Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Yerrabi/Mulligans Flat Race Report 07
Running, paddling and riding through the bush was a perfect option for this glorious Autumn morning, with a mild tan the only threat posed by the elements.
Yerrabi Pond District Park is ideally situated in Canberra's urban fringe of Gungahlin, adjoining the bushland reserves of Mulligan's Flat and Gooroooyarroo, offering an off-road race venue close to home and nearby to city amenities. The cycle path around the pond is flat, scenic and ideal for running.
The persistent drought has reduced the reservoir, entailing a minor amendment to the course, yet the pond was still sufficiently wet for a smooth, serene morning paddle. This was the leg where those with experience and superior form stood to gain the most, as many in the field came from running and biking or triathlon backgrounds, as witnessed by the presence of several hired craft in the on-shore line-up.
The mountain bike course was also adjusted to contend with the embryonic development of the suburb of Forde. The new route added an extra kilometre to both long and short rides, entering Mulligans Flat Reserve through another gate further to the east. Most of the course within the reserve remained the same, though differently configured.
The race of the day was the tussle in the Short Course solo women's competition. Kerry Louttit held a 45 second advantage over Carmen Jeffery after the first run, only for Carmen to take a minute and a half lead out of the water. Kerry made up 30 seconds on the ride and after catching Carmen on the run, a sprint finish provided great drama with only a few centimetres separating the pair at the finish after 1:30:18 of solid gold effort, the pair also beating home all the solo males bar one.
Ian Kennedy continued his good form in local Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport races, taking out the Short Course solo men's race in 1:29:52. First placed Short Course mixed team "Mother & Sons" featured outstanding running from Reuben Caley whose time for the final run was over a minute ahead of the field.
The Long Course solo men's race also featured some good personal duels. Though running the fastest splits for both run legs, Dale McCormack gave up too much on the paddle and bike to Adrian Keogh, whose time of 2:01:32 now stands as a record on today's new course. Meanwhile Stephen Richardson made up sufficient time on the bike to hold off Pete Garbutt, who excelled in the run and paddle legs. Over 50s winner Peter Fogarty placed 7th outright amongst the men with 2:25:04. Sara Hely was untroubled to win the Long Course solo women's race in 2:30:05, despite a strong run home from 2nd placed Keri Vaughan.