Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon Race Report 2007
The 11th Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon held in and around Canberra on Sunday 18 November 2007 saw the repeat of a familiar weather pattern: a clear, still start to the day, gradually warming to an oppressive few hours in the early afternoon while most athletes were enduring MTB2 and Run2, eventually giving way to a cooler change with a few showers coming around Swim3 and MTB3.
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The Solo categories saw the return of 3 Triple-Tri veterans as well as outstanding debuts from 3 first-timers. Sadly, 7-time solo finisher David Baldwin was forced to withdraw when he crashed his bike just 2 days before the race, leaving him with broken bones in hand and leg. Undaunted, David followed the race closely and was an honoured guest at the evening's Awards Ceremony, presenting the trophies.
Julie Quinn (left) once more staged a masterclass in Triple-Tri racing to win the solo women's division, her times in each leg only minutes adrift of her own course records. Consistent throughout, she seems to become stronger the longer the day wears on (ask any of the solo males she passed), enabling her once more to finish 2nd outright behind another Triple-Tri veteran in Trevor Fairhurst (right). Trevor recorded the fastest split for a solo male in 7 legs out of the 9, proving again the supreme importance of consistency. Trevor and Julie were followed by past winner Mark Davis who again triumphed over the gruelling course in an event he has truly made his own.
Andrew Renwick, Steven Barry and Kerrie Muir (below right) had all raced the Triple-Tri previously in teams and had trained extensively on the course, so arrived with a good idea what they were in for. They each came away from a long day exhausted, exhilarated and triumphant, finishing the race in fine style at their first attempt. Kerrie's performance was interrupted when she stopped for 20 minutes to attend to a severely heat-stressed athlete on the second bike course. The rider was fine after spending a night in the hospital, and wished to publicly express his gratitude to Kerrie, a trained nurse, for her selfless compassion, sacrifice and concern.
In what has become almost a familiar exercise, organisers spent most of the week preceding the race working on contingency plans in case one of the lakes - in this case Lake Burley Griffin - might be closed. As it happened, the lake was declared open for swimming at 3.30 on Friday afternoon: just enough time to revert to Plan "A."
The only significant course change was the addition of a few kilometres of single track on the second mountain bike leg, coming off Mt Stromlo. The single track through the old Stromlo Forest had been a favourite feature of this leg prior to the bush fires of 2003 which wiped out the entire plantation. One of the aims of the Triple-Tri has always been to showcase the best Canberra has to offer (hence all those hills!) The extensive work by Canberra Off-Road Cyclists to develop a world-class network of riding tracks through the new Stromlo Forest Park - adjacent to the MTB2 course - proved the golden opportunity to reintroduce some quality single track and add another dimension to the challenges of the race.
One advantage of this single track to the organisers was that it slowed the times by just enough to enable them to beat the first teams to Lake Tuggeranong. This year Luke Grattan was pleasantly surprised to find the transition at Tuggeranong Town Park all set up and ready to go, and the first swim buoy even in place!
Luke's team "The Team With No Name" had led the field from the outset and were never challenged once they passed the solo athletes. Their finishing time of 9:13:37 set the standard for the day and was over one hour ahead of the 2nd placed T9 Open team. Often the fastest team has been from the T3 Open division, but this time "Stuff the Puffs" (John Fleming, Dave Osmond and Trevor Jacobs) had to settle for 2nd outright with 9:21:00, still comfortably winning their class.
Usually the female in the T3 Mixed division is the swimmer, but "The Long Road to Tuggers" (Chris Southby, Martin Worthy and Vanessa Haverd) took out the T3 Mixed division in 10:51:20 with a new formula: Vanessa Haverd being the outstanding female runner of the day. "The Blue Team" came in 1st in the T9 Mixed in 11:20:08.
New course records were set in the T3 Open All Over 50s division of 11:58:54 by "Pushing The Envelope" - Bill Wilson, Guy Manera and Tony Gray - and in the T9 Female All Over 50s division of 12:36:18 by the redoubtable "Go Go Girls at 50+" - Helen Douglass, Adair Ferguson, Sue Archer, Jean Douglass, Le Onie John, Penny Lovibond and Clare Wall. Special mention also to another "Over 50s" team, "Rad's Racers" who came within seconds of beating the course record in this division, despite the lengthened MTB2 course.
1st All-Female Team of 9 were the "9 Loftballoons" in 12:10:09, coming in ahead of the 1st T3 Female team "Velocity Vixens" -Michele Clement, Sue Navakas and (left) Libby Adamson- in 12:20:11.
The only new leg course record on the day was set in the third mountain bike leg, with Peter Wilson from "Team Trifle" surpassing Richard Bontjer's 9-year-old mark by 13 seconds with his stunning ride of 1:01:35.
Full results are now published by category and overall. A few notes of explanation in the published results: "NEW" signifies "Not Enough Women" - this applies in the Mixed category where a team may have substituted one member for another on the day with the result that less than 3 legs were completed by female team members, thus ruling them ineligible for the Mixed category. "DNC" designates that at least one leg was not completed by the cut-off time. The leg in question will usually have a horizontal pink bar appearing where the split time would normally be found.
The 2008 Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon will be staged on Sunday 16 November.