.

    Thea and Sam of “Hard to See” set a new course record for All-Female Teams in the Short Course race with their time of 39:31, including a new bike course best time of 22:17. Verona and Simon of “Mittagong ninjas” sweet all before them in the Mixed Team category to win in 44:36.

    One of the risks associated with an off-road event in an urban nature park, is that course signage is sometimes removed by pranksters or walkers who would rather not share the space with such organised events. Unfortunately this proved the case today, when a section of course-marking ribbon along the Black Mountain Summit Loop was removed in the hour before the race, resulting in some disorientation at a 4-way intersection leading to a few runners taking a short-cut home on the final run. While none of the major placings were effected, we applaud in particular Aaron Royall, who upon realising his error when he crossed the finish line, immediately retraced his steps up Black Mountain to complete the full and correct course, an addition of several kilometres and a whopping hill!