The 2020 race saw the closest and most exciting competition among the solo men ever seen at this event, with the lead changing 7 times in the course of the day and the slenderest gap of a mere 59 seconds at the finish line between 1st and 2nd placings. It was a race between 3 varied challengers: Michael Brennan, a former winner of this race but carrying an injury which might or might not play a part over such an extended day of exertion; newly-arrived Jindabyne local Josh Campton, a gun XTerra and Cross Tri World Championship entrant with local knowledge but not yet proven over this distance; and Melbourne 1st-timer Ian Lack, a quality, experienced multiple-Ironman triathlete.
Never far behind this trio was the consistent Craig Maskiell, who worked his way around the course with calm determination and consistency to claim a new record for the Solo Male 50 and Over, with his outstanding overall time of 11:22:53, and 4th place overall. Following Craig in the Under 50s category were Adam Carter (11:41:42) and Glen Sinnott (12:09:41) – who deserve the highest praise for conquering such a daunting, demanding challenge in one of the toughest days out imaginable.
Back to the front of the field, where the drama played out as part cat-and-mouse, part chess match and part endurance meditation, as the greater and lesser strengths (none of these athletes could be said to have weaknesses!) of each of the contenders came into focus. While Josh Campton made his greatest impression on the long 12.5km run up to Sawpit Creek, his hard-earned gains dissolved in the mud and drizzle of the following gruelling mountain bike leg. Ian Lack played the patient game, steadily working his way closer and closer to the lead – perhaps if there had been 13 legs or the final run had been longer he might have clasped the laurel wreath… while Michael Brennan’s experience was a key factor, the single greatest difference among the 3 proved to be Michael’s swimming prowess – the time he made up in each of the 3 swimming legs (including new course records for both the 1st and 3rd swims) proving enough of a buffer to hold off all the others could claw back in other disciplines.
TEAMS OF 2-4
With the race being held on International Women’s Day this year, it was notable that for the first time ever, there were no solo women contestants, nor any all-female teams. We anticipate this drought is only temporary, and 2021 will again see female participants aplenty.
“Geese” (T4 Open – comprising the quartet of Roy Norris, Tristan White, Gary Reed and Miles Waring) was the stand-out team of the day, clocking a phenomenal course record finishing time of 7:54:33, a dizzy new benchmark for aspiring teams to reach for in future years. Next home was “Team Ware + Jack” (Jason, Marc & Harrison Ware + Jack Murphy swimming) in 8:36:53. After the 1st swim leg, these two teams were 1st and 2nd respectively at every single transition, showing solid strength in all disciplines. “Aprosexias” was the 3rd T4 Open team in 9:49:30 (Andrew Tooher, Jon King, Ben Hams & Jonathan Hannam).
The Mixed T4 category was conquered by Melbourne’s super-pairing of Bernadette Dornam – who completed 7 legs – and Myall Quint (“Powered by Bern”), winning in 9:48:43. Hopefully Bernadette saw enough of the course to inspire her to return next year as a solo entrant! Local family ensemble of Winter-sport specialists “Team Evans Zijlstra” (daughters Zana & Abbey with dad Anthony Evans and mum Carla Zijlstra) took 2nd placing with a fine 10:04:45; from 3rd placed Canberra trio “32 Flavours Bilbys” (Sarah Mareuil, Lee Steel & Steven Hanley) with 10:18:47.
TEAMS OF 5-12
“East Jindy Pirates” (Matt Tonner, Jamie Taylor, Niki Fisher, Yvette Burns, Jeanette Korten, Trent Lowe, Jason Furtner & Em Hardwick) sailed from East Jindabyne for a daring and successful raid on the treasure chest of course records, taking off with the new fastest time for T12 Mixed of 9:03:08 and throwing down the gauntlet to any other marauders who might like to challenge for the prize in future years. They enjoyed nearly a one hour buffer ahead of 2nd-placed “Knerds” (Salome Hussein, Andrew Garvie, Chris Waring, Suzie Gunning and Mike Hotchkis) in 9:59:51, with the final podium placing going to another local team, “Race to the Brewery” (Michael Quinlan, Bill Hunter, Sinikka Christo, Ouchy Wirth, Cam Ballinger and Alex Williamson) with 10:12:09.
While the T12 Mixed category was dominated by local teams, the T12 Open saw loyal supporters of this race from further afield come to the fore, with loyal Goulburn outfit “Release the Cracken-back No. 4 Pete” (Mark & Olivia Stutchbury, Rod Smith, Andy Dawes, Jacqui & Andrew Oberg) cruising into 1st place with a fine showing of 9:11:30; from the pioneer ensemble of “Aviator’s Beach Club” (Dave Hayes, Shane Lund, Andy Thomas, Sean Davis, Richard Palmer & Pete Hansen) overcoming an inspired, elongated middle paddle leg to claim 2nd with 9:44:58; while “All Hands on Deck” (Amelia Cook, Sander Van Tol, Jo Vanderley, John Astridge, Scott Crerar and Barry Fields) took 3rd spot in 11:13:10.
This race not only has 12 legs of 4 varied disciplines on water and land, it also involves multiple jurisdictions and stakeholders, all of whom play crucial roles in the ultimate staging of a successful, enjoyable event for all involved. Our special gratitude goes to June Weston of “Michael’s” for permission to ride on her land; Jenny Crowe of Snowy Hydro (owners of the lake and foreshores); Sophie Ballinger of Snowy Monaro Council (administrators of the land and activities thereon); Andrew Miller & Kerry Coomber of Kosciuszko National Park (the long run and long ride); Les Threlfo and his expert, friendly team from Jindabyne Marine Rescue; the wonderful Jindabyne Trail Stewardship team (MTB tracks for the 1st and middle rides); NSW RMS for Road Occupancy Licence for the on-road section of the long MTB course & for Aquatic Licence covering activities on the lake; Jindabyne Sailing Club; Doug Chatten for medic support; Andy Walker for sweeping of all 3 mountain bike legs; Matt Barnes, Robin Ward & David Campbell for additional kayak water-safety; Troy Dowd of Snowy Monaro Council for traffic & signage assistance; Alina McMaster & Tom, Archie & Jackson Landon-Smith for general logistics & keeping everyone’s spirits high; and to volunteer helpers of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Mongolia, Latvia, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Geelong and Canberra.