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.