The newest addition to the Canberra Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team calendar combined running, paddling and swimming. Like so many Canberra days so far this year, it was perfect weather for a sporting event, in and around the mirror-like waters of Lake Tuggeranong in southern Canberra (one of the national Capital's best-kept secrets).

Like the Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic in Jindabyne, this race inspired some dedicated triathletes- including regulars at Sri Chinmoy triathlon events- to try paddling for the first time, along with the more familiar disciplines of running and swimming. Swimming in June? Today's sunshine notwithstanding, Canberra winters are notoriously unforgiving, so the lake was replaced by the heated waters of the Lakeside Leisure Centre. After paddling in the lake, the athletes rushed to the pool for the warm swim leg.

It is not unusual for a first-time sporting event to attract a small group of athletes. This was no exception- making it an intimate event, as competitors chatted with organisers over a pancake breakfast, and almost everyone went home with a trophy. Most of the athletes also held the World Harmony Torch, and became some of the thousands of Australian torch-holders whose faces will be seen on the World Harmony Run website.

Despite the talented athletes present, it was no surprise when the winners of the long-course event (2km run, 6km paddle, 400-metre swim, 6km run) were the super-couple, adventure racing legends Tom Landon-Smith (1:21:34) and Alina McMaster (1:25:07). Though competing as individuals, they worked as a team- sharing a two-person kayak. But this didn't necessarily give them an advantage; Alina insisted that Tom merely slowed her down!

The short-course event (2km run, 3km paddle, 200-metre swim, 2km run) was won by Ken Mansell in 48:11 and Lyndsey Vivian in 51:21. The first team home was "Penguins with Paddles" (Anna and Michelle), who finished in 51:49.