In the teeth of what can only be described as a howling gale, a small, brave troupe gritted, grunted and ground their way around Yerrabi Pond and through Mulligans Flat and Goorooyarroo Nature Reserves. That so many even turned up on such a morning revealed a dauntless spirit not about to be ruffled by mere bluster.
Long and Short course races started concurrently, in opposite directions.
Rowan Beggs-French defied the elements to post one of the most impressive victories on this course, just missing the elusive 2 hour mark with 2:00:34 – an amazing time in the circumstances and 21 minutes ahead of 2nd-placed Steve Hanley (2:21:49). Most impressive about Rowan’s race was that he appeared calm and effortless even in the face of the raging wind. Jon Schol took out the Men 50+, not far behind Steve with 2:22:23 after a tight battle with Steve’s biking skills probably the deciding factor.
Similarly, Clare Lonergan and Danielle Winslow had a tremendous tussle in the women’s race, with Danielle opening up a substantial lead in the paddle leg, only for Clare to catch up again on the bike. Heading out of the final transition close together, it was Clare who ran more strongly to take the race in 2:36:24.
Fastest team on the day was the duo of “Madge & Co” – Erica Collins and Grant Madge – in 2:35:11.
Kerry Baxter (Male 50+) from Goulburn took line honours in the Short Course, leading from the start. Though overtaken in the paddle leg by Craig Hancock (1st Male Under 50), Kerry reclaimed his lead on the mountain bike and never looked back to win in 1:25:56.
Sharon Clarke was first Female Under 50 home in 1:37:22, with Pauline English taking the Female 50+ category in 2:07:37.
While congratulations go to all who raced today, special thanks also to the helpers and officials who stood for hours in the freezing breeze: Philip Livingstone and Fiona McWhinnie, the TACT Technical Officials and Lauren Markland from Sports Medicine Australia, Carinna Tong and a dozen volunteers from the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.