7 March, 2010: Two years ago, Steve Hanley dragged himself and his bike up over the Gungarlin Pipeline track and across Botherum Plain. During the next swim from Horseshoe Bay, hardly able to breathe, he realised he was cooked and his dream of completing the Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic as a soloist was over. He had courageously entered the race with the flu and saw a year's training dissolve in a quiet resignation at Creel Bay.
His resolve intensified by the experience, Steve (left) returned in 2009 to conquer the course. In 2010 he took over an hour off his time and won the race.
Ross Beatty came in 20 minutes after Steve, immediately proclaiming "Never again!" yet smiling nonetheless. This was Ross' comeback race after a few years focussing on other pursuits. For the soloists it was a hard day at the office, yet a profoundly significant personal achievement. Scott Sorrell had led from the outset, while Craig Kentwell had also looked solid throughout, until the long climb up the Gungarlin Fire Trail took its toll on them both.
Three teams broke the magical 9-hour barrier, all with stellar all-round performances. Last year's winners "Get Stuffed" (right) â swimmer James Crook, paddler David Coward, runner Jarrod Crosby and mountain biker Daniel Wright â took line honours and 1st place in the T4 Open category in a new course record 8:32:18.
Not far behind, in 8:40:12 â also a new course record in their category of T4 Mixed â came "Entropic", featuring 2 former solo finishers and female athlete of the day, Shanyn Sparreboom (left) who set the fastest time outright (and female course records) for 2 of the 3 swim legs, and the fastest female time for the remaining swim as well as the final run. Shanyn chose good company in Randall Fitzsimon, Alex Ramsay and Mark McDonald.
Jindabyne stalwarts, Dave Hayes' "Aviators Beach Club" â who have sometimes raced as a Mixed Team in past years â just pipped the 9-hour mark in 8:59:38 to take out this year's T12 Open main prize. Dave was joined this time round by Elliott Wise, Shane Lund, JK Thomas, Richard Palmer and Pete Hansen.
Next were "The Sequins", 1st in a new record time for the T12 Mixed category in 9:22:23. Sally Parker led the charge with Nicholas Remires, Pete Garbutt, Catarina Axelsson, Aaron Coles and Pete Flynn rounding out a formidable combination.
The famous "Go Go Girls" again showed the younger women a thing or two (not that they are competitive, mind you!), taking out the T4 Female 50+ category in the impressive time of 11:12:37. Each of the Go Go Girls â swimmer Helen Douglass, paddler Jean Douglass, runner Sue Archer and mountain biker Peggy Douglass â were among the very top female performers in every single leg of the race.
Jindabyne locals "The Roaring 40's" â Jodie Old, Sue Machin, Carol Lee and Daisy Oayda â took the T4 Female category in 11:56:28, to the delight of the local supporters.
The outstanding bike ride of the day came from local boy Anthony Evans of team "Multi-Glisse", who had warmed up with the 1st run and 2nd swim before tackling the 3rd MTB ride â while most riders were returning slower times in the muddy conditions, Anthony's 1:55:41 set a new course record, the only rider to break 2 hours for the grueling 43 km.
Bart McPherson (right) of team "Mumbulla Muscle" was the sensational runner of the day, setting the fastest times for all 3 run legs, including course records for the 1st and 3rd runs. His 57:33 for the tough uphill 2nd run was a full 10 minutes quicker than his closest rival.
Also notable were new course records for the 3rd paddle leg by Rachelle Irving (54:41) and Gavin Granger (42:14) in trying conditions.
The organisers wish to express their sincere gratitude to Les Threlfo and the Snowy River State Emergency Service for safety, communication and patrolling of all water-based courses; Craig Stonestreet for building and maintaining the 1st MTB course and sweeping all 3 MTB courses; Bob and June Weston for use of their property "Michaels" for the 2nd MTB and transition area at Michaels Corner; Andrew Miller and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (Kosciuszko National Park) for assistance with the 2nd run, 3rd MTB and provision of a ferry service between Creel Bay and Horseshoe Bay; Pat Darlington for making available the facilities of the Kosciuszko Education Centre at Sawpit Creek; Snowy Hydro for permission to use the lake and its foreshores; Snowy River Shire Council for permission to construct the transition areas and for use of the cycle path for the 3rd run and Banjo Patterson Park for the finish; Peggy Huang for emergency medical services; Snr Constable Sam Morabito of the Queanbeyan Police, Wayne Wilson of the RTA (Wollongong) and Volker Georgi of the Snowy River Shire Local Traffic Committee (Berridale) for approval of traffic management plans and issuance of a Road Occupancy License for the use of Kosciuszko Rd during the 3rd MTB leg; Mick McKenzie of NSW Maritime (Queanbeyan) for approval of plans for an Aquatic License for use of Lake Jindabyne; ACT Snowsports for use of their PA system; "My Rainbow-Dreams" vegetarian cafe (Dickson) for catering services; and volunteer members from the Sri Chinmoy Centres of Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Geelong, Sydney and Canberra.
Congratulations to all who participated in this remarkable and memorable event.
Full results are published, along with a photo album from the day.
The 7th Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic will be staged on Sunday 13 March in 2011.