Certain athletes have an affinity for certain races. Many have excelled at the Sri Chinmoy Off-Road Duathlons over the years, but none have shone as consistently and brilliantly as Adrian Sheppard. Now in the over 50s bracket (though you wouldn’t know it), Adrian offered a master class over this tough course, winning the race outright and smashing his own M50-59 record in the process with a stellar 1:42:57. He also claimed a new bike course record and 2nd run course record along the way.
It was certainly a race for the older chaps, who took 3 of the top 4 placings outright. Next home was Aston Duncan (1:55:41), who set the pace early with a new age group course record for the 1st run of 11:12, perhaps inspiring Adrian to bring forward his own very best. 3rd outright was the first Male Under 50, Scott Melgaard in 1:57:27, though only seconds ahead of the 3rd placed M50-59, Andrew Oberg, with a fine 1:57:51. Chris Weenink took 2nd MU50 with 1:58:04, ahead of 3rd placed James McMurray’s 1:59:23.
Michelle Res was a clear frontrunner (and rider) in the women’s race, establishing strong leads in each of the legs, to win in 2:10:32, from 2nd placed Louise Basyoni’s 2:26:05 and Kim Elms with 2:30:42.
Frederike Stock and Keira Germech (“Bilby Blondies”) won the Al-Female relay team’s 1st prize in 2:09:07, with Keira running away with a new record for the final run leg with a sleek 32:57.
Samuel McNamara and Raymond McAleer of “Macs stacks and tracks” took home the main prize in the All-Male teams in 1:55:37, with Samuel bringing down the record for the final run with an impressive 30:02.
First placed Mixed relay team on the day was Rowena and Stephen, of “Terrawood”, winning in 2:05:12.
Hayley Achurch led from the very start of the women’s solo race and powered home in a commanding 50:51. However behind Hayley, a cluster of women vied for the other podium placings, with just 12 seconds separating 2nd from 5th place. Tiana Sinclair won that charge, finishing in 52:49, with 3rd going to Jennie Walker with 52:51.
Sadly, there are no Over 60 and Over 70 categories in the Short Course race; otherwise Trevor Jacobs would have set another record in the 70+. Instead, he had to settle for 3rd place in the Male Over 50 with his 46:22, behind the flying Bruce Jenkins’ 40:01 – Bruce set a new age group record for the final run leg of 10:50 en route to his win – and 2nd placed Florian Geier with 45:44.
With a few of the frontrunners inadvertently taking an early turn on the bike course, the men’s race opened up, with Dayan McSwain coming through the field to claim top spot in 43:08, from Danny Poole’s 46:21, and 3rd placed Connor Dent with 47:45.
On-the-day Mixed Team entry “Team Fitzgerald” were in a class of their own, to not only set a new course record (the previous had stood for 13 years), of 33:00; runner Taylor Traecey broke both run records (now 5:20 for Run 1 and 10:25 for Run 2), and biker Morgan Fitzgerald set a lightning new fastest time of 17:15.