In 2014, Steve's Hanley's team "32 Flavours" incarnated as an All-Male team of 4, to take out the course record for their category. Read his report with photos.
The Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic was staged in, on and around Lake Jindabyne and the Kosciuszko National Park on Sunday 2 March 2014. Full results by category and overall follow:
Just as race eve brought a drenching downpour to ease the drought afflicting the Jindabyne countryside, so race morn dawned clear and bright, presaging the end of the 3-year drought since the Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic was last staged in March 2011.
Major flooding in 2012 and high water levels in 2013 saw the postponement of this marquee event not once, but twice, enforcing a 3-year hiatus between its 7th and 8th editions. Come race day, everyone involved was reminded just how much we all love this race: the scenery, the ambience, the camaraderie, the competition, the many and varied challenges, the exhilaration…
Only two solo entrants toed the line at Kalkite Waters, joining the teams' start at 7 am. A small contingent they may have been, yet they provided – for the first occasion in the event's history – a 100% finish rate for the whole solo field. Graham Hammell from Gerringong, was originally entered with a mate as a team of two, yet when his friend was unable to attend, rather than withdrawing himself, Graham decided simply to step up to the next level and race the whole thing solo. His time of 11:13:03 was a sensational return for the courage, commitment and daring to take on this challenge: he even collected a new course record (for soloists) for the MTB1 course along the way. David Shirley of Castlecrag (NSW), is another who came and conquered on his second attempt, finishing in 12:47:12 after a steady and focussed race throughout. We salute both soloists – your cheerful demeanour and constant respect and appreciation for the efforts of all the course marshals and helpers along the way demonstrated both your humility and magnanimity, which combined with your sheer guts and determination gave us all tremendous inspiration and joy in your achievements.
Not only did the entire solo field finish the race, but amazingly – and again, for the first time in the event's history – every team which started the race, also crossed the finish line. While there were a few athletes who did not make the cut-off times for a leg here or there, in each case their teams were able to take it in their stride and forge ahead to the finish: wonderful testimony to the spirit, adaptability and attitude of all teams across the field.
New team on the block "32 Flavours" (Heath Wade, Mark McDonald, Steve Hanley and David Simpfendorfer) led the race for most of the day and ended up setting a superb new course record of 8:17:01 for this gruelling 12-leg epic. David Simpfendorfer was the engine room for the team, serving up the fastest times on the day for each of his 3 bike legs, including new course records for the second (24:34) and third (1:54:04) bike legs. 20 minutes adrift of "32 Flavours" came the Wollongong-based stalwarts "Team Ranga" of Brett Parry, Dave Neall, Ian Kennerley and Al Boyle.
Next team home was "Six of the Best" (Jacob Helson, Martin Wells, Michael Hass, Mark Bolte, Bradley Holland, Phil Holland), winning the T12 Open category in 9:06:48. "Six of the Best" proved to be the only team out of the top ten finishers who were NOT entered in the highly-competitive T4 Open category.
The predominantly-female "Sweet Lego" placed 11th outright and 1st in the T12 Mixed category (Kate Vandenberg, Danielle Winslow, Beth Chaffers, Simon Everett, Ian Warren) in 9:43:36. "Evan's Angels" (Tegan Makowski, Karri Ryan, Meg Helson, Evan Westlake) also broke the 10-hour barrier with their 9:51:16 and first place in the T4 Mixed category.
The T4 Female category went to the local team of "Jindy Quattro Divas" (Tara Burton, Shauna Knee, Sara Ward-Collins, Vanessa Knee), finishing in 11:01:00. En route to their victory, Vanessa also took out a new record for the MTB1 course of 36:34.
Our debt of gratitude is owed to Les Threlfo and the Volunteer Marine Rescue for their marvellous on-water support for all swim and paddle legs; to Paul Gardiner for his expert work renovating the track for the MTB1 course as well as sweeping all three mountain bike legs; to Glenn Inches for medical support on the day; to Andrew Miller and staff of the Kosciuszko National Park for their enthusiastic embrace of the race, including providing the ferry service between Creel and Horseshoe Bays; to Triathlon NSW and in particular Race Referee Maureen Bronjes; to the officers and staff of Snowy Hydro, the Snowy River Shire Council, NSW Police and NSW RMS (both Roads and Aquatic divisions).
We especially salute and offer our soulful thanks to the owners of "Michaels" (venue for most of the MTB2 course), June Weston and her late husband Bob, who sadly passed away in the week before the race, who have been wholehearted supporters of the "Classic" since its inception. Bob will be affectionately remembered by all the event organisers – his laconic, kind-hearted presence at once reassuring, calming and energising. We like to feel that in future editions of this race as we swim, paddle, ride and run across the beloved landscape in which he lived and worked for over 90 years, Bob will be there, his smile of encouragement and appreciation offering that extra unseen boost that carries us all beyond our personal limitations and sustains the thread of joy that transforms our struggles into lasting happiness…
Full results are published – both overall and by category – including split times and placings for each athlete and each leg of the race; along with a photo album from the day.