Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlon Race Report 8 July 2007
It was time for the kids to shine in the Canberra Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlon, as they took the honours in the short course.
Reuben Caley, aged 11, proved his mettle in the short but still challenging course of a 2 km run through the National Botanic Gardens, 7 km mountain bike and 2.5 km run through the Black Mountain Reserve, beating all adults to easily become the first solo duathlete across the finish line.
Only two teams crossed the line before him. Reuben's sister, 10-year-old runner Katherine Caley, and their cycling father Peter, formed a team appropriately named Beats Homework- and not only won, but broke the course mixed-team record by 4 seconds in a time of 38:44. Another father-daughter team, Dad & I- comprised of another 10-year-old, Hannah McClusky, and her father Alistair- were not far behind, coming through in 39:55. For a race that is usually dominated by adult teams, this was an exciting turn of events!
These prodigious young athletes were among the only people to run uphill at top speed in the second run- after the cycle leg- and though some predicted that they would slow down, it was not enough to be overtaken.
The tough long course race (3.3 km run, 23 km mountain bike, 7.5 km mountain run) was won comfortably by one of Canberra's top off-road racers, Jason Chalker (left), in 1:44:47- only 33 seconds behind Blair Martin's all-time course record. The platform for Jason's strength was a bike time of 58:42- faster than anyone else has ever done the course. Heather Logie (2:05:31) took the women's trophy. Another record-breaker was Peter Fogarty, who rewrote the standard for male 50+ athletes (2:16:38), setting new fastest times for both run legs in the process.
Fortunately, though a wet day threatened throughout the previous night, the rain stayed away and the sun even broke through for a while. The drenching rain in the lead up to race-day left its mark though with muddy smiles the order of the day at the finish line.