Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon
The Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon is three off-road triathlons back-to-back, an icon event celebrating the natural side of Canberra
About the event
Swim 1.5km + Mountain bike 36km + Run 18km + Swim 3.5km + Mountain bike 36km + Run 11 km + Swim 1.2km + Mountain bike 23km + Run 13km = Triple-Triathlon
The 25th Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon was held in and around Canberra on Sunday the 13th of November 2022.
The Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon is the ultimate scenic tour of our national capital, a landmark event on the national multi-sport calendar.
The race can be enjoyed by teams or solo entrants. To attempt the entire course solo is one of the toughest single-day sporting challenges imaginable. Most race in teams, tripling the enjoyment in a celebration of camaraderie, application, speed, strategy and endurance.
Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon
Enjoy the 2020 edition of this famous race
- 0530 Solo athletes
- 0600 Relay Teams
- Till 5pm 13 October: $160 Solos; $240 T3; $270 T4-9
- After 5pm 13 October: $210 Solos; $270 T3; $300 T4-9
- Add $25 one-race licence fee (per entry) if not TA members
- ALL entries close 5pm Wednesday 9 November
- Trophies for all Solo finishers
- Medals for 1st 3 teams in each U50 category & 1st team in each 50+ category
- Registration and briefing
- Mixed teams
- Team replacements
- Role and duty of helpers
- Race start
- Number checkpoints
- Transition compounds
- Aid stations
- Care in Nature Parks
- Course markings
- Road crossings, paths & gates
- Race rules
- Participant waivers
- Contingency plans
- Safety & emegency procedures
- Swim safety
- Wetsuit Ruling on Race Day
- Course cut-off times
- Race finish, awards & results
- Course changes
- Ten highest moments
- Course records – Solo Athletes
- Course records – Relay Teams
For all pre-entered Teams and Individuals, compulsory registration will be between 12noon and 4pm, Saturday 12 November at "My Rainbow-Dreams" cafe in Dickson Chambers, opposite the Dickson Post Office, Dickson.
If you have made changes to the composition or order of your team, you will need to have these recorded at Registration. You will also collect race numbers and helpers' passes, get numbers written on swimmers' arms, and collect information on any last-minute course alterations.
To qualify for a Mixed Team award, at least three of the nine legs of the race must be completed by a female team member (ie three females can complete one leg each, one female can complete two legs and another can do one, or one female can complete three legs to meet the minimum requirement.)
Mixed Teams are still welcome to participate if less than three legs are completed by females, in which case they will automatically be entered in the Open Category.
Replacement of team members is allowed, provided the replacement does not alter the category of the team (ie all-female to mixed, or 3-person to 9-person etc). Replacement members must sign the original team entry form at Registration. Also at Registration, names are to be confirmed for each member doing each leg. Changes to this schedule will be permitted on the day, provided transition marshals are informed of the change in advance of the leg concerned.
Individuals- Every individual competitor must provide his or her own helper, who will be issued with an official helper's ID number at Registration. Each helper may only be responsible for one athlete. Individual's helpers may provide assistance of any kind anywhere on the course, with the exception of pacing (ie swimming, riding or running with the athlete for more than 30 seconds), or physically assisting the athlete to move in a forward direction (ie pushing, holding or towing the athlete). Helpers may row or paddle ahead of the athlete during the second and third swim legs (not the first swim leg), provided they stay at least 5 metres clear of the athlete. Helpers may touch the athlete as long as he or she is stationary, and may assist with clothing, equipment (including mechanical assistance), food & drinks, as well as motivational, inspirational and directional advice. Helpers are fully and exclusively responsible for the condition and security of the athlete's equipment, and transport of that equipment from one transition compound to the next. Helpers may not interfere with or impede the progress of any other competitor. To do so will incur the disqualification of the helper's athlete, even if he or she has no part in such interference.
Teams - Teams must provide their own assistance and transport, which must be limited to a maximum of two (2) vehicles. Only members of a team can provide assistance to a team member in the course of the event. All other conditions are the same as apply to the individuals' helpers. Any team member impeding or interfering with the progress of any other competitor or team will incur the disqualification of his or her entire team.
The race will start in three waves, from Dulwa swimming beach at the western end of Diddams Close, Lake Ginninderra.
Individual competitors, and all Teams All Over 50, Over 60 and Over 70, will enter the water at 5.30 am; the remaining teams of 3 at 6am and teams of 4-9 at 6.05am. Please assemble at the beach for final check-in fifteen minutes prior to your start time. Final briefing will commence five minutes before start time.
Upon completion of each leg, it is the athlete's responsibility to ensure that his or her number has been recorded by the timekeepers, before tagging the next athlete or proceeding to the next leg. Swimmers must remove wetsuits where a number is obscured. Besides the transition compounds, there will be several number checkpoints on each mountain bike and run course. These will be marked with a sign, and attended by an official. It is the athlete's responsibility to ensure that his or her number is recorded by the official. Failure to be recorded at a number checkpoint will incur a minimum time penalty of 30 minutes. Locals will be aware of many potential short-cuts, but should remember that to take a short-cut may mean missing a crucial number checkpoint!
Race numbers are recorded at number checkpoints and transition compounds throughout the race. Anyone whose number is not recorded within a reasonable time will become the object of a search (and, if necessary, rescue) mission. For this reason, any individual or team member choosing to withdraw from the event must inform, or have their helper inform either an Emergency Services marshal or a race official at an aid station or a transition compound.
In the event of a team member being unable to complete his or her leg, another team member may complete that leg on his or her behalf, provided race officials are informed of the details and circumstances before the replacement team member proceeds. The resulting split time for that leg will not be credited to any team member, but the team will still be eligible for awards. Otherwise, the team may choose to leave that leg uncompleted and another team member may start the next leg, commencing from the advertised cut-off time of the previous leg. In this case, the team will be allowed to proceed, and other team members' split times will be recorded, but the team will be recorded as a DNF, ineligible for awards.
Each team athlete must check-in with officials at the transition 15 minutes prior to their anticipated start-time. The team-member completing the previous leg must complete his or her course and be recorded by officials before tagging the next member, who is then free to depart.
There will be full aid station supplies at each transition point. These will include water, sports drink, fruit, sweets, First Aid kit, vaseline, sunscreen (all of which are available to competitors only), and either public toilets or Port-a-loo. The transitions from the first and second swims to the first and second mountain bikes will also provide hot drinks.
Access to transition compounds is restricted to race officials, individual's helpers (wearing helper's ID), media and team members involved in the changeover.
Transition compounds will be at the following locations:
Swim 1 / MTB 1 - Bimbi Beach, eastern end of Diddams Close, Lake Ginninderra.
MTB 1 / Run 1 - bus stop on Antill St, at the end of Watson.
Run 1 / Swim 2 - Grevillea Park beach, Menindee Drive, Russell.
Swim 2 / MTB 2 - Henry Rolland Park, Barrine Drive, Acton.
MTB 2 / Run 2 - grassy area beside Badimara St, Waramanga, near the Tuggeranong Parkway cycle path underpass.
Run 2 / Swim 3 – Nguru Beach off Mortimer Lewis Drive, Lake Tuggeranong, Greenway.
Swim 3 / MTB 3 - grassy area between KFC and Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Reed St, Tuggeranong.
MTB 3 / Run 3 - grassy area beyond the end of Hartigan St, Garran.
Aside from the transition compounds, there will be one aid station on each mountain bike course offering fruit, sweets, sports bars, water and sports drink refills (but not bidon exchanges), as well as rudimentary bike repair equipment. Individuals are advised to carry two full drink bidons on their bikes, as well as a full repair kit and 2 spare tyres. Anyone completing the entire course without getting at least one flat will be lucky! There are frequent aid stations on the run courses, though the more inaccessible will supply water only. All aid stations will be equipped with a radio or mobile phone.
Following is a complete list of aid stations:
(FS = Full Service; W = Water only; WSD = Water and sports drink)
1) swim 1 / MTB 1 transition: Bimbi Beach, eastern end of Diddams Close (FS + hot drinks)
2) MTB 1: summit of Black Mountain, bus layby (FS + repair kit)
3) MTB 1 / run 1 transition: Antill St bus stop, Watson (FS)
4) run 1A: summit of Mt Majura (WSD)
5) run 1B: horse logs near reservoir before Hackett Hill (WSD)
6) run 1C: turn-off under power lines between Hackett Hill & Mt Ainslie (WSD)
7) run 1D: summit of Mt Ainslie (FS)
8) run 1E: corner of Constitution Ave & Wendouree Dr, Parkes (FS)
9) run 1 / swim 2 transition: beach at Grevillea Park (FS)
10) swim 2 / MTB 2 transition: Henry Rolland Park, Barrine Drive, Acton (FS + hot drinks)
11) MTB 2: Uriarra Rd crossing (FS + repair kit)
12) MTB 2 / run 2 transition: beside Badimara St, near Parkway tunnel (FS)
13) run 2A: summit of Mt Taylor (W)
14) run 2B: Colquhoun St crossing, Kambah (FS)
15) run 2C: Laidlaw Pl crossing, Kambah (FS)
16) run 2 / swim 3 transition: Nguru Beach, off Mortimer Lewis Dr, Greenway. (FS)
17) swim 3 / MTB 3 transition: adjacent to KFC, Reed St (FS)
18) MTB 3 / run 3 transition: end of Hartigan St, Garran (FS)
19) run 3A: summit of Red Hill, lookout (FS)
20) run 3B: end of Walsh Pl, Curtin (FS)
21) run 3C: Bike path crossing of Dunrossil Dr (FS)
22) finish line / recovery area: (FS + hot showers + hot pasta meal)
Most of the course of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon is within Canberra Nature Park, which includes Aranda Bushland, Black Mountain Reserve, Bruce and O'Connor Ridges, Mt Majura, Mt Ainslie, Cooleman Ridge, Mt Taylor, Wanniassa Ridge, Farrer and Isaacs Ridges and Red Hill. We are very fortunate to have been granted permission to stage this event through the CNP, especially the mountain bike legs. The authorities of Environment ACT have been extremely cooperative and helpful.
However, please be aware that this event takes place in a public domain. We do not have exclusive use of any of these areas, all of which are used by many people on weekends. Please treat other users with courtesy, especially walkers.
Swim courses will be marked with swim buoys. The markings used for mountain bike and run courses will be detailed at Registration.
Athletes are entirely responsible for their own safety and must give way to all traffic at all road crossings. While marshals will be stationed at major crossings, they will not be stopping traffic, but simply alerting and reminding you to make a safe crossing. Please be patient and cautious. In the context of an all-day event, a short delay at a road crossing may be used as an opportunity for a brief rest.
Athletes must show due courtesy and concern for all users of public cycle paths, including giving way to all pedestrians and recreational cyclists. Competitors are not to 'race' along the cycle paths, and are to proceed at a normal recreational pace.
All gates in Canberra Nature Park and the former Stromlo Forest which are normally locked will remain locked for this event. Where a gate is closed, you may open the gate to pass through, but must then close the gate behind you. Where a gate on the course is locked, it must be climbed.
This race is sanctioned by Triathlon ACT as a member of Triathlon Australia, and is conducted in accordance with Triathlon Australia race rules, with the exception of those rules covering drafting on the bike course. Drafting is permitted in this event.
Please note that all competitors who have entered or have been entered into this event online, whether as individuals or team members, must sign the participant waiver before commencing their respective leg or legs of the race. Copies of the waiver will be available at each transition area.
Any competitor who commences a leg without first signing the participant waiver is subject to immediate and automatic disqualification, and is no longer deemed a participant in the event.
From time to time Canberra’s lakes, like all inland water bodies, may be affected by various natural phenomena such as blue-green algae or bacteria. All of the lakes are tested regularly and rigorously, and are subject to closure if the levels of any potentially harmful organisms rise above certain standard measures.
In the event that any one, two or all three of Canberra’s lakes are closed at the time of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, all effort will be made to ensure that the event proceeds as a Triple-Triathlon with 3 swims, though distances and courses for all legs may vary. Alternatively the event may be postponed to a later date, with all entries held over to that date, or still valid for any staging of the event within 3 years of the originally advertised date.
The event is being attended by members of Sports Medicine Australia. Trained personnel will be on hand to treat injuries, with 4-wheel drives on stand-by in case of emergencies. Most aid stations and many marshals will have mobile phones. 2 boats will also be patrolling Lake Burley Griffin, in addition to smaller craft.
The most important component of ensuring a safe event is common sense, particularly on the mountain bike courses. Carefully check your brakes and tyres the day before the race. Please exercise care while negotiating all descents, especially if you are unfamiliar with the course, as some sections are really steep and rocky. The time lost through sensible caution is nothing compared to the time lost through a trip to the hospital.
Beware of snakes. In Springtime, snakes are still quite sluggish, being not yet properly warmed up. This is when they can be most dangerous, as they cannot get hastily out of your way, and see no option but to strike. In case of snakebite, remain where you are and alert the next athlete to seek immediate help.
This is an endurance event, where a spirit of mutual assistance will benefit all. No amount of planning can adequately protect a 150 kilometre course through bushland, and many sections are without medical personnel or marshals for several kilometres. If you encounter another athlete in difficulty, please stop to ascertain their condition and lend assistance where possible, and be sure to report the situation to the next marshal you see. The reward of helping another in need will outlast that of reaching the finish line.
Swim caps are compulsory in all three swims, and wet suits are strongly recommended. Swim caps will be provided at Registration for individuals and all Team swimmers. Average water temperature in the lakes at this time of year is 16C - 20C degrees.
Particular care must be taken by individual athletes before and during the second and third swims, as leg muscles tend to cramp in the water after extended use. Take time at the transitions to replenish with electrolytes and fuel, and allow your heart rate to diminish. Thoroughly stretch all leg muscles before entering the water. Race officials have the responsibility to prevent you from entering the water if they feel you are distressed or overly fatigued. Once in the water, keep your legs moving as much as possible, to encourage blood flow. In case of cramping, signal to the nearest craft. You may rest on the craft as long as you need, or on dry land if close enough. It is advisable to practise your run/swim transitions in advance. Be sure to drink at the Commonwealth Place water station during the Lake Burley Griffin swim.
A reminder that this event operates under Triathlon Australia Race Competition Rules (TA RCR).
The Technical Delegate, following consultation with the Medical Director or Event Organiser, may amend the wetsuit determination temperatures for competitor safety reasons.
Water temperature is not the only determinant – air temperature is also considered. This is calculated when the water temperature is lower than 22°C and the air temperature is lower than 15°C. In this case the adjusted value is to decrease the measured water temperature according to the chart in Rule 2 in the TA RCR.
The air temperature at the start of each swim will be taken into account when determining whether wetsuits are allowed OR must be worn.
In November the mornings can still be quite chilly in Canberra, and water temperatures can be cool, so please remember to bring your wetsuit to the start of each swim. If wetsuits are made mandatory on the day anyone not wearing a wetsuit may be subject to disqualification from the race.
All times listed are in 24-hour clock time according to Eastern Daylight Savings Time, which assumes that the race commences with the start of the Solo competitors at 0530.
|Swim 1 - 0700||Swim 2 - 1325||Swim 3 - 1805|
|MTB 1 - 0950||MTB 2 - 1630||MTB 3 - 2015|
|Run 1 - 1150||Run 2 - 1745||Run 3 - 2200|
After these times, there will be no marshals, checkpoints or aid stations on the course, and split times will not be recorded.
Individuals: The only cut-off time which will be strictly enforced is the cut-off at the end of the third swim course. Any athlete who has not started the third mountain bike leg by 1805, will not be allowed to continue. Any athlete starting the final run leg after 1930 must be accompanied by his or her helper with a torch. A sweeper will follow the backmarker throughout the course in a canoe, on a mountain bike, and on foot.
Teams: In the event that a team member fails to complete his or her leg before the designated cut-off time, another team member will be allowed to start the next leg at that time. In this case, the team will be permitted to proceed, and all ensuing team members' split times will be recorded, but the team will be recorded as a DNF, ineligible for any awards.
The race finish and communications HQ is at the YMCA Sailing Club, on Alexandrina Drive at Yarralumla Bay. Updates on competitor positions will be posted here throughout the day, and hot food and drinks will be served to athletes only. Hot showers are available, so remember to bring a towel and soap with a fresh change of clothes.
Family members, helpers and supporters are welcome to purchase a meal ticket for the finish buffet, which is complimentary for all competitors with a race number. From 4.30pm the buffet will offer a meal and dessert for $10. Vouchers for the buffet can be prebooked. To ensure all can be catered for, please book and purchase your buffet vouchers prior to the event.
Awards will be presented to all individuals who complete the course; the first three all-male, all-female and mixed teams of 3; and the first three all-male, all-female and mixed teams of 4 - 9 members.
Full results, including split times, will be available on this website the following day after the race.
As Canberra's natural and urban landscape is continually evolving, each year there are usually some course changes. Continue to watch this space for updates, and see course descriptions for full details.
Short of going up in a balloon, the Triple-Tri course offers the best aerial views of Canberra available. Check any of the following vantage points for stunning vistas...
1. Mt Majura (1st run course) 888m
2. Mt Taylor (2nd run course) 855m
3. Mt Ainslie (1st run course) 843m
4. Mt Stanley (3rd MTB course) 841m
5. Black Mountain (1st MTB course) 812m
6. Mt Wanniassa (3rd MTB course) 809m
7. Sheaffe Trig (3rd MTB course) 793m
8. Mt Stromlo (2nd MTB course) 782m
9. Davidson Trig (3rd run course) 749m
10. Red Hill (3rd run course) 720m
Male Overall - 10:21:10, Rowan Beggs-French, 2017
Male Over 50 Overall - 11:56:04, David Baldwin, 2017
Female Overall - 11:01:00, Penny Slater, 2020
|Leg||Record Holder-Male||Time||Year||Record Holder-Female||Time||Year|
|1st Swim||Michael Brennan||16:56||2019||Deirdre Grace||20:55||1996|
|1st Bike||Jason Chalker||1:37:22||2002||Jody Purcell||1:54:36||1998|
|1st Run||Paul Smith||1:28:19||1998||Penny Slater||1:46:00||2020|
|2nd Swim||Jason Chalker||47:49||2002||Shannon Proffit||51:11||2013|
|2nd Bike||Rowan Beggs-French||1:42:20||2017||Penny Slater||1:46:37||2020|
|2nd Run||Paul Smith||53:01||1997||Julie Quinn||1:01:53||2013|
|3rd Swim||Michael Brennan||17:15||2019||Deirdre Grace||18:50||1996|
|3rd Bike||Rowan Beggs-French||1:15:31||2017||Penny Slater||1:21:22||2022|
|3rd Run||Adam Rudgley||1:06:51||2021||Julie Quinn||1:12:24||2017|
|T3 Open||8:09:10||Aspire (Oliver Bourne, Dylan Cooper, Vajin Armstrong)||2012|
|T3 Open All Over 50||10:13:33||Shoklo's Nifty Fifty M50 MkII (Pete Thorley, Martin McGready, Jeff Grey)||2020|
|T3 Open All Over 60||12:45:45||Rad's Rusties||2011|
|T3 Female||10:18:37||Powerpuff Girls (Brooke James, Michaela Watts, Sarah Richardson)||2012|
|T3 Female All Over 50||13:06:54||Nifty Fifty (Rose McGready, Amanda Nott, Elizabeth Bennett)||2015|
|T3 Female All Over 60||15:02:15||Swinging Sixties||2009|
|T3 Mixed||9:07:03||The Wrong Trousers||2002|
|T3 Mixed All Over 50||10:26:35||Shoklo's Nifty Fifty (Rose McGready, Martin McGready, Jeff Grey)||2017|
|T9 Open||8:14:34||The Team With No Name||2004|
|T9 Open All Over 50||9:47:56||Old Hacks (Alex Gosman, Trevor Jacobs, Peter James, Simon Claringbold, Peter Clarke, Rico Fitch, Peter Klein)||2012|
|T9 Open All Over 60||11:15:00||Old Hack Remnants Mark II (Alex Gosman, Peter Igoe-Taylor, Trevor Jacobs, Peter Clarke, Nathan Carroll)||2018|
|T9 Open All Over 70||15:02:35||Rad's Rusties||2010|
|T9 Female||10:16:16||Team Loser Shoes (Kylie Message, Kate Vandenberg, Elizabeth Humphries, Kym Somi, Alex Orme, Aimee Davenport, Elise Burriss, Alice Bates)||2016|
|T9 Female All Over 50||11:23:21||GoGo Girls - The SlipStream Team||2011|
|T9 Female All Over 60||12:38:54||Go Go Girls – The (B)old and the Beautiful (Magaret Hadfield, Annie Broadbent, Clare Wall, Helen Douglass, Peggy Douglass, Cathy Montalto, Elspeth Nichols, Jeannie Douglass, Robyn McClelland)||2019|
|T9 Female All Over 70||15:25:09||Super 70s (Lindy Dunn, Ann Ingwersen, Sue Archer, Brenda Day, Rae Palmer, Diana Schneider, Lindy Dunn Carol Taylor, Carol Baird)||2019|
|T9 Mixed||8:13:51||Under the Radar (Emma Gillingham, Matt McAuliffe, Craig Benson, Jay Vine, Martin Dent, David Medlock, Jasen Higuchi)||2016|
|T9 Mixed All Over 50||10:18:29||Not Over the Hill Yet (Jill Pettifer, Martin McGready, Terry Withers, Richard Haines, Jeff Grey)||2018|
|T9 Mixed All Over 60||13:49:57||Thorns n Roses (Sue Bowden, David Baussman, David Webster, Petrina Quinn, George Kubitzky, Caroline Campbell, John Kennedy, Graeme Patrick, Ruth Baussman)||2019|
|Leg||Record Holder-Male||Time||Year||Record Holder-Female||Time||Year|
|1st Swim||David O'Brien||18:11||1996||Jessica Traficante||19:58||2011|
|1st Bike||David Osmond||1:24:24||1998||Julia Graczyk||1:49:14||2002|
|1st Run||Martin Dent||1:11:11||2018||Emma Murray||1:22:15||2005|
|2nd Swim||Haydn Marsh||36:27||2003||Emma Gillingham||42:08||2018|
|2nd Bike||Dylan Cooper and Jay Vine||1:22:32||2013 and 2017||Michelle Cooper||1:36:30||2017|
|2nd Run||Martin Dent||37:43||2016||Emma Murray||45:43||2005|
|3rd Swim||Jarrod Lee||13:37||2018||Michelle Hunter||15:51||1999|
|3rd Bike||David Medlock||59:33||2019||Melanie Simpson||1:11:58||2011|
|3rd Run||Martin Dent||44:45||2015||Zoe Clarke||54:25||2021|
Swimming in three separate lakes, climbing and descending ten peaks, the 150-kilometre Triple-Tri course is an exhilarating exploration of Canberra from every conceivable angle.
Click on a leg to view a course description and map.
|Leg 1: Swim 1.5 km|
|Leg 2: Mountain Bike 36 km|
|Leg 3: Run 18 km|
|Leg 4: Swim 3.5 km|
|Leg 5: Mountain Bike 36 km|
|Leg 6: Run 11 km|
|Leg 7: Swim 1.2 km|
|Leg 8: Mountain Bike 23 km|
|Leg 9: Run 13 km|
Share your stories and photos! The Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon inspires thousands of personal stories. Part of the joy of the event is in sharing these stories. Please submit your experiences and photos to "Triple-Triathlon Stories," at firstname.lastname@example.org
Select from the following stories to sample a few of the experiences and adventures to be had out and about in the National Capital, in one of the most challenging events to be found anywhere.
Triple-Triathlon Solo Male Finisher's Report 2021, by Joe Walshe
Triple-Triathlon Solo Male Finisher's Report 2018, by Kevin Miller
Triple-Triathlon Solo Male Finisher's report 2017, by Andrew Renwick
Triple-Triathlon Solo Male Winner's report 2017, by Rowan Beggs-French
Triple-Triathlon Winning Mixed 3 Team photo-report 2016, by Steve Hanley
Triple-Triathlon Solo Report 2015, by Rowan Beggs-French
Triple-Triathlon Solo 2015, by Warren Evans
Triple-Triathlon Team Report and Photos 2015 "Where's Our Swimmer", by Steve Hanley
Triple-Triathlon Team Report 2015 "HMAS Friendship", by Murray Robertson
Triple-Triathlon Race Report 2013, by Craig Benson
Triple-Triathlon Race Report 2013, by Shannon Proffit
Triple-Triathlon 2011 Report (pdf), by Andrew Renwick
Triple-Triathlon 2011, by Sukhajata Cranfield
Triple-Triathlon 2009 Report, by solo competitor Andrew Renwick
Triple-Triathlon 2009 Supporter's Photo-Report, by Steve Hanley (external link)
Triple-Triathlon 2007 Report, by Steve Hanley (external link)
Triple-Triathlon 2007 Report, by Andrew Renwick
Triple-Triathlon 2006 Report, by Steve Hanley (external link)
Triple-Triathlon 2005 Report, by James Sullivan
Triple-Triathlon 2005 Report, by Julie Quinn
Triple-Triathlon 2005 Report, by Trevor Fairhurst
Triple-Triathlon 2005 Report, by Steve Hanley (external link)
Sharky's Triple-Tri Report '04, by Mark "Sharky" Smoothy
Triple-Tri Report '04, by Geoffrey Pell
Triple-Triathlon 2004 Report, by Steve Hanley (external link)
Sharky's Triple-Tri Report '03, by Mark "Sharky" Smoothy
Through the Wind, the Rain and the Cold: Triple-Tri '03, by Steve Nightingale
Triple Tri Obsession! by Rob Marshall
Thanks to the Bilbys, by Martin Stiles
'02 Triple-Tri Report, by Michael Kerr
'98 Triple-Tri Report, by Paul Smith
The 1996 Triple-Triathlon, by Mark Hutchings
2022 Nov 13thSri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, Sunday 13 November 2022
The 25th Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon presented three remarkable records, each of them partly attributable to the weather.
a) – it was the smallest field ever assembled for this epic event;
b) – defying the multiplication of challenges posed by the weather on top of the already fearsome course, this small field achieved by far the highest ratio of finishers to non-finishes in the race’s history; and
c) – the event wrapped up in the fastest recorded time, a mere 16 hours.
On the one hand – knowing the sludgy condition of many of the tracks and trails after many months of sustained high rainfall in and around Canberra, and with high uncertainty surrounding swimming in any of the lakes due to fluctuating bacteria levels, many potential participants weighed the probabilities of a muddy slog-fest and/or weather-affected race day, and simply opted to forgo this year’s event.
On the other hand – the smaller band that assembled at the start line, knowing full well what they were in for (further focussed by the forecast of 100% certainty of heavy downpours, flavoured with speculation of severe storms), were fired with exactly the fortitude and adamantine conviction required to pursue and endure what was always going to be an “interesting” and challenging day out.
For the first time ever, every single solo entrant and every single relay team attended Saturday registration. For the first time ever, under ominous looming clouds, every single solo entrant and every single relay team fronted at the start line. For the first time ever, every single solo entrant, and all but one relay team, finished what turned out to be one of the toughest editions of one of the most gruelling races on the calendar. This race was created for exactly this field. This was a day for the few – the self-selected, brave, strong, determined, formidable and heroic few. And these few emerged, bedraggled yet aglow, as champions triumphant.
The Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon is used to course modifications. The dynamic, constantly changing nature of the urban environment which is this event’s domain – with forests evolving into suburbs and even areas of lake becoming landscaped parkland – ensure there are alterations and deviations every year. Yet never before have we seen all areas of all 3 lakes completely closed to swimming for the 2 weeks prior to the event, requiring the preparations of multiple contingency plans for multiple potential scenarios, only resolving 2 days before the race when 2 of the lakes were opened to swimming, leaving only the Lake Tuggeranong swim in a pool. And never before have we been faced with such extensive and widespread areas morphing into bona fide swampland (yes, the final course was actually the “dry” option!!). With rangers from various areas of Canberra Nature Park updating concerns and requirements daily and almost hourly in the last days, the mountain bike and run courses saw 16 amendments in the final week alone. Despite all the changes, what emerged was not a compromise – we believe it was the best available route, offering all of the challenges, excitement, demand, opportunities and thrills that athletes expect from this famous outing.
THE SOLO ATHLETES
8 athletes might seem like a slim field – yet what this band lacked in numbers, they more than made up for in character and courage, every one (3 of them first-time Triple-Tri soloists) proving their strength, faith and unflappable tenacity over the course of a tumultuous day which seemed more like a lifetime.
Remarkably, 4 soloists finished within an hour of each other. In the over 50s, 5-time Triple-Tri winner and King of the Course, Trevor Fairhurst found new ways to elicit our respect, admiration and amazed awe with his record-breaking 10th solo finish in 13:02:21. Ahead of Trevor was only Matthew Pooley, 1st placed soloist in 12:41:53, literally riding his strengths (his riding) to a mightily impressive, daring and hugely deserved first-time win. Next home was another first-time soloist, crowd favourite Ben Crabb, superbly assisted by his daughters, clocking 13:21:08. Just 4 minutes later, competing for the first time as a freshly-minted over 50, champion Canberra athlete Aston Duncan finished decked in mud and glory in 13:25:21. The duel between Ben and Aston was an engrossing sub-plot within the day’s drama, playing out across the pathways, waterways and sodden ways north and south, morning into afternoon into evening, with both finishing triumphant in so many ways.
Joe Walshe is another local athlete with a loyal and enthusiastic following, finishing with a radiant smile of soul’s satisfaction in 14:11:38, well ahead of his previous best. Kel Rankin from Picton was next in 14:26:24, his third solo finish proving he is a winner under all conditions. Jon Schol is one of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon’s greatest supporters and champions, and at 59 years, its most senior finisher, crossing the line in a typically gutsy yet humble 15:52:28. Finally, most appropriately wearing race number 1, from Ballan in Victoria, having previously participated only in a relay team at this event, Martin Phillips won the hearts of all and fired our spirits with his wonderful display of sustained focus and commitment, reaching his goal in 15:58:39.
RELAY TEAMS OF 3
“Stuffed Puffs” are the writers of Triple-Tri folklore, today continuing decades of dazzling dominance with their front-running 9:56:11. The trio of Dave Osmond, Adrian Sheppard and Ben Buchler were half an hour ahead of the following team (of 9) and nearly 1.5 hours in front of the next in their category, “3 Amigos” (Mark Mallinson,, Anthony Butt & Tom Allen) in 11:17:08. “Soli Deo Gloria” (Malcolm Pittendrig, James Oran & Joshua Lear) completed the podium placings for the Open Teams of 3 with 12:00:26.
Several of the best-performing “Teams of 3” were actually Teams of 2! – the indefatigable “Algae and the Toxic Bloomers” (this year comprising the sprightly pairing of Rico Fitch (aged 70) and Simon Claringbold) took home the Open Team All over 60 title in 14:21:18. Another impressive duo, “Maggie & Cate” (Caitlin Chandler and Maggie Welfare) came in just a few minutes later, to win the All-Female Teams of 3 in 14:34:17. And fastest among the Mixed Teams was the delightful and delighted couple of Kael & Louisa Hulin, claiming their victory in 13:07:04.
RELAY TEAMS OF 4-9
The “Giant 440 Woodys – 4 Pete” (Rod Smith, Michael Beard, Nathan and Jaemin Frazer, Andrew Dawes, Andrew Oberg, Lori & Rod McWhirter and Stefan Hese) have established Goulburn as the city in the world housing the 2nd-most Triple-Triathlon trophies (after Canberra), this year extending their remarkable run of podium finishes with another victory in the Open Team of 4-9, in 10:24:50. Goulburn’s trophy share was extended further in the Open Teams (all Over 50) by the “Buzz Lightyears O’50’s” (Kerry Baxter, Mark Stutchbury, Brett Storrier, Rod Smith, Ted & Melinda Goad, Andrew Dawes and Geoffrey McMahon), cruising home in 12:31:16.
Fastest All-Female Team of 4-9 was “No Nuts Just Guts” (Virginia Lindenmeyer, Rachel Dieckman, Prudence Guest, Carol Hartley, Caitlin Flux, Harriet Foster, Cath Spratley & Samantha Shields) in 14:19:45, while the All-Female Team All-Over 50 of “FIT and Fabulous” (Polly Templeton, Alison Purvis, Julie Alexander, Leeane Tennant, Helen Jeffs, Sarah Rainbow, Geraldine Cusack, Elizabeth Lowe & Narelle Patrick) completed the course in admirable time, only slightly missing one of the cut-offs along the way due to the enforced extension of the 1st mountain bike leg caused by the relocation of the 1st swim leg.
10:30:58 was the winning mark for “Resultz Racing” (Seth Gloss, David Medlock, Lisa Krakowiak, Anna & John McPherson, Rob Mudford, Michelle Welch, Matthew Shadwell and David Liddle) in the Mixed Team of 4-9 category; with “Not All Those Who Wander are Lost” (Jono Windsor, Aaron Farlow, Thien Vuong, Josie Gillham, Samantha Morley, Daniel Carson and Ivonne Nathan) taking 2nd in 10:45:46; ahead of 3rd placed “JTM 1” (Talia Chambers, Oscar Starmer, Andrew Walton, Ashleigh Lawson, Jamie Bedford, Bronte Clifford, James Tuggey, Jason Lee and Georgie Hicks) with 10:56:12 (edging out “Justice, prudence, fortitude and temperance” for the bronze medal by a mere 20 seconds).
“DrRMF” (Rose & Martin McGready, Chris Halliwell, Richard Haines, Jeff Grey and Sue Akeroyd) showed fine form to take out the Mixed Team of 4-9 (All Over 50) in 11:01:52. We are immensely proud of all the members of our Triple-Tri family, many of whom we only see once a year, returning from various places, occupations and callings to this special gathering. You may have noticed the “Shoklos” team of recent years gathered under the new monika “DrRFM” this time: we’re honoured to pay our humble tribute to the extraordinary selfless dedication of the team’s lead swimmer, Dr Rose McGready, supporting the wonderful people of Myanmar. Rose’s new foundation is inspiration in action: we wholeheartedly commend her cause.
To stage a race of this magnitude under such intense conditions tosses up challenges and hardships not only to the participants and their helpers and supporters, but also to the organisers and volunteers. Not only did every single solo athlete and relay team front up on the day – so did every single volunteer, even to stand in an open field alone under an hours-long deluge! Words cannot convey our debt of gratitude to all who helped ensure this unforgettable race started … continued … continued to continue … and ultimately, finished. In no particular order, our thanks to: the rangers of Canberra Nature Park; staff and officers of the NCA, Stromlo Forest Park and the Public Land Use team; YMCA Sailing Club; Lake Burley Griffin and Lake Tuggeranong Sea Scouts; Steve Hanley; Triathlon ACT Race Referee Peter Simpfendorfer; staff of Lakeside Leisure Centre; our medical support team of Rebekah Stamatis and Matthew Sainsbury; course sweepers Caroline Werner, Gareth Prosser, Kim Houghton, Paul Mahoney, Peter Fogarty and Michael Brennan; volunteer marshal and aid station attendants Nic Bendeli, Petra Lean, Rachel Pell, Judi Barton, Judith Bibo, Wilma Huneke, Suzie Gunning, Margot Tredoux, Greg Gourley and Steve Bingley; the staff of My Rainbow-Dreams café; and Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team members from Canada, Latvia, Czech Republic, Mongolia, Auckland, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Torquay … and Canberra.
2021 Nov 14thSri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, Sunday 14 November 2021
THE SOLO ATHLETES
Adam Rudgley entered this year’s Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon with the goal to lower the Solo Male course record. Notwithstanding that he had to bike an extra 3km after the last-minute course change to the 1st swim leg; putting aside the horrendous conditions that 25-year veterans of the Triple-Tri described as the worst ever encountered in this race and almost caused the cancellation of several legs if not the whole event; oblivious to his almost-4 hour lead on his nearest rival in the field…
… at the start of the final run leg, Adam would have known that he would need to run a full 6 minutes faster over that challenging 13 km than any solo athlete has ever managed – surely an impossible task – and still he went for it. As the kms clicked by and the goal dissolved in the rain and flew away in the wind, with a body and mind aching from over 10 hours of utter exertion and legs screaming to ease the pace, he pressed on harder, all the way to the line. That he missed his goal by a mere 3 minutes, yet shattered the record for the final run leg (now 1:06:51) in his dauntless quest are mere facts, footnotes to a truly heroic performance of jaw-dropping athletic prowess, unwavering mental strength and fire-pure courage. 10:24:19!
Enjoying a 30-minute head start on the relay teams, solo athletes usually start being passed by teams towards the end of the 1st bike and during the Mt Majura – Mt Ainslie run leg. Unbelievably, Adam was not passed by the fastest team until midway through the Mt Stromlo bike leg, and no-one else caught him until the final run over Red Hill!
We sincerely hope Adam will return to race again when the course is not unduly extended and the weather less hostile. In a lovely coincidence, the holder of the legendary Solo Male record, Rowan Beggs-French (10:21:10 from 2017), was running two of the run legs for the T9 Mixed-winning “Fireflies” team and got to run with Adam for a while during the race. At the finish, Rowan stated his belief that Adam’s effort today would have earned him a sub-10 hour time under ‘normal’ conditions.
Each of the other solo finishers deserves a song in his honour, praising the unique attributes and qualities that enabled him to reach that fabled finish line on what was outwardly a wretched day, yet inwardly a stage of utmost glory. Paul Amidy (14:17:55) and Joseph Walshe (14:54:05) filled out the Solo Male Under 50 podium placings – both utterly exhausted yet rightly supremely satisfied with their efforts.
Trevor Fairhurst has won this race solo more times than any other – 5 times – and now adds the Solo Male 50 and Over title to his peerless Triple-Tri resumé. On paper, Trevor’s time of 14:26:45 doesn’t tell any part of the true story of this monumental achievement. Ross Beatty (15:09:43) – a 5-time finisher of the race – was thrilled to beat his own time from his first Triple-Tri finish, 21 years earlier; while Craig Johnston (15:19:37) finished strongly to notch another superb achievement. Notably, as many over 50 finished, as under 50.
In the battlefield which was today, it was inevitable some would be forced to withdraw from the fray in the course of the day. Each did the right and wise thing when confronted with such an irrevocable STOP sign – and each knows, that the field will be re-set, and the bugle will sound once more in the pre-dawn glow, 12 months hence…
THE TEAMS OF 3
The teams of 3 traditionally see the fastest and fiercest racing of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, with several teams etching legends spanning decades of high-octane competition. Callum McClusky, Conor Sproule and Nuru Somi banded together to bring a new combination and fire a new name into the Triple-Tri firmament – their “T3C Dream Team” living up to their moniker with an outstanding, lead-from-the-front showing of 9:13:48, taking line honours and 1st place in the T3 Open division. Dave Osmond – who famously completed all 60 bike legs of the first 20 Triple-Triathlons – showed his versatility and completed 3 legs without getting on a bike today (2 runs and one swim), leading his revamped “Stuff the Puffs” (with Ben Buchler and Adrian Sheppard) to 2nd in the T3 Open with 10:06:57; ahead of 3rd placed “3 Amigos” (Mark Mallinson, Anthony Butt and Tom Allen) with 11:36:15. “The Margaritas” (Damien McDonald, Martyn Dawson and Piera Kohout) competed in the T3 Open All-Over 50 – though they could have entered the Mixed category with Piera completing all 3 running legs – and took out the main prize with an impressive 13:47:03.
The only All-Female team of 3 happened to be all over 50, and duly won that category: “Too old for new tricks” saw Bron Adams melding with Kerrie Muir and Beth Bowen, displaying a fantastic attitude and example to all throughout the day. Although they were the only team in their category it’s hard to imagine any other ensemble challenging their outstanding finish of 13:14:18.
The Mixed Teams of 3 were led home by “ARA” (Ashleigh Webb, Raymond McAleer and Alexander Carrick) in 11:18:27. 2nd place went to “16s” (Molly Lilley, Josh Kluth and Jacob Miller), in 12:16:55; while 3rd was taken by “S.A.M.” (Stuart Godley, Andy Bodsworth and Marnie Shaw) with 12:22:20.
THE TEAMS OF 4-9
The most competitive racing of today came in the Mixed Teams of 4-9. Losing their runner the day before the race, and switching from T3 to T9 proved no setback for “Fireflies” (Felicity Roantree, Steve Fitchett linking up with newly conscripted runners Paul Cuthbert and Rowan Begs-French), taking the main T9 Mixed prize and 2nd-across-the-line overall in 9:49:52. Next home were the impressive “JTM Team 1” (Jordynne Rauter, Oscar Starmer, Tom Driscoll, Josephine Pepper, Grave Hoitink, Myles Wood, Matthew Millikin, Jarrod Osborne and Andrew Walton) in 10:05:49; ahead of a fine showing from “The 5 appendages” (Perry Blackmore, Claire Aubrey, Travis Ey, Richard Smyth and Emily Stacey) in 10:26:10. A few years ahead on the dial, “GO GOs get some guys” saw our favourite all-female ensemble, the “Go-Go Girls” finally allowed 2 male members into their exclusive club – Elspeth Nichols, David Baussman, Pam Muston, George Kubitzky, Clare Wall, Belinda Robinson and Sue Archer winning the T9 Mixed All Over 60s, and breaking the 14-hour barrier in the process, with a superb 13:59:59!
“Devils” were too hot in the All-Female Teams of 4-9, the collection of Meredith Bone, Olivia Martin, Allie Corripio, Elizabeth Mutton, Emma De Kiefte, Ally Durr and Lauren Yee winning in 12:17:56. The 2nd place award was presented to “30 percent less pay 130 percent more ability” (Becky Rogers, Chantelle Bertoldo, Ainsley Pahljina, Liv Toomey, Ebony Tanzen, Mirella Carr, Hannah Maree, Emma Ferguson and Ellie Barr) – even though the team shows up as “DNC” (did not complete) in the published results, this was because their rider on MTB3, Emma Ferguson stopped to render assistance to another rider who had crashed on the course, actions which the organisers felt did not warrant an official DNQ and deserved the recognition of the 2nd placing the team would certainly otherwise have claimed; while 3rd was claimed by “No Nuts Just Guts” (Virginia Lindenmayer, Sophie Clement, Caitlin Flux, Prudence Guest, Taisa Vieira, Samantha Shields, Catherine Spratley, Carol Hartley and Bridget Quayle) in 14:30:14. The All-Female T4-9 All Over 50 was taken out by “Purple Jelly” (Polly Templeton, Simone Annis, Judy Gebhart, Rosemary Robinson, Elizabeth Lowe, Cat Riley, Geraldine Cusack and Sue Duckett) with 15:48:11.
The Open Teams of 4-9 saw another superb all-round effort from one of the most consistently high performing teams in Triple-Tri history, the Goulburn gang of “Giant 400 Woodys 4Pete” (Rod Smith, Michael Beard, Nathan Frazer, Andrew Dawes, Andrew Oberg, Jaemin Frazer, Lori McWhirter, Rod McWhirter and Stefan Hese) taking out the main prize in 10:31:59. 2nd place went to “Team Keeping It Real” (Janelle Ahern, Josh Wilkinson, Alexander Bowyer, Pete Quinn, Michael Olsen, Steve Roberton, Anthony Ansen and Ben Roberton) in 10:57:19; just edging out 3rd placed “”JTM Team 2” (Alexandra Apse, Jason Flanagan, Jarrod Osbourne, Joseph Pascali, Douglas Wynne, Rob Moore, Steve Croft and Olivia Sutton) with a fine 10:58:26.
In the T4-9 Open All Over 50s, “Cruis’n” (Scott McClymont, Marty McGready, Geoff Hawke, Peter Thorley, John Cartwright, Terry Dixon, Frank Zeller and Jeff Grey) lived up to their name to take the title with an impressive 11:36:40; from their contenders, “Buzz Lightyears O’50s” (Mark Stutchbury, Kerry Baxter, Brett Storrier, Rod Smith, Ted Goad, Andrew Dawes, Geoffrey McMahon and Melinda Goad) clocking in at 12:05:27. “The Ancient Mariners” (Alex Gosman, Peter Igoe-Taylor, Trevor Jacobs, David Clarke and Kim Houghton) showed many a younger team a clean pair of heels in waltzing away with the T4-9 All Over 60s title in 12:55:43.
As an indication of how tough the conditions were: in 25 years, this is the first edition of the race in which no overall record was broken in any team category or division. Special mention though, to Zoe Clarke who ignored the wind and rain to break the record for a female in a team for the final run leg, setting a new best time of 54:25 for “Astral by 3TC”.
We’ve saved particular mention of the weather till last – for while the wind, rain and unrelenting cold (even some sleet) set a dismal stage, it was not allowed to write the script or dictate the plot. While the weather made this an event none of us will forget in a hurry, it could not have the final say on the day. The final say came from within; the final say came from the overwhelming determination, courage and fortitude of all participants, volunteers and supporters to proceed with cheerful willpower in the face of whatever obstacles and setbacks appeared along the way.
Our congratulations to all participants, and gratitude to all the many helpers, volunteers, supporters and well-wishers. Special thanks to Peter Simpfendorfer and Petra Lean from Triathlon ACT; to Rebekah Stamatis and her assistants for medical support; to staff and officers from the ACT Government and NCA; to paddlers from Canberra Canoe Club and on-water support from YMCA Sailing Club; and to members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from the UK, Mongolia, New Zealand and Australia.
2021 Nov 14thTriple-Triathlon Solo Male Finisher's Report 2021, by Joe Walshe
It’s not often you can say for sure that today is a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life – but this certainly was.
I remember reading about the Triple Tri after I moved to Canberra in 2015 and being captivated by the idea. The website puts it simply: “To attempt the entire course solo is one of the toughest single-day sporting challenges imaginable.”, and this is the sort of phrase that sticks in my head and stays there at the back of my mind for years.
Finally, at the start of this year I had dealt with some injuries and raced the sprint triathlon at Husky without issue – and so it seemed like this could be the year. But without any long course experience – my longest triathlon so far was Olympic distance – how do you even start training for something like this?
Fortunately for me, local pro triathlon legend and Triple Tri course record holder Penny Slater was available for coaching!
Six months later, with Ironman 70.3 Cairns under my belt and despite a few close calls falling off the mountain bike in training, I made it to the Triple Tri start line. It was time to put the training to use and enjoy a day touring Canberra on some of the most epic trails around. And when I say a day, I really mean it – because I was out there from dawn to dusk!
The forecast was for cold, wind, and some rain, so I was nervous about the first swim and trying to stay warm getting on the bike – but I needn’t have worried (about this bit at least). After the initial shock of the water and managing to get my breathing under control the lake almost felt warm. A stunning sunrise greeted me at the first transition and I got away onto the bike.
The first bike leg was really fun. The sun came out, the air was calm, and there were lots of people out there.
The plan was to stay calm, enjoy the spin, and under no circumstances push too hard this early on. A big crowd at transition 2 made for a great atmosphere, and seeing my support crew was a big encouragement.
Then I was onto the first run. I knew this would be the first real test, but made it through happily – though my legs were tired by the end and I was keen to get in the lake for a nice relaxing swim!
Swim 2 was where it started to get hard. Not because it was long, or because the wind had picked up and the water was choppy, but because of the cold. Mentally I was prepared to be cold coming out of the first swim, but this time before even reaching the first bridge I could feel my body temperature starting to drop. Fortunately, a friend of mine had offered to kayak with me in this swim and so I was able to take on some nutrition and have some help swimming in a straight line. Eventually I got out and as soon as I took off the wetsuit I started to freeze! I had lots of help from people wrapping me in towels and even their own jackets, but I couldn’t get warm again on the lakeside in the wind – so I headed off on the bike again.
Enter my second problem of the day – my knees. I have had issues before but not much in training for this race, but maybe the cold or just having been on the go for 7 hours by now was making them start to complain. I didn’t manage to warm up on the bike until 20km into the ride coming up the hill to Uriarra road. Then I stayed warm until the top of Mt Stromlo – and froze again when the rain and the wind set in coming down the other side.
When I made it to transition 5 I knew my knees would have issues on the run so I took some painkillers and crossed my fingers!
My knees were sore on the way up Mt Taylor, but they were even worse on the way down. My left knee in particular was quite painful at this point and I knew I still had almost 20km to run before the finish line. I had to take the steps left foot first on the way down the hill to avoid the worst of the pain but I was starting to get tired enough that I couldn’t coordinate my feet properly to manage it. I was cold, the path was exposed, and the rain had started to sting as if it were becoming hail. The course was getting lonely at this stage because most of the teams had passed me by now. This was the low point of the day. But, I knew there was going to be one, and so I made my way down the hill in the hope of some shelter and a chance to warm up. Sure enough, I got onto the bike paths towards lake Tuggeranong and either the painkillers kicked in or I warmed up enough but my knees felt better. I’d made it to swim three, and I knew at that point I could finish the race.
Fortunately swim three was short, and so while I was cold coming out of the water it wasn’t as bad as the second swim and my support crew were waiting with lots of towels and dry clothes. It felt good to be out of the water for the last time! The final mountain bike was muddy and slow – and for the first time in the day I had to walk the bike not because the trail was steep but because I was sinking into it.
At the final transition I finally allowed myself to think about the finish line. More dry clothes, another round of painkillers, and an unexpected but very welcome few sips of tea and I was ready for the last run. At this stage the course was so quiet that all the marshals knew me by name and once I got over Red Hill I knew it wasn’t far to the finish line. I had my only fall of the day when I stepped in some deep mud and my foot came away but my shoe didn’t – but at least it was a soft landing.
Finally, just before 8:30 in the evening, as the last of the light faded, I crossed the finish line.
I had been out there from dawn to dusk, making use of the entire day, and finished in just under 15 hours. But it didn’t feel like that long – I’m sure it felt longer for my support crew! While my body certainly struggled and there were moments when I thought I wouldn’t complete the race, there was no time all day when I wished I was somewhere else. What a privilege to be able to spend the day touring the stunning Canberra trails; to have such an incredible support crew give up their Sunday to follow me around, look after my gear, bring me food and supplies and everything I asked for; to be able to focus on nothing but moving forward.
I started this journey wanting to complete a bucket-list endurance challenge and an iconic Canberra race. I ended it with a new appreciation for the city we live in, the triathlon community, and a grin on my face that I expect won’t fade for a few weeks.
2020 Nov 15thSri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, Sunday 15 November 2020
Family is everything...
The Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon was conceived as a celebration of the natural beauty and auspicious design of Canberra as the ultimate urban setting for the exploration and fulfilment of a multi-dimensional life, a consummate blend of athletic and aesthetic.
Yet over the years, the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon has embodied and revealed something much deeper of Canberra: its heart of humanity and soul of community. This heart and soul shine through the interplay of inspiration, aspiration, appreciation, service, sacrifice and mutual self-giving which permeate and unite the Triple-Tri family. The event itself is the stage on which innumerable dramas unfold; the backdrop against which heroic stories are told; the refrain of a song with a thousand varied verses. While the athletes take top billing, the list of credits of all involved is long, rich and enthralling, embracing all strata of Canberra society, all manner of general and specialised roles, all types of characters and personae. Each is unique, each is essential, each is gold.
At awards ceremonies, trophy-winners invariably thank their family, crew, event organisers, course markers and volunteers – and rightly so. At the same time, none of these supporting actors would have any role to play without the athletes themselves. And each of them, if they were to give their own speeches, would have their own lists of those without whose support and inspiration, their own roles could not have been played. Carrying all from within is an irrepressible undercurrent of love, with outbursts of rippling joy – the characteristics of a family, ready at once to cry and smile together, exulting in each others’ victories, suffering in each other’s defeats, forging together something far greater than any and all of us, ever-deeper, intangible and unknowable; an ever-new, ever-transcending destination. Perhaps this is why some Canberra citizens otherwise unconnected with the race, appear each year at random transition points, not just to watch but to feel, absorb, enjoy and be uplifted.
The female and male solo winners this year are each formidable athletes with outstanding credentials; each first-timer contenders at the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon; and each approached the race with lofty goals, outrageous daring, iron wills and huge hearts.
To hear that a solo woman might complete the gruelling Triple-Tri course in 11 hours would have been well-nigh unbelievable. To watch Penny Slater in motion, to realise that she would finish in 11 hours seemed inevitable. Penny is a superb athlete, a focussed competitor and a humble, gracious champion. Racing head-to-head through the first triathlon with another stellar debutant, Monique De Abreu, it became clear early on, that the phenomenal solo women’s record of Julie Quinn – renowned as Queen of the Triple-Tri – would be under threat. With Monique being forced to withdraw after the long Lake Burley Griffin swim (Monique showed enough to give notice that her Triple-Tri day is fast ripening on the tree, and will definitely arrive in the not-too-distant future…), Penny did not bat an eye to continue her unwavering path to glory. Crossing the line in a mind-boggling 11:01:00, Penny scythed almost exactly one hour from a revered course record – smiling – finishing a mere 6 minutes adrift of one of the legends of Triple-Tri lore, Klayten Smith. Only a handful of elite men have dipped under 11 hours in 25 years of this race: in one beautiful, complete and compelling fairy-tale day, Penny Slater has rewritten the record books and reconfigured our understanding of potential, establishing a whole new wing in the Palace of the Possible.
Trent Dawson is another Canberra gentleman-athlete of consistently high achievements, foremost in the realm of Ironman Triathlon. Without any significant competitions in his accustomed field of excellence looming on horizon, and not being one to retreat into hibernation, Trent embraced a new challenge on his very doorstep – the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon. One significant hurdle would be Trent’s negligible experience on a mountain bike. Purchasing a mountain bike just 2 months before race day, Trent set about pursuing not just the goal of finishing this Herculean journey; he dreamt, visualised and planned exactly what it might take to topple the invincible solo men’s course record. Such courage, conviction and fearlessness in mind, body and heart would power Trent to one of the most impressive solo debuts in all the Triple-Tri annals – a supremely controlled, virtuoso performance yielding a daunting finishing time of 10:46:58. With improved skills on the mountain bike and a few fewer spills, that record may yet be in Trent’s sights…
With numerous other responsibilities this year, including the birth of their second child just 9 weeks ago – and not having raced at all since last year’s Triple-Tri – Klayten Smith entered the event with the least training of any of his Triple-Tri forays. Buoyed by the support of friend-and-rival Michael Brennan (recovering from a recent fracture), Klayten followed his muscle-mind-heart-and-soul memory to fashion a hugely impressive and deeply satisfying 2nd placed 10:55:49. Significantly, Klayten made up 13 minutes on Trent’s lead over the second half of the course. Perhaps if there had been another few legs…?
Though the day had descended into gloom, the scene was brightest, with some of the loudest and longest cheers when Beth Bowen – a few weeks shy of her 50th birthday – realised a long-cherished dream of completing the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, in an impressive 15:35:49. The irrepressible grins and flowing tears awaiting her at the finish spoke eloquently of long hours days months of dreaming training sacrifice dedication. The same mixture of elation and pain, agony and ecstasy were writ large across the faces of each of the unique hero-winners of this epic race, each with his and her own deeply personal yet universal story of glory – Ian Rayson, Scott Donaldson, Ironman super-legend and Winner of the Solo Male Over 50 category, John Hill (13:48:58), Anthony Newman, Mark Hanover, Mark Ware, Ken Rankin, Simon Lauer, Trent Craven, Adam Mort and the amazing Paul Amidy, who soldiered on even when there appeared zero fuel in the tank through the pit of the final run course, to bring home the field in 16:07:55.
TEAMS OF 3 (or 2)
Outstanding team performance of the day was presented by “Shoklo’s Nifty Fifty M50 MkII”, with Pete Thorley, Martin McGready and Jeff Grey aiming to dismantle one of the longest-standing records of the Triple-Tri, for Open Team All Over 50 held since 1999 by “Vintage Vets” (Terry Dixon – still racing in Triple-Tri teams today, Alan Anderson & Kent Williams). Mission successful – with a new and very sleek best time of 10:13:33. Special mention also to “I think we can do this” (Alex Gosman, Peter Igor-Taylor & Trevor Jacobs) who – even though entered in the Open Teams Over 50, are actually all over 60 – finished in 13:07:21.
“Stuff the Puffs” have been an established fixture at the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon for so many years, the origins of their name have slipped into obscurity. It all stemmed from a rivalry with a gun Victorian team in the late ‘90s, with a succession of names inspired by “The Puffy Puffcakes”. With the Victorian team consigned to dusty history tomes, no ensemble has garnered half as many team trophies at this event than “Stuff the Puffs”, represented this year by Ben Buchler, Dave Osmond and Michael Chapman. By the end of the first triathlon, they had established a lead which would only grow as the sun traversed its sky, to take 2020 line honours in 9:11:00. Next team home in the Open Teams of 3 was “DuRT” (Hugh Coppell, Oliver Murray & Tom Bartlett) in 9:53:07, who held another huge lead over 3rd placed “Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait” (Paul Quinn, Etienne Blunstein-Jones & Chris Weenink).
Katie Binstock, Stephanie Way & Lisa Counsell (“2 legs 2 wheels and a wetsuit”) didn’t need any competition in their T3 Female category, to post an impressive 12:44:45 in finishing well clear of most of the men’s and mixed teams.
“JT Multisport White” – Grace Hoitink, James Thorp & Tom Driscoll – carried the torch for the high-performing JT Multisport stable, taking the T3 Mixed category with a classy showing of 10:11:16, from the impressive “Triumvirate” of Emily Stacey, Perry Blackmore & Richard Smyth in 10:33:58, just edging out the fast-finishing “HMAS Friendship” ensemble of Murray Robertson, Jennifer Darmody & Ed De Carvalho with 10:37:18.
TEAMS OF 4-9
“Giant 440 Woodys – 4Pete” and “Aviator’s Beach Club” are two of the most regular and loyal teams at both the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon and Multi-Sport Classic in Jindabyne each year – and they staged a right royal battle on Sunday, with only about 40 seconds separating them at the finish line. The reliable Goulburn ensemble of Rod Smith, Michael Beard, Nathan Frazer, Andrew Dawes, Andrew Öberg, Jaemin Frazer, Lori & Rod McWhirter and Stefan Hesse held off the fast-finishing aviators (Dave Hayes, James Meadley, Daniel Redman, Pete Hansen, Andy Thomas, Sean Davis & Jordan Kelly) to just edge in under the 10 hour barrier and take the Open Teams of 9 category top award with 9:59:43, with 2nd place clocking 10:00:26. Right up with them throughout the day were another favourite local band: “Sport and Spinal Physio” (Josh Tait, Craig & Zoe Honeybrook, Martin Tait, Simon Davis and Imogen Chambers) claiming the remaining podium placing with 10:17:17.
“Campbell Girls” (Alicia Hetherington, Stephanie Boxall, Alida Cross & Raeleigh Rogers) showed that less can sometimes be more, to win the All-Female T4-9 with only 4 members, in a fine 12:34:59; from YAWILs (Young-Aged Women in Lycra) – comprising Megan Keil, Indira Shinn, Georgina Robinson, Lucy Skeldon, Tenaya King & Kate Boulder in 13:27:23. The aptly-named All Over-50 Female collection of “Tri-ing for unprecedented times” took out their division in the more-than-respectable time of 14:05:53. Congratulations to Polly Templeton, Simone Annis, Narelle Patrick, Leeanne Tennant, Rosemary Robinson, Geraldine Cusack, Elizabeth Lowe & Sarah Rainbow!
The largest category of the race is the T9 Mixed, with an always-varied and colourful array of combinations, attitudes and aptitudes with one constant uniting all – enthusiasm for the task! At the pointy end of the field, “The Tortoise and The Hare” (Wayne, Laura & Shaun Lewis, Hannah Walmsley, Alice Wallett, Brendan Johnston, Emily Ryan and Lily Anderson), were covering all bases and definitely left their tortoise at home as they cruised to victory in an arresting 9:48:30. “Results Racing” (Michelle Welch, James Adams, John & Anna McPherson, Michael Reed, Matthew Shadwell, Rob Mudford & Gavin Jeffries) came in next with 10:14:17; while “Team Keeping It Real” (Janelle Ahern, Josh Wilkinson, Nic Moyle, Pete Quinn, Steve Roberton & Teresa Wynter) took 3rd placing with an exemplary showing of 10:23:23. Special mention to the first ever Mixed Team of 9 All Over 70, “74 and Mixed”, who would have established a new course record for this category, but for an unfortunate fall resulting in a fracture for gun runner Susan Archer, for whom we wish a full and speedy recovery!
THANKS TO ALL
Our gratitude to each and every member of the Triple-Tri family, and to the greater Canberra community who either enjoy, admire and appreciate – or at least tolerate – our incursions into their space each year. In particular, we thank Ron Thompson, Commodore of the YMCA Sailing Club, boat drivers Jim Daly & Jonathan Muller and all their members, who have for many years provided on-water assistance for the Lake Burley Griffin swim leg, and whose clubhouse formed such an ideal locale for the finish of the event; to John Birch and members of the Canberra Canoe Club; to Emma and the Lake Ginninderra Sea Scouts; to staff of so many departments of ACT Government as well as the NCA; Triathlon ACT Acting Director Emily Stacey and technical officials, in particular Petra Lean and Peter Simpfendorfer; To Andrew Öberg for endless tweaks of the course maps and files, and Richard Smyth for refinements of the MTB oourses; to sweepers and marshals Ellie Barrett, Peter Fogarty, Cassandra Spencer, Jan Melton, Aimee Carter, Paul Mahoney, Geoff Barker, Tim Mather, Geoff Breese, Sally Thauvette, Connie Clement, Caroline Werner, Glenn Theakston, Damir Maksan, Joe Andrews, Nic Bendeli, Kerrie Vaughan; to medical support personnel Mike Corrigan, Rebekah Stamatis, Matthew Sainsbury & Simon Whitehead; to the Project Managers and workers of WSP and Complex Co, who made it possible for us to access and ride through the Namarag Construction site at Coppins Crossing on the second bike leg; to Russ Baker for countless years of technical support and whose customised, amazingly detailed results displays we use to this day; to My Rainbow-Dreams café and to members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Mongolia, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra.
Stay well and stay inspired, family!
About the Organisers
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
Serving the athletic community for over 40 years...
Team Founder Sri Chinmoy
A lifelong advocate of fitness and self-transcendence...