Sri Chinmoy Black Mountain Duathlon Race Report
5 July 2009 - The 6-year history of this event has witnessed weather of all descriptions, but never before what was served up today- vast blue skies and glorious sunshine!
Our thanks to the authorities of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and Canberra Nature Park for encouraging the use and full enjoyment of these wonderful environments.
The Long Course athletes were first out of the blocks, cruising around the 3.3 km outer perimeter road of the Gardens before mounting their bikes and heading off up the hill for the first, shorter 7 km loop around Little Black Mountain. Once they were away, it was the Short Course athletes' turn to run through the Gardens, before following the same route into the bush.
After the 7 km loop, the Short Course athletes went straight to their final run, while the Long Course riders headed out for another, longer 16 km route covering the whole western flank of Black Mountain and including a loop through Aranda Bushland. Then came the day's biggest challenge- the final 7.5 km bush run, featuring the infamous "Breakfast Hill", a 700 metre climb almost to the summit of Black Mountain- a tough ascent no doubt, but rewarded with superb views across North Canberra.
First home in the Short Course (and first to the pancake table) was the redoubtable "Beats Homework" team of Peter and Catherine. Then came the solo men led by Brett Jones in 41:17, the solo women led by Ilona Dreghorn in 47:01, then over-50s men with Michael Dupe in 48:48 and the over-50s women with Jill Farrer in 56:37.
The outstanding performance of the day belonged to Over 50s World Champion Margaret Beardslee, whose time in the Long Course of 2:14: 56 not only saw her setting a new course record and coming in first woman overall, but also eclipsing all the male competitors of the same vintage.
Libby Adamson came in first among the under 50 women in 2:17:53, using her riding skills to set up her victory. Nathan Versey meanwhile led home the men under 50 with a superb 1:46:37, while Bob Harlow- fresh from a stint of training in sweltering India- led home the over 50s men in 2:25:37.
Congratulations to all participants, who helped make this event so enjoyable and rewarding.
The next Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport event is The Sri Chinmoy Googong Challenge- combining running, paddling and mountain biking on and around the picturesque Googong reservoir- on Sunday 4 October.