In 2016, Steve Hanley's team "32 Flavours" was a Mixed team of 3. Here are his photos from the day...
View full article »
2010: Steve Hanley's Solo Winner's Race Report
Steve Hanley won the Solo Male division of the Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic in 2010. Here is his race report. There aren't as many photos as in his usual reports, because he was a bit busy that day...
View full article »
2017: Steve Hanley's winning team report, "32 Flavours"
2017: Report from Goulburn team "JindaBeanThere & DoneThat – #4Pete"
Note: more photos from Andrew Oberg's report can be found at the end of the event photo gallery.
The Jinadabyne Multisport Classic did not go unnoticed to the Goulburn contingent of Mark Stutchbury, Andrew Dawes, Jacqueline Oberg, Kelvin Martin, Kerry Baxter, Rod Smith and Andrew Oberg. Most of these competitors are pointy end finishers of the classic Triple Triathlon in Canberra (“Giant 440 Woddies #4Pete” whom were 5th outright in 2016). For the first time, a team was formed by this energetic lot, “JindaBeanThere & DoneThat - #4Pete” who eagerly headed out to tackle a multitude of demanding legs.
Unlike the traditional triathlon format, this event throws in an additional challenge - kayak legs! Right from the first kayak leg, it became apparent that this discipline would be a steep learning curve. Fellow competitors had immensely impressive crafts. Their slick, streamlined and intimidating vessels, would prove to be far superior when compared to the Goulburn team’s craft. Goulburn’s humble little machine would look more at home trout fishing in the local area than racing the magnificent waters of Lake Jindabyne.
Kayakers, Andrew Dawes, Kelvin Martin and Rod Smith all had solid performances, albeit in different conditions. Andrew had a windless ride with a lake as flat as the Sri Chinmoy post-race pancakes. Andrew prepared extensively for this leg, which was clearly evidenced from his super-fast finishing time. He even spent hours constructing a customised hydration system for this leg to maximise paddling time and efficiency. In the second paddle, Kelvin whilst out racing, encountered equipment difficulties. His paddle separated in the middle and with sunscreen all over his hands he was unable to rejoin it, until he had assistance from the water safety crew. Regardless, he still managed a strong performance. Rod had to endure the third leg. By the time he began his leg the lake was becoming a surfer’s delight with waves breaking over the bow. Many of the slick race crafts that were dominant in the earlier legs become victims of this situation. Consequently, Goulburn’s stable little boat would prove its worth after all. By the end of his leg, Rod came to shore battered and sore after suffering the tough conditions.
All of our swimmers were proven performers in the H2O. Mark Stutchbury, Andrew Dawes and Jacqueline Oberg swam in that order. Per usual, Mark and Andrew were formidable forces in the water. Both athletes managed category placing’s in the top five, in turn, helping establish strong leads for the team. Jacqueline got to enjoy a picturesque ferry ride across the lake to her transition area on a remote beach. Her swim started in ocean like conditions becoming increasingly calmer the closer she got to shore. When she emerged from the swim, she sprinted up the bank to tag our last kayaker, proving why she was selected as one of our team runners also.
The mountain bike legs lived up to their respective reputations. During the first leg, Andrew Oberg snapped a chain only 3kms in. Luckily, he was able to repair it in around five minutes to still post the 16th fastest ride for this course. Mark Stutchbury showed his time trial prowess and his ability to scale a barbed wire fence in order to conquer the course, subsequently making up a few more positions during the second MTB leg. Kerry Baxter, racing on a brand new bike reveled in the hilly conditions of the third and longest ride. This involved him conquering over one kilometre of total elevation.
Whilst waiting for our first runner to get underway, Kelvin took the opportunity to do a spot of fishing amidst the chaos! To everybody’s surprise he pulled out not one, but two trout from the water, both were returned to fight another day. Jacqueline got our run campaign started and ran well without incident over the undulating cross country course. Rod took on the second run leg which was easily the most arduous. Given the courses colossal difficulty, the team had plenty of time to have some lunch before the later legs. Andrew Oberg ran the final 5km run leg in just over 20 minutes. The Sri Chinmoy photographer for some reason was twice seen by him on this short run leg. Hence, not wanting to look weak for the lens added a little more pressure to his run.
The team came home in 10:35 minutes and were the 22nd finishers overall. They were the seventh team in the open category and had an absolute blast! The post-race lentil burgers were enjoyed immensely by all and were scoffed down in record time. Following the race, the team commenced strategising for the next year’s event. The “JindaBeanThere & DoneThat - #4Pete” plan on returning next year, bigger, faster and smarter across all 12 demanding legs. With a more fine-tuned race plan, they hope to scale the leaderboard and return more victorious one year from now.
View full article »
2017: "Go Go Girls All Over 60" Winning Team Report
Go Go Girls All over 60 – 2017 Jindabyne Multisport- Perspective from each discipline
SWIMMER - Helen
Suddenly I remembered….
Yes the Go Go Girls are back to test ourselves at Jindabyne after a 6 year break.
The first swim at daylight is always a heady mix of excitement, nerves and cheering as we headed off to the buoy in calm overcast conditions.
Suddenly I remembered for those at the rear end it is akin to swimming in a spa as the thrashing of legs and arms whip up a foam and fog with a sea of colourful caps ahead.
Gasping with the effects of too much adrenalin suddenly I remembered _ “It is OK, goggles are on, just swim to the finish, tag Jeannie for her paddle”. That team greeting at the end of swim 1? It feels great.
After several months of training in the local pools where the water temperature was up to 31 degrees, the only alternatives was a coastal estuary one hour drive from our farm. Depending on the tide the estuary was a mass of seaweed, the occasional blue bottle, small fish and curious pelicans.
All was going well until a friend mentioned that Bull sharks lurk there! Not wanting to have shark assisted times in training, I took to our farm dams. The leeches were pleased, the ducks and tortoises rather surprised.
Joy of joys the conditions are calm for the second swim and having Jeannie paddling alongside is very reassuring.
Suddenly I remembered how good it feels to swim in this cool clean lake water.
“Goggles are on, just swim”.
The team is going steadily and well as the day progresses and we are waiting at Horseshoe Bay for Peggy when a black line of clouds appears from the south. Pelting rain, wind and Peggy arrived all at the same time. The previously glassy lake is now a boiling mass of chop and the buoy barely visible in the squall. I was so grateful Jeannie was paddling despite the headwind and waves. Suddenly I remembered - “goggles are on, just swim and breathe at the top of the wave.”
When Sue ran to the finish and we were cheering suddenly I remembered how wonderful it is to share this day with three fabulous women on our team, other teams and the brave solo athletes.
Thanks to everyone at Sri Chinmoy and the volunteers who make this event so special.
PADDLER - Jeannie
Sing ho! for the brave an’ gallant sea kayaks
The rockets and epics and fenns are fast, but Lake Jindabyne is renowned for whipping up some choppy seas.
So I decided to take my trusty, comfortable, stable, but slightly slower ‘Mirage 580’. I had tried out my nephews fenn kayak, but found the slight instability meant I wasn’t much faster in it, and the paddling was less enjoyable. Having done some “training” – paddling between Wonboyn and Tathra the week before the race – I was hoping for a bit of rough weather! Well it did happen. A dark clouded squall hit just as our swimmer set out on the last swim leg. I paddled along with her – partly for safety, company and a sort of a warm up before my paddle leg. Helen bravely rode the waves and managed to breathe at the crest – mostly. While I revelled in a bit of stormy seas and pelting rain in my gallant sea kayak.
Jeannie with granddaughter, Frida (mascot for 2 teams) and daughter, Melanie (competitor in team 701)
Thanks so much to Sri Chinmoy team in holding this event. A wonderfully enjoyable day.
RUNNER - Sue
I was privileged to be a part of this great team. Swimming, paddling, mountain biking no problem for Helen, Jean & Peggy. The conditions were pretty good too, only one nasty squall in the afternoon which the girls in the water handled without missing a stroke.
The run legs were challenging. I ran steadily on the first and third ones, but the long, second run was by far the most difficult. It was also the most scenic. Struggling through the Thredbo River (Jean and Ron were there to help with the guide rope) was a bonus. But, by the end of that run I had a meltdown. A good lunch, encouragement from the GGGirls and our indispensable supporters Ron & Paul, got me through for the final leg.
It was a pleasure to do the last run on the edge of Lake Jindabyne at dusk and be greeted by everyone, not least the gracious Sri Chinmoy organisers, it was a truly transcendent experience!
RIDER - Peggy
“By The Time I Got There…..”: (3rd of 3 rides)
By the time I got to the marshal halfway up to Burrangabuggie:
Those really fast (young) blokes were finishing. The marshal, as it turned out, was delighted to have something to do. He must have been on duty for 4 or 5 hours and not seen anyone for a while. “I’m not last”, I puffed, “but you will be able to go home soon”. (Thank you, to all marshals, on all the legs, for being there and offering cheerful encouragement).
By the time I got to Botherum Plain:
The headwind was roaring, the herd of brumbies were moving off to shelter out of the stinging, spitting not-quite-rain. Just enough to dampen, but not drench me. It was a long slog over to the forest, hoping for a bit of protection from the assembling squall and (yippee!) downhill.
By the time I got to Horseshoe Bay
The first solo, Klayten Smith, was just finishing.
Back at Horseshoe, the cold rain squall was seconds away and NPWS boat broken. A huddle of cold bikers shivered on the beach along with anxious team swimmers. Helen, our swimmer and Jean our paddler, ploughed off into the growing chop. Joy of joys, my brilliant team had left me a warm jacket and raincoat.
We (the back end of the field) caught one of the last shuttles after a long cold wait. (Thank you to the skipper and her crew.)
By the time Sue brought the team home with a nifty last run we were well within cut-off – 10 years plus an hour and 5 minutes slower than our last record.
Excellent event. Made possible by Sri Chinmoy Marathon team, land holders, NPWS and other teams, those astonishing solo athletes, our helpers/photographers, Simmo and Paul, and us - brilliant (and still sparkling) team.
View full article »
2005: Report by inaugural winner, Jody Zerbst
Think of your very favourite mountain biking and running trails, throw in some paddling and a few swims on a serene lake. Now imagine racing over that course.
I find it absolutely uplifting and inspiring to be out there and doing what I love to do in that environment. This was the Sri Chinmoy - Jindabyne Multisport Classic. This race defined the reason why I chose to take up multisport racing; a challenging course set in a beautiful natural environment, Lake Jindabyne and the surrounding area.I first saw the Jindabyne race in January and thought that it would have to be the most exciting race of its kind in Australia. A four-discipline, 12 stage race. The four disciplines were; swimming, mountain biking, running and paddling.
I rang my best mate, Jeremy Ross who, like me, had begun serious training for multisport races. We decided that we would put this race into the calendar and do some specific training for it. It would also be good to have a race to help prepare and keep the motivation up for the Mars Challenge in late April which we had been focusing on since we started multisport training 10 months ago.
I began training with Jindabyne in mind in the first week of January. My weekly training program consisted roughly of the following sessions.
(All 4 disciplines).
I started with 4hr days and built up to an 8hr two weeks before the race
of some kind eg paddle, MTB, road, fun run etc.
Jeremy and I went to Jindabyne a month before the race to go over the course. This is always an advantage in an off-road event, especially for the mountain bike stages. The course was spectacular. The swimming and paddling stages were in the pristine and surprisingly warm Lake Jindabyne. The rides and runs traversed their way around the lakeside and up into the hills on farmer's tracks, fire trails and single track. The only exception was a 15km bitumen section during one of the rides. The run stage through Kosciuszko National park was particularly tough and enjoyable.
Race registration was on the Saturday before the race. I had my usual pre race nerves and everybody looked to be super fit and well prepared. Jason Chalker's name stood out. He is a renowned X-terra (off road triathlon) athlete who at one stage was ranked fourth in the world. I was hoping that he wasn't also an accomplished kayaker. I also knew that Jeremy would be hard to beat. He still has the record for the fastest age grouper ever at the Noosa International triathlon. We went to preschool together and have been best mates ever since. He is an extremely tough and talented athlete who is strong in all four disciplines. On his day I think he would be nearly impossible to beat. We had done a lot of training together and I expected to battle it out with him over the eight or so hours that we predicted it would take. My race plan was to do the first four stages solidly and be in the lead or with the leaders. By this stage it would be apparent who the competition was and what their respective strengths were. This would allow me to calculate what I would need to do to win. I planned to ease off and enjoy four stages before putting in the big ones and pumping some time into my competitors during the longest run and ride, stages 8 and 9, in the later part of the race. This would allow me to finish the race off with a comfortable lead. I love a close finish but it's also nice to be able to relax in the final stages of a race.
At this time of year the weather in the mountains is unpredictable and can be extremely cold or even snow. The course and the endurance demands of the event didn't worry me but the weather did. Two weeks earlier in the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Long-Course Triathlon, which I was using as race practice, I had suffered from the early stages of hypothermia on the bike leg. I pulled out and warmed up for an hour before continuing with the race. It was a true learning experience. Cold weather is my Achilles Heal. All week I had been constantly checking the BOM website for the forecast and fine weather was predicted. Fortunately, the weatherman got it right. Conditions on race day were perfect. An early fog cleared to reveal beautiful blue skies and a temperature in the low twenties. Optimal for competing.
The race started with a 1.5 km swim. The sun was just rising and we swum off into a heavy fog following a boat. This was a bit eerie. I came out of the water leading Jason Chalker with a minutes lead on the field. Paranoid about getting cold I started rugging up with thermal wear and a beanie. This cost me a bit of time and I got onto the paddle in 6th place.
Kayaking is a skill that takes a long time to master and it is obvious if somebody has put the time in to develop this skill. I could see Jason Chalker on the water struggling away in what looked to be a bath tub and my concerns about his kayaking ability were immediately relieved. It turned out that Jason had only got into a boat for the first time the week before the race and was therefore paddling a stable and slow boat. Despite Jason's ride and run times being exceptional this was the last I saw him. The fog lifted during the first paddle and it was possible to see the entire field strung out along the lake. I finished the paddle with a small lead on Jeremy and Andrew Peterson from Western Australia.
The three of us started the first run. Jeremy, whose strongest leg is running, was keen to get some time on the field. I went with him for a while before deciding that it was too long a day to be going at my 10km race pace. I asked him how he felt and reminded him that it was going to be a very long day. He told me he felt"so good it's scary" but this is also the man that has a history of attaining tearaway leads only to fade in the later stages of race. I let him go. He tore aware.
I started the first mountain bike leg one minute thirty seconds down. It was the most technical and this is Jeremy's weakness. When on a MTB he accurately refers to himself as Mulga Bill. I caught Jeremy after only a couple of kilometers. We rode together for a while before having a hilarious low speed pile up. It reminded me of riding our BMX's around as young friends.
I steadily pulled away and entered the water with a two minute lead. My race plan was in tact. I tried to relax and enjoy the 2.5km swim as much as possible. My Father, Tony, paddled along side me during this leg. It was nice to have some company but I still think that his idea of heading straight for buoy is suspect. He subtly barged into me every time he thought I was going of course. This started some interesting father-son dialogue.
The next stage was a 6km paddle across the lake. I felt great and was enjoying the scenery. I couldn't see Jeremy behind me."I am out of sight already" I thought. I later discovered that you can't see as far as you think you can on a shimmering lake. As I paddled toward the next transition I couldn't see my support crew, my dad and my girlfriend Kate, there to meet me with my MTB. I immediately knew what had happened. It was always going to be tight for the support crews to make it around the lake by car and the additional 700m on foot from the car park to the transition. I paddled back out of the bay and around the corner towards the car park to find them casually strolling along the lakes edge. We raced to meet each other.
I only lost a few minutes but it was enough to let Jeremy back into the race. As I rode back around the waterfront and into the transition bay I saw Jeremy's kayak on the beach and him mounting his MTB. He later said that he felt like the ice skater who won gold because the others crashed out. I couldn't believe it. Somehow he had arrived already. I felt like one of those contestants on â€˜the race around the world' when they discover somebody has beaten them to a destination. I yelled out some encouragement and left the area with a slight lead. This leg was only 15km on FWD tracks.
I built up a short lead before the run. This was the leg that I planned to start pushing hard. I set off into the Kosciuszko National Park on a flowing single track. I felt great and concentrated on bouncing along and keeping a good rhythm. As I charged through the bush I put my foot down next to a decent size black snake. I took a few more strides contemplating whether or not the anxiety of sacrificing a few seconds to move the snake would be outweighed by the guilt of having my best mate or somebody else bitten by a snake. I went back and shuffled the unimpressed and sleepy snake from the track."Jeremy owes me" I thought. My good deed was not repaid as soon after on a tight sloping corner I rolled my ankle and tumbled down a hillside. I was in agony and it seemed that my race was over. I was incredibly disappointed and angry that all my training and a good lead was gone. I had planned to strap my ankles and didn't. I sat thinking of something memorable and funny that I could yell out to Jeremy when he came past me and wondered how I would get back to the transition. At that point, I think the endorphins or adrenaline must have kicked in because my ankle started to feel warm and tingly. I scrambled back up to the hill and started hobbling along the track."I can do this" I thought. Even if I have to struggle through this run and then really lay it down in the final ride, swim and paddle I can still win this. It kinda pumped me up and I gave myself a big Leighton Hewitt"C'mon" minus the hand in forehead business (it actually works when you mean it). Pretty soon I was back into a rhythm and in reality I had probably only lost 2 or 3 minutes.
The next stage was the longest MTB which started with a steady 8km climb. I had done a lot of training rides up Mt Buffalo and I knew that I could push hard all the way. After an 83 kph decent it was another 15km over undulating FWD track. I started to feel tired at this stage. The race had been going for nearly 6hrs and I was looking forward to stopping. It wasn't hurting and I wasn't hungry. I just felt like stopping and doing something else. I was happy when I completed this stage.
Into the final swim and again I just concentrated on rolling my arms over. I saw Jeremy entering the water as I was exiting. This meant that I had about fifteen minute lead. I was happy with that and I was now confident that I would win the race. The pressure was off and it was then simply a matter of finishing AKA my race plan.
The wind picked up and was howling head on for the final paddle. For a period the waves were massive and came pounding and crashing over the deck. Luckily, I had chosen to use a specific multisport kayak. They are long for speed, have a high deck and offer good stability. I enjoyed crashing through the rough water. Many other competitors weren't so happy about the conditions and found the going tough. Some, including Jeremy capsized, and had to make their way to the shore losing time.
The race was nearly over now and all that was left was a 5km slog on footpaths around to the finish at Strzelecki Park. I was very tired and my ankle was painful. My dad rode along beside me and kept me company. I asked him to keep talking to distract me. As I ran towards the finish line I was surprised by how few people were there. This was because I was at the front of the entire field, all land crews and the team members were still behind me. I realised that everybody associated with the race must be spread out over a couple hours. I was feeling rather self important and subconsciously expected a large and cheering crowd. That wasn't the case but my father and girlfriend were there to share the victory with me and that was important. The two people who had given me the most support over the past 6months. It was our victory. In my final steps towards the line somebody scored a goal in a social game of soccer in the same park and the cheers went up. Although it wasn't for me I still appreciated it.
Jeremy came in second followed by Jason Chalker.
It had been a long day for all. For the support crews it was hectic and non stop all day. From one transition to the next. Unloading and loading boats, mountain bikes, food, drinks and gear. In a race like this a patient and supportive support crew is essential. It would be wrong if I didn't acknowledge the efforts of all the support crews. Well done and thankyou from all the competitors.
I was very happy with my race. It gave me a lot of confidence to continue with my dream of becoming an elite level multisport athlete and to win some of the big races in New Zealand over the coming years.
The Sri Chinmoy Multisport Classic is a great event. For those of you that are looking for something different to the urban triathlon or for those that already enjoy the off road events I urge you to give multisport racing a go. Hopefully, I'll see you around the tracks.
View full article »
2006: Team Report by Julie Armstrong
Šri Činmoj je bio impresivan atleta. Bio je šampion u desetoboju u duhovnoj zajednici u kojoj je proveo svoju mladost. Završio je ukupno 22 maratona i 5 ultramaratona, učestvovao je u atletskim disciplinama na mnogim Svetskim Igrama Veterana. Sportska povreda je sprečila njegovu dalju karijeru trkača.
Posvećenosti koju je ulagao u svoje treniranje inspirisala je njegove prijatelje i članove Šri Činmoj Maraton Tima, da uvećavaju svoje sopstvene sposobnosti.
A report by Julie Armstrong, from team "Are We There Yet?"
While Dave's kayak may be a royal purple, its connection with regality ends there. A close inspection of his Argonaut reveals a seasoned vessel in need of a little TLC to patch cracks in the stern and aft. Perhaps even a new coat of paint - any colour would match the car.
While most of us stood around in our warm thermal layers, admiring the ethereal layer of mist over the water, Rosemary and her brave compatriots (including one in just bathers) tackled the chilly 1.5km swim. Rosemary finished strongly and, once unwetsuited, looked ready to run.
Dave got off to a steady and impressive start in the Argonaut and kept his pace as well as not sinking. We got a great view from the hillside road - the course must have been tough as there were several kayaks struggling. A yellow kayak was capsized near the island point. Apparently it took 66 squeezes of a sponge to empty the water out of that one. Dave looked cool, calm and collected after the leg.
Rosemary's run. This woman is made of steel. She came in at the same pace she left us at. A very good effort.
The technical ride. Someone was obviously given a distance marker and told to be as creative and challenging as possible. Plenty of protruding branches, Scotch thistles, European wasps and ditches as steep as flights of stairs. Apparently team and individual numbers were remarkably reduced this year because of this leg. Greg not only finished it in a credible time but finished it without major injury. That says it all.
We dried and warmed the wetsuit as much as possible for Rosemary but it was still damp for her swim. Not that a damp wetsuit would concern Rosemary over her 2.5 kilometre swim. I understand that Rosemary did a PB for a 2.5km open water swim. Rosemary looked a little tired afterwards but was still able to stand, talk, walk and smile.
Jon powered out of the bay and away through the open lake. We didn't see much of his kayak but, having seen his pace, we knew we couldn't even stop for cappucinos and pastries.
The easy bike ride. Rob says that next year he is wearing armour.
The first challenge was the first 700 metres of sand and rock. It was an advantage to be near the back because I could see in advance where the other bikes had skidded through sand. While I managed to follow most of the markers (the arrows were particularly good), I missed the turnoff to go up the hill. I could see the transition for the 1 km swim and momentarily got confused.
It was good that I'd carried the course instructions, but being overtaken while reading them was psychologically draining. The fences were an added challenge as well. I helped the guy behind me get his bike over the fence. The scenery may well have been awesome but I was concentrating on riding, so I didn't really get to appreciate it. However I did spot a sick heifer which I reported to the race officials once I finished. The last hill on the ride was pretty overwhelming. Riding between thick thistles on what may have originally been a four wheel drive track.
Now that I've done the ride I reckon I could pace myself better for next year. Also some distance markers would be good. I saved a bit of energy by climbing a hill, thinking I had several more kilometres to go then finding myself close to finish.
Gabe's run. Because it was a tough 12.5km with a lot of uphill we knew we had time for coffee. Not taking chances, we went straight to the finish line where we could buy instant at the Kosciusko Visitors Centre. Gabe proved her endurance by powering in cheerfully to tag Dave for the 30 bike ride. Arrow markers would have helped on this leg - Gabe and a fellow competitor called out to another to turn around as they were running in the wrong direction.
Dave was a late entry to the 30km bike ride, having first Kate drop out because she'd twisted her ankle and Acacia drop out because of a heavy cold. Dave added to his challenge by wearing work boots and, well, see the photoÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦
Apparently standard riding gear.
It must have been a psychological advantage however (or maybe Dave is just a really fit guy) as Dave blitzed the ride.
Having seen the rest of the course, I think I got lucky. Smooth water, sunny weather and clearly visible markers. It was nice to have Rob keep me company (sort of, had to be 5 metres away) in the Argonaut although I was wondering what I should do if the kayak sank. This thought, and the thought of being cheered on by the team inspired me to do a PB for 1 km in open water. The current was with me on the way across between the 2 buoys but the tide on the way in pushed me closer to shore sooner than expected and over the same sharp underwater rocks that others went over. Foggy goggles and no finish banner made it hard to spot the finish point. The team encouragement put wings on my feet through that last few metres of submerged knee high mud. I loved this leg - perhaps next year the organisers could make this leg longer?
Greg's kayak streaked out of Creel Bay. We stayed long enough to cheer a few competitors in and then made our way around to the next and final transition. The banks of this area were great to gather to see kayaks coming in and runners going out. We gathered about half way down the kayak entrance chute which proved useful as most runners had trouble spotting the ribbons marking their run to go up the hill. It was an exciting finish to watch as Greg overtook another competitor coming into the bay.
As it was just after 6.30pm we selected Rob from the nominees to run as a torch bearer with Jon.. In an inspired effort Jon outpaced Rob and streaked past a few others. A man of hidden depths.
We gathered at the finish line to cheer the remaining teams and individuals in. Many thanks to the Sri Chinmoy event organisers for their encouragement, organisation and dedication. We appreciated their efforts (the pancakes at the end were fantastic) and look forward to coming along again next year.
We also appreciated the lollies, fruit and sports drink that were provided. The only food/drink disappointment was that the much anticipated hot drinks, particularly after the swims, were not forthcoming (organiser's note: OK, we'll see what we can do about that next year!)
View full article »
2007: Report from the Go Go Girls 50+
The 18 seconds chase (Special thanks to all the female teams of four)
Third time proves it!
And we are sort of fit.
Are we going for gold?
It's not about winning,
we use it for thinning,
and besides that, we're OLD.
With 12 legs to complete,
An incredible feat,
With only four lasses:
A fish, a kayak, a bike and two fast feet.
And additional years - two hundred we beat!
Lets hope for no crashes.
The weather is kind (third year in a row)
Despite claims of"I'm slow"
Helen's out of the lake in a flicker,
Jean's off - with cadence that's quicker
She lands at the Bay
But to her dismay
Runner Sue is no where to be seen!
Frantic searches and phone calls
Could there have been falls?
No, a timing glitch caused the gaps.
A watch wrongly set
(We've sent it to Phuket)
So it can't give us any more mishaps.
Many minutes, maybe more
We lost on that shore.
Femme Salu now off in the distance.
But Sue's in pursuit
She worked hard on the loop
At run/bike we're trailing seven minutes.
For our next little glitch.
When it came to the switch,
Peg's bike got bogged in the sand.
Helen's toe was gashed
With the cluster she clashed
But swam like fury as planned.
The mud at transition
will not stop our mission.
And no squelchy black goo
can slow Jean's canoe,
Peg's ride or speedy Sue.
The next goal is Sawpit
This runner's so fit
Up Pallaibo Track she flew.
No sweat on her brow
â€œHere comes Sue now"
Only 3 minutes behind the Salu.
Peg heads for Horseshoe
On a route that is new
Towards Kalkite Hill she strains.
The Vixens pursue and pass us (it's true)
We're now third at the Botherum Plains
Peg flew over deep ruts
With gumption and guts
As our gold medals were turning to brass
Her ride at an end
Three legs left to contend
With only minutes between the girls class.
Hel's off the blocks
To chase down the fox
And passes before the first buoy.
But the slippery Salu
Swim faster than you .
But still a paddle and run to enjoy.
It's the last paddle leg
So off Jean sped
In hot pursuit down the lake.
Gaining and gaining
(with a fair bit of straining)
A minute and a bit it will take.
Sue tagged the canoe
And ran out of the goo
As fast as her mind-body allowed
It was ever so close
Eighteen seconds at most
But we enjoyed it and felt rather proud.
(Thanks to Sri Chinmoy for organising a great event and thanks to the Femme Salu and Velocity Vixens for a great race. See you next year - with a new watch!!).
View full article »
2007: Snow Country Legends Team Report
Šri Činmojevo spontano poimanje neograničenog potencijala koji leži unutar svakog od nas navelo ga je da izume sportske poduhvate izdržljivosti koji su se drugima činili kao da premašuju granice ljudskih mogućnosti. Najupečatljiviji primer je, svakako, Trka Samoprevazilaženja na 3100 Milja (približno 5000km) koja se od 1997. godine redovno održava u Njujorku i još uvek je najduža setifikovana drumska trka na svetu.
by the Snow Country Legends team
The day dawned and we headed out from the Snow Country Ski Lodge in Jindabyne, hang on....it was pitch black and 7 degrees as we set off for Kalkite and still dark when we reached the boat ramp where as our swimmer Laurie observed"theres no point starting I cant see any of the buoys"
Finally the sun came up and the swimmers took to the water it was a perfect start to the day no wind clear skies and from all accounts warm waters. Laurie comfortably cruised through the swim leaving many younger competitors in his wake.....Laurie is 67!
The start of the paddle had its moments as the shoreline was knee deep in mud giving some of the paddlers a slow start. Rob our paddler got a boot full of mud and came straight off the ski lost his boots in the mud and paddled off regardless.
The paddle down the lake was eerie as the water level is so low that the course was littered with branches of long dead trees, sandbars and half-submerged rocks. The paddle did have its problems with a nasty crosswind at times giving several kayak paddlers trouble on the way down and a long swim for at least one unlucky paddler!
The change over to John C our runner went without hitch except for more bootfulls of mud and off he went for a challenging run, more challenging because John doesn't have great eyesight and we were worried about his navigation around the off road course. But a close reconnoiter of the course the previous day and the necessary help along the way from other runners got him safely home.
John C handed over to Daniel our intrepid bike rider who had heard about the bike course but had not had time to go over it the day before. Just as well because he had a nerve racking time taking a spill but still powering his way round a very tricky course without losing too much bark!
None too soon Daniel handed over to John K our long course swimmer who by this time was well warmed up and he headed out into the clear blue waters of the lake with a long even stroke. At the end of the swim course at Stinky bay we were awaiting his arrival trying to guess his stroke but with no luck most of us were sure we had John picked out until she emerged from the water!!
A strong swim from John K put us in good stead for the paddle and Jill our paddler headed out into the lake with no trouble. Jill had been dreading choppy conditions on the lake but the day was kind and the paddle was flat and calm although getting off a ski and running up the chute to hand over was more of a challenge.
Rob our bike rider set off and it was a rather sandy start to the leg which is always treacherous for bike riders but once through this the bike was underway with plenty of time to take in the sights including cattle on the course and several fences to jump. One such fence had a step up on one side but no step down so with bike on shoulder the rider had to jump down! No sooner had Rob surmounted a very steep grassy slope then the course ended rather abruptly and our runner Daniel took off up the mountain.
Now this is the same Daniel that had not had time to check out the first bike course so naturally he did not know the run course either. We waited and waited and waited up at Sawpit and finally Daniel did finish but with tales of a very tough time out there and an average heart rate of over 180!! Are we glad that Daniel volunteered for this leg.
Equally challenging was the last bike leg and John K our rider though very experienced had to use all his skills (even walking up hill) to conquer the course. When he finally emerged on the beach at Creel Bay it was with some relief to all. But a strong bike time had really set up a good finish for our team.
Rob our swimmer had been so bored waiting for John K to finish and he was so pleased to get into the water that he powered off on the swim forgetting that he had already covered two legs. It wasn't until in sight of the finish that the fatigue really hit in but he was too close to slow down so he thrashed on to hand over to the intrepid Daniel who had been nominated as the final paddler only days before the event.
After a hair raising bike ride and a gut busting run it must have been pleasant for Daniel to have a flat water paddle to take on however the wind came up and gave him a bracing headwind all the way down the course. He finished with a strong paddle to hand over to our final runner Kerrie who took off down the course eager to get to the finish line.
Despite some stray runners on the track she finished well so well in fact that as Kerrie powered through the finish line she was handed a trophy by Prachar Stegemann. Yes the team had done well enough on the day to receive the 2nd team of 12 trophy!
Congratulations to all who took part particularly the single competitors....awesome! Thanks to our manager/ handler Marissa who did a great job organising us all and finally thanks to the Sri Chinmoy organisation that put on a great event and organised wonderful weather for the day. It was our first race and we will be back!
Oh and the shirts everybody admired our race shirts on the day and they were donated by George from the Sutherland Leisure Centre in Sydney where we are all members. Thanks George!
View full article »
2006: Report by Mark Davis
Background: Years ago, when I first started to dabble in triathlon, I heard of a race around the Thredbo and Jindabyne area and thought I would prefer that to the more clinical road based events. I think it was run only once or twice though and I had to wait until this event was staged to have an opportunity to test myself in a longer off-road event as a soloist.
In the meantime I gained a wife, mortgage, two kids and a bigger workload at the office. Having read winner Jody Zerbst's 2005 race report, I thought my story, told from the position of tail end of the field of the 2006 race, might balance the perspective. Lead up I only entered the event on the cut-off date as I was really unsure if I could finish and didn't want to look like a basket case on the day. I rang Prachar who said some of the individuals would be slow and even some of the teams were really not serious athletes and I should be fine.
I found out at registration that there would be only three solo open males, one woman and one 50+ male. This was well down last year 20+ solos and made me wonder why people weren't backing up again this year. It meant I could stand on the podium for the first time in my life if I finished.
Having done an Ironman race 12 years ago, I knew a nutrition plan would be wise but I just never got around to it. I never found the time to test different foods on training days. The other shortcoming was not training with any form of electrolyte drink. On race day I set up one hydration backpack for the kayak with Gatorade and one for the run/bike with water and with a standby supply of gels and bars. Also made up some jam and peanut butter sandwiches the night before. A spare tube and tool kit would be added to the backpack for the bike legs.
All solo competitors met and shook hands before the race started. This felt strange, but as there were only 5 all up it made sense. The five soloists had roughly a 10 minute head start. The sun had yet to crest the hill East of Jindabyne, but the first marker was visible off in the distance. The water felt warm enough in my wetsuit that had not been used in two years. It was an uneventful casual swim for me, unlike that of the two team swimmers who came steaming past me near the finish, who were competing for the win and did a18:30for the 1.5k. Warning lightswhen on when my calves cramped getting wetsuit off.
Afterwards my helper Adam commented that he thought I looked drunk as I struggled to get positioned into my kayak. I then proceeded to carve a semi circle with the rudder stuck in full right lock. Once these things were sorted I headed out into tranquil waters in what was the easiest leg of the day. Actually able to overtake a couple of people as well as being overtaken myself. Drink a bit of Gatorade. When Buzz from Cruising Studs came past at about halfway I was able to sit on her wake for 5-10 min and use her as a gauge until a decision had to be made about going around a sand spit or to portage. The portage looked more popular and direct (no faster in the end). No chair or towel or real transition planning meant wiping my sandy feet off on my running shirt. Ate a banana and headed out.
Conditions were great for running. With a single digit race number on my back (#2) I started to receive encouragement from other competitors, a trend that really did make a difference throughout the day. Managed to overtake one team person and was overtaken by half a dozen. The course was hillier than I thought it would be and running past the finish to do the extra loop down along the lakeshore was dispiriting. Drank water and had an energy bar.
Having ridden this section in January, I thought a bike with more travel would be quicker over the more technical sections. The Kona Stinky felt a bit heavy riding up the first hill, but I tried to have a bit of fun with a couple the little ramps and ledges on the course. Had a banana and 1.5 gels, with .5 of one ending up all over brake lever. Overtook two team riders but was overtaken by half a dozen, many of which had encouraging comments to give. Again transitioned in dirt, tried to choke down a jam sandwich and only managed a few bites. Not really hungry- more like a bit queasy.
Ran the 200 metres barefoot to the water edge and noticed people coming down to collect their swimmer's shoes and thought gee that was good thinking. I forgot to zip my wettie and was helped by the wife of another soloist who had just departed. I had meant to buy some new goggles in the weeks leading up to the race and never got around to it. My 2yr had taken the clips off mine- meaning I had to tie them together. Leaking goggles meant stopping to clear the water out every 5 minutes. Started to experience toe cramps, and my arms and felt cold even though the water was warm enough. Strange. Tried to relax legs as much as possible and cramps went away. Once on shore the shivers and chattering teeth started. Try to eat sandwich- manage a few bites before it falls in the dirt. A woman waiting for her team's swimmer to come in said it was OK and that"Egyptians teeth were ground down from eating so much sand". Crowds noticeably smaller now.
I count 5 swimmers behind me as I began the paddle, which was uneventful with smooth conditions. Look longingly at the water skiers and thinking that might be a more fun thing to do today. Able to drink a bit of Gatorade. Get overtaken by two kayaks and a ski. Not sure where to go? I can see the flash of sunlight off paddles in the distance. Some seem to be heading right, some left. Eventually I can see people veering more left to what I am told later is a slightly different transition point from the year before. This lake is hard to navigate as the foreshore is all sand and boulders without much in the way of landmarks. Adam has set up 100m away from finish chute and scrambles over with the bike and other gear when I ask nicely upon approach to"bring the #@*# over here".
This ride was supposed to be about 25 minutes according to people who had done it before. The first few hundred meters of sand at the start seemed to be eating big chunks out of this time for me, particularly after a minor stack in the soft stuff. I look back up the paddle course and think I make it four paddlers still coming in. This leg is on private property and I had not attempted it in practice. It was marked well however, and easy to follow. Overtaken by one rider just as I started to talk to the cows on the track. Understood better what it was to have a"tough hide" when riding up the cow track through waist high thistles that mustn't worry the cows but were annoying my skinny little legs.
Had a cup of coke, a top up of water bladder, a banana, and a smear of Vaseline under the armpits before heading down to theThredboRiver. Ihad walked a couple of the switchbacks when running this track in practice and fully intended on doing the same today. Legs feel fine, but pulse seems too high for the effort and end up walking every hill section. Energy starting to flag. Low point of the day, feeling dehydrated and nauseous and getting cramps in my jaw of all places. Overtaken by two team runners, the second points out a red bellied black snake and we chat for awhile waiting for it to cross the track. He is complaining about cramps but I am just wishing I could eat something substantial. My practice of this run leg took 40min up to Sawpit Creek and 36min for the loop. Today I was at over an hour and counting and was still looking for the transition. Once there, at first I wonder why nobody is in compound and then remember it has moved down the road. Luckily there is a water stop so I fill my bladder and head up the 6k loop. Overtaken by two more team runners. The loop takes :50, not :36 when I jogged it before. Have a couple of cups of warm tropical Pepsi and speak to wife on phone."Yes, taking it easy, yes, will pull out if I feel sick. Don't worry so much. It is almost over anyway"
The night before the race I saw an interview with a Commonwealth Games swimmer who repeated her mantra"focus on the process, not the results". I was at a point in the race (8 hrs) where to finish, I couldn't think of how much still had to be done and adopted this for myself. This ride was therefore broken down into the climb, the descent, and the undulations. I met the hastily derived goal to never stop turning over the legs on the climb, enjoyed the descent on the bitumen and really felt through the shoulders the descent on the corrugated section. Overtaken by the last team rider. I was now on my own. Tried to ride in a very conservative way in case I end up injured down an embankment. Had to push up a few of the hills. Near the end of the track, the sweep came up behind me, stopped, and took a few photos.
As I donned my wetsuit, two team swimmers were about to come out of water, but only a handful of people around. One of the volunteers fed me some seaweed in little packets and Endura, saying it was much better than Gatorade. Decide to break the swim down to 1 marker at a time. Get toe cramps between 1st and 2nd markers (ignore). Hamstring cramps at 2nd marker I can't ignore and need to hang on to second marker's ropes as Adam spins around the Kayak and paddles closer for the rest of the swim. Need to hang on to kayak twice more with cramps.
Thankful for the decision to bring a slower plastic sit on kayak for this leg. During the practice paddle of this leg in January I learned that the wind and waves were more than my limited paddling experience could handle in a tippy fast kayak. The downside of this craft was that it was heavy and slow. I looked over to the SES boat who was shadowing me to see spray flying off its bow. It was a full on headwind. The distantEast Jindabyneis not gettingcloser. Shoreline not changing. Use an anchored fishing boat as a beacon, who as I pass asks"bout time we head in don't you think". Yes, that is what I have been trying to do for the last hour. I start to wonder if the organisers will pull the pin on my day, can't remember what the cut off times were. Getting dark and I start to feel the cold. The waves coming over the bow warm me up momentarily, but then the wind cuts deeper after each drenching. These are the times that set up the situation I think people get into endurance racing. This is the pointy end of the day that one must struggle with the temptation to quit and to overcome the"why am I doing this?" type questions. The answer today is"because you started and besides, it would be embarrassing to ask the SES guys to give you a lift to the finish". Manage to drink quite a bit of Gatorade but my newly acquired seaweed packets are floating, bloated, in the footrest of the kayak. To fearful to stop (even for 5 sec) paddling for the entire journey, lest the wind blow me backwards. Finally round a point and the wind and waves start to subside. The SES guys motor up and point me to the right bay, and then ring somebody on their mobile to find out precisely where to go. I see a dunny being driven away on a trailer and figure I must be close.
Shivering and with teeth chattering, I put on some dry clothes and start to walk to the finish as volunteer Nigel helps Adam put the kayak on the roof. I am told that one of the other soloists have pulled out with cramps. All I need to do is finish for 2nd place. It is now dark, though I can see the orange ribbons for the track. Nigel catches up and we start to run towards the finish. It is a level run and we seem to be going at a good pace. Glad to have him there to talk to and find our way through the campground. Legs still feel fine on the flat and seems like we reach town in no time. The finish is anti-climatic as there are only about 8 people there, most of which are volunteers eager to pack up. I am handed a trophy as I cross the line, walk a few strides to the car, chuck my things in and leave.
View full article »
2010: Team Report – the Go Go Girls (50+)
We are doing this again!!? It might be cold
Tho’ it never rains; So we’ve been told!
The fifth time we’ve entered. The team is antique.
And sadly, oh dear, the forecast is bleak.
Pack the raincoat and brolly and hope the kayak doesn’t leak.
Wipers on full throttle as we slide into Kalkite
Mist and rain – but wait! It’s getting light
Helen’s afloat and swims with the best
Jean’s off down the lake - (so far we’re blessed)
The rain has let up, the brolly is spent
Jean (the Machine) Stars! How she went!
Sue’s ready and waiting and dancing about
Transition is smooth, Sue’s off. There’s no doubt
She’s aiming to crush her time
From 2 thousand and nine
“The hill’s seemed to be less – the track more benign”
Her record is smashed and she’s nearly TOO quick
Peggy just makes transition from run to mud (thick)
Granite boulders wizz by and right on time
Peg rides the big dipper, tags Helen the flipper
Simmo the Supporter, brought the kayak around
So Jean can keep Helen from running aground
Hel sliced through the water. Her time? It is fab - ay!
And before she is dry, Jean’s near Hatchery Bay
(Oh joy - the rain - it is staying away)
But where are the other teams of the day?
The Quinn has gone AWOL, no Baldwin to play
No Fox Hunt this year-the Vixens home in the den
the Pankcake and the Stuffers? We do miss them
Foges, Sue and the knot of Bullfrog Croaks
are here for the race in the new ponds and the soaks
The “JARS” from Congo can’t stay away
The “Last Minute” boys are here making hay
“The Cougars Hunters” are having a punt
Are we the Cougars? (Hmm - just now the old girls are in front)!
Back to the story – Jeannie is fast
Peggy’s second ride is a blast
Sue’s crossing the river and bounds up the incline
While Sue’s running swiftly – (of age there’s no sign)
Peg’s washed off the mud, had a last stretch of the spine.
While waiting for Sue at Sawpit creek
We witness the Bullfrog’s crowd pleasing technique
Transition from daughter to dad comes with a kiss and embrace
Aaaawwww! A sweet moment of the race
And Dad’s speedy ride’s an impossible chase.
The last ride is long and it’s tough and its up
Its rutted and boggy and steep and a cow
“Abiding cheerfulness”-where are you now?
(It took a shortcut, straight down the Snowy
Avoiding the vertical mountain and plain where its blowy)
Nearly 3 hours later when Peggy emerges
The other girls, now well rested, are ready for surges
The last ride transcendence in style
Now it is Hel’s turn to swim the last mile.
The wind and the chop are starting to gather
The Divas Alina sees only foam and lather.
The tail wind assists and the following sea
Jeannie’s last paddle rushed along, “paddle paddle! Whoopee!”.
Well done Alan (from the UH and F Team)
The chase down the lake really made Jeannie beam.
But where are the Diva’s – the purple and red?
Surely they can’t have managed to slip ahead?
Alas for them, the choppy lake took its toll
But Sue wasn’t going to make it a stroll.
We finished in the rain just as we began
A wonderful day. Lots of fun, sweat and pain.
Would we do it again?
Huge thanks to the organisers, marshals, KNP staff, SES, land-owners, other teams and the solo athletes.
The Go Go Girls @50 +
View full article »
2014: Steve Hanley's team report "32 Flavours"
In 2014, Steve's Hanley's team "32 Flavours" incarnated as an All-Male team of 4, to take out the course record for their category. Read his report with photos.
View full article »
2014: David Shirley's Race Report
I didn’t really have a choice in entering this event. In 2011, I entered and didn’t finish, so was compelled, even required, to go back and finish what I’d started. With more training and weighing less, I was ready for another shot at it. So last Sunday, the 2ndof March, I dived into the water before sunrise and started a long day……
for those that just want the summary, I think this photo sums it all up.
Here is what was planned for the day: Leg 1 – Swim 1.5km
Started at 7am, it was light, but the sun hadn’t come over the hills east of the lake. We all started together (47 teams ranging from 4 to 12 members, mixed teams and 2 solos). A good swim, non-eventful really. It’s fresh water, so I only thought about sharks for about 10% rather than 50% of the time. The water was cool, but perfect in my wetsuit. Leif was there to cheer me out with encouragement and my gear for the next leg.
I brought my Dorado surf ski this time as it’s faster than the Mirage Sea Kayak (used in 2011). Had a good leg as I sat behind a lady in a K1 type boat most of the way who was going just the right pace for me to conserve some energy yet pretty fast, otherwise uneventful. Was passed by a few, but passed many.
Time: 52:18 (1:01:00 in 2011)
Transition time to Run: 1 min http://connect.garmin.com/activity/454348274
Leg 3 – Run 7km
A relatively flat run considering the area it’s in – basically follows the lake shore. Magic views that time in the morning. Didn’t pass anyone, but passed by a few. It was hard having people run past you, but I had to remember that I’m a pretty average runner and it was just the beginning of a long day.
Time: 38:40 (58:32 in 2011)
Transition time to Bike: 1 min http://connect.garmin.com/activity/454348298
Leg 4 – Bike 8km (technical)
This is all single track and very technical. Although it’s not long in distance this is the first use of the hills surrounding the lake. I had my same BMC Trailfox 01 – great bike, didn’t let me down once. I did manage to smash both knee caps into the head stem/handlebars when trying to get my feet out of the pedals while getting stuck in some tricky terrain, but I was certainly not the only person swearing out there. Passed a couple, got passed by a few.
Time: 47:36 (1:01:06 in 2011)
Transition time to Swim: 6 mins http://connect.garmin.com/activity/454348316
Leg 5 – Swim 2.5km (long)
Jeez it’s hard getting into a wet wetsuit, but with two and a half kms in cool freshwater it’s worth it. You swim right past the dam wall, and I only breathe to my left, so I got a good view of it for a while. I replaced my limited thoughts of sharks with ‘what would happen of the dam wall broke?’ Didn’t get passed, passed a few.
Time: 48:45 (55:57 in 2011)
Transition time to Paddle: 3 mins http://connect.garmin.com/activity/454348329
Leg 6 – Paddle 5.5km
The best part about this leg was that I didn’t get lost. Last time, I just figured I’d turn the corner and follow the other paddlers – I turned the corner and there were no paddlers to be seen!! This time I was 46 minutes in front of my 2011 time and there were paddlers everywhere. Passed and got passed by a couple.
Time: 36:17 (56:45 in 2011 – got lost and added 2km to the trip)
Transition time to Bike: 2 mins http://connect.garmin.com/activity/454348342
Leg 7 – Bike 11km
Wow – looking at my time in comparison to 2011, the extra kms in my prep surely showed off. It’s a funny ride – wide open fields on farmers’ dirt roads and some parts just through the grass. A couple of times you have to climb over barbed wire fences with makeshift stairs made from milk crates tied together – a little wobbly, and certainly didn’t want to get that wrong wearing only thin tri pants!! Passed a few, didn’t get passed.
Time: 34:23 (44:17 in 2011)
Transition time to Run: 2 mins http://connect.garmin.com/activity/454348355
Leg 8 – Run 12.5km
This is the leg that completely overwhelmed me in 2011 and marked the end of my race. I simply wasn’t prepared for how hard it was. Being that I am not designed to run up hills, this is a killer. It’s a 12.5km run with 562m of vertical. That’s like running the Balmoral Burn up Awaba Street over 8 times. For a leg that I had thought about and worried about for years, in only about first 100m from the start I screwed it up. I missed a turn off and was lost, adding about 1.2km to the leg. I found two other lost guys. We questioned each other about which way to go and what to do. We bitched and moaned about how hopeless the trail markers were until we saw them……then shut up and just got on with running. This year they made us cross the Thredbo River. Not wanting to run in wet shoes for two hours I chose to burn the time and take them off before wading through the water…some passed me just ploughing through the water. Even though I had trained for this hill, it still got me. I walked the steeps and ran the rest. I didn’t pass anyone, but was passed by many. Best news of the day – finished ahead of the cut off time!!
Time: 2:01:01 (2:27:38 in 2011)
Now in uncharted waters…..though a more appropriate saying would be “back in the bloody hills”. After surviving the vertical challenge of Leg 8, Leg 9 starts off with what is one of the two most mentally challenging parts of the day – more vertical in the form of 8km of up. No flattening off, no undulations, just up. And with no shade in the middle of the day, it was hot. It was mentally hard as I didn’t know when it was going to stop. I was on my own – couldn’t see anyone in front or behind. I knew the leg was 43km, was hoping to finish it in around 3 hours, but when I had only completed 8km after 45 mins I was worried. The up finally finishes at Rennix Gap 1600m above sea level. The tar road is then soon replaced by dirt roads for a massive downhill. It was natures air conditioning – shaded by trees and flying down more vertical decent than I’d just climbed – I was nice and cold by the bottom. Didn’t last long – the next climb was on loose, rocky, dirt roads that were steeper than the tar. Many times I was off my bike walking, only to realise my legs had had enough of that from leg 8, so back to pedalling. I passed many on this leg, as others were hurting/walking more than I was. Good feeling riding past those who ran past me in the last leg (although they were different team members). There was lots of talk of the cut off time for this leg and would we make it – everyone seemed to have different information. I knew this leg finished at lake level, so there had to be another big downhill. Knowing that pushed me up and over the last of the climbs before the fast, steep and free flowing roll to the bottom…so excited to see the water and Leif with my dry wetsuit!!!
Leg 10 – Swim 1.4km
It’s now nearly 5:30 in the afternoon. I’m so happy the bike is over and I can get in that cool water. My happiness soon turned to worry when my legs started cramping. I was so thankful for my wetsuit – just float my legs, don’t move them and the cramps would stay away. It worked and I made it to the end. A mouthful of Enduralytes after the swim made those the last cramps of the day. Smashed about 6 pieces of watermelon in transition, so refreshing and cleansing after drinking my fuel mix all day.
Transition time to Paddle: 8 mins http://connect.garmin.com/activity/454348450
Leg 11 – Paddle 9.5 (long)
This was hard. The afternoon wind had arrived, whipping up some surface chop which was hitting us on an angle for most of the way (did you like how I said ‘us’…..as I still had company!!), so I was burning energy just balancing. It was certainly slow, but knowing there was only a run to go made it easier. I paddled with another guy for most of the leg. We chatted about the sun that was now behind the western mountains that I’d run and biked up and down, and how long ago it was that the sun was on the other side of the lake rising in the morning. That gave me some perspective of what a long day it had been so far. I’ve got to get a new ski – my bum goes numb in the seat, then my left leg, which is not good with a run to follow.
Leg 12 – Run 5km (flat)
What can I say…..all I wanted to do now was run the whole way without walking - and I did. It wasn’t fast. I was body tired. I always wonder what is the limiting factor – heart, lungs, legs/arms or your head. I felt like I was having a conversation with a third party when checking in on my legs, they surprisingly were up for it. My heart was ticking away in the low 140s and my head had nothing but the finishing line in it. So it was my lungs that set the pace. I kept looking at the mins/km on my watch and so wanted it to be less than 7mins/km….why I don’t know. I was passed by two, but happy with my 6:47/km. I watched the 0.1 of the kms tick by so knew when I was close. When I turned the last corner and saw the finish chute, expecting a wave of pure happiness to hit, I was quite caught by surprise when my first reaction was a welling up in my eyes. Instead of arms in the air with muscles flexed in victory, I was again surprised with the lightly clenched fists on my chest matching the emotion in my eyes – more of a quiet thank you to my body. Ok, with that done I crossed the line – ABSOLUTELY STOKED. My trusty mate Leif was there again, like he had been all day at every transition, to welcome me in. I can’t remember smiling with such joy from crossing a finish line like that before. Almost immediately they presented me with the 2nd place Solo Trophy – so wasn’t expecting that. You can choose how to remember it – there were three solo competitors signed up, one pulled out at registration and joined a team, two started and two finished, so I either came 2nd or last.
Time: 32:20 http://connect.garmin.com/activity/454348491
From the official race report:
Only two solo entrants toed the line at Kalkite Waters, joining the teams' start at 7 am. A small contingent they may have been, yet they provided – for the first occasion in the event's history – a 100% finish rate for the whole solo field. Graham Hammell from Gerringong, was originally entered with a mate as a team of two, yet when his friend was unable to attend, rather than withdrawing himself, Graham decided simply to step up to the next level and race the whole thing solo. His time of 11:13:03 was a sensational return for the courage, commitment and daring to take on this challenge: he even collected a new course record (for soloists) for the MTB1 course along the way. David Shirley of Castlecrag (NSW), is another who came and conquered on his second attempt, finishing in 12:47:12 after a steady and focussed race throughout. We salute both soloists – your cheerful demeanour and constant respect and appreciation for the efforts of all the course marshals and helpers along the way demonstrated both your humility and magnanimity, which combined with your sheer guts and determination gave us all tremendous inspiration and joy in your achievements.
Distance: 115.4km (Swim 5.4km, Paddle 24km, Run 25km & Bike 62km)
Race time: 12 hours 6 mins
Transition time: 40 mins
Average Heart rate for the 12 hours 46 mins: 143 bpm
Elevation Ascent: 1,957m
Elevation Descent: 1,950m
Thanks to my Danielle, Jasmine, Saskia & Bella who supported (put up with) me through all the training, the endless talking about, and the time away from home. A MASSIVE thanks to Leif who gave up his weekend to come help me achieve this. A thanks to Mark Rechner who was a backup in case Leif couldn’t make it.
Thanks to Stan, who, whether on the ride or not pushed me in training – what has Strava done to us?!!?
It’s a great event of camaraderie and support from the fellow competitors, helpers and course officials.
TICK – never again as a solo…….who’s up for a team? Bags not do leg 8 or 9.
View full article »
2011: Steve Hanley's report on his solo performance