Of course it’s perfectly normal to run and ride in the warm sun – yet, this felt somehow strange … perhaps because for all of its 17 years, this event has ALWAYS been held in the freezing cold of mid-Winter, with runners and riders for its past few editions, flailing through furlongs of slosh and mire. With the course practically bone-dry today, one had to pinch oneself to be reminded that Black Mountain Reserve was closed when the race was originally scheduled in August due to long tracts of the course being impassable.
Dave Osmond – this race’s most consistent performer across its history – proved he’s just as good in the warm and the dry as he is in the cold and the wet, taking out the long course men’s race with a quality 1:50:28, ahead of another regular, David Simpfendorfer, who this year stepped up from the Short Course to take 2nd in the Long race with 1:53:52, with 3rd going to a resurgent Ben Crabb with 1:56:21. Andrew Leigh sparkled on the last run to convert a significant deficit into a narrow victory in the Male 50-59, winning in 2:09:11 from Mark Duncanson’s 2:09:29, with Jon Schol’s 2:25:14 taking 3rd.
Michelle Res won the women’s Long Course race with a fine showing of 2:08:54. Next woman home was Julie Kael, taking out the Female 50-59 with her excellent 2:33:53. Angela Hipwell took 2nd in the Female Under 50s with 2:50:05, with Clarinda Sheeley rounding out the podium placings in 2:55:47.
Samuel McNamara and Roy McAleer teamed up to form “Macs stacks and tracks”, and take the All-Male teams’ prize with their 2:05:16; while Hayley & Pete Cuttle won the Mixed Teams division in 2:33:05.
In the Short Course race, Daniel Randall used his running speed to advantage in winning the men’s race in a fine 49:57, from Brandon Primrose’s 54:45 and Joseph Howland with 58:20. Mick Hanbury took out the M50+ with 46:36 ahead of Bruce Jenkins in 52:27 and David Baussmann’s 1:03:39.
Hilly Krone was fastest among the Female Under 50s to take the win in 56:42 form Rachel Venn with 59:05, and Michelle Welch’s 1:02:00. Deirdre Walsh took out the F50+ with 1:02:02, from Ray Wilkins in 1:15:34.
The Sri Chinmoy Off-Read Duathlons will return to their mid-Winter calendar abode in 2023.