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 20th Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon was held in and around Canberra on Sunday 19 November 2017.
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.
- 0530 Solo athletes
- 0600 Relay Teams
- Pre 5pm Friday 20 October: $180 Solos; $210 T3; $240 T4-9
- Post 5pm Friday 20 October: $210 Solos; $240 T3; $270 T4-9
- Online entries close 5pm Wednesday 15 November
- Trophies for all Solo finishers
- Trophies for 1st 3 teams in each 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
- 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 2 pm and 5 pm, Saturday 18 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 the swimming beach at the eastern end of Diddams Close, Lake Ginninderra.
Individual competitors will enter the water at 5.30 am.
Teams will depart in 2 waves, commencing from 6 am. You will be advised of the precise starting time for your wave at Registration on Saturday 5 November. 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 - barbecue area, 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 - beach near boathouse restaurant on Menindee Dr, Grevillea Park, Russell.
Swim 2 / MTB 2 - adjacent to Ferry Terminal on Kuttabul Pl, Acton.
MTB 2 / Run 2 - grassy area beside Badimara St, Waramanga, near the Tuggeranong Parkway cycle path underpass.
Run 2 / Swim 3 – Beach at Tuggeranong Town Park off Anketell St, 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: 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: in front of old AGSO, Constitution Ave & Wendouree Dr, Parkes (FS)
9) run 1 / swim 2 transition: beach at Grevillea Park (FS)
10) swim 2 / MTB 2 transition: Acton Ferry Terminal (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: beach at Tuggeranong Town Park, off Anketell St, 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 17C - 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.
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 Elizabeth McKay Aquatic Centre 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, so you can relax with a plate of pasta, cheer on your friends, and share stories of the day's exploits.
The awards ceremony will be at the Elizabeth McKay Aquatic Centre at 8 pm. 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 - 12:00:09, Julie Quinn, 2017
|Leg||Record Holder-Male||Time||Year||Record Holder-Female||Time||Year|
|1st Swim||Matt Harris||20:53||1996||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||Julie Quinn||1:51:22||2013|
|2nd Swim||Jason Chalker||47:49||2002||Shannon Proffit||51:11||2013|
|2nd Bike||Rowan Beggs-French||1:42:20||2017||Julie Quinn||2:01:56||2017|
|2nd Run||Paul Smith||53:01||1997||Julie Quinn||1:01:53||2013|
|3rd Swim||Stuart Bardsley||17:27||2004||Deirdre Grace||18:50||1996|
|3rd Bike||Rowan Beggs-French||1:15:31||2017||Julie Quinn||1:27:41||2017|
|3rd Run||David Baldwin||1:09:08||2005||Julie Quinn||1:12:24||2017|
|T3 Open||8:09:10||Aspire (Oliver Bourne, Dylan Cooper, Vajin Armstrong)||2012|
|T3 Open All Over 50||10:33:20||Vintage Vets||1999|
|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||11:18:25||Hack Remnants (Alex Gosman, Trevor Jacobs, Peter Clarke, Steven Meredith, Nathan Carroll)||2017|
|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||13:47:58||The Tearaways (Lindy Dunn, Kay Pendlebury, Carol Baird, Brenda Day, Rae Palmer, Cathy Montalto, Ann Ingwersen, Liz Thompson)||2015|
|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||12:57:19||Rad's Ravers (Peter Dunn, John-Paul de Sousa, Carol Harding, Lindy Dunn, Caroline Campbell, John Kennedy, High Crawley, Ray Bramwell)||2013|
|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||Paul Crake||1:12:02||2000||Emma Murray||1:22:15||2005|
|2nd Swim||Haydn Marsh||36:27||2003||Lotte Wilma||42:56||2003|
|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||Shane Whipp||14:53||2000||Michelle Hunter||15:51||1999|
|3rd Bike||Peter Wilson||1:01:35||2007||Melanie Simpson||1:11:58||2011|
|3rd Run||Martin Dent||44:45||2015||Natalie Archer||56:30||2013|
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," GPO Box 3127, Canberra City, ACT, 2601 or email to 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 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
2017 Nov 19th20th Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, Sunday 19 November 2017
The Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon is its own universe.
In this universe, all the planets aligned and the gods saw fit to party for the 20th staging of its grand Cosmic Play.
All the inner and outer conditions were auspicious, the numbers and omens propitious: the training and expectation had peaked; a week of rain cleared the lakes of bacteria, greened the views, gladdened the cheering bird-chorus and softened the ground to the perfect tackiness for fast racing; the pre-race hail storm had exhausted its fury, leaving a stage of calm and readiness; the highest-ever quality field gathered; the sun shone with the optimum degree of brilliance; the wind blew always towards the finish line.
The 20-strong field of soloists included 8 previous winners of either the outright or over-50 categories, male and female, along with another 8 highly-credentialed endurance athletes making their Triple-Tri debuts. This field wasn’t just star-studded, it was a supernova soup! At the dawn start, anticipation was high, nerves alive, senses alert, hearts thumping, minds and bodies fully focused on the momentous adventure ahead.
The early legs – first swim, Black Mountain ride and the long run over Mts Majura and Ainslie – are about settling into a rhythm, finding a groove and embracing the racing state. The middle legs – the long Burley Griffin swim, grinding Stromlo ride and hot slog over Mt Taylor – are the heart of the contest, to be endured as best as possible to set the stage for the final legs – a dip in Lake Tuggeranong, Wanniassa and Isaacs Ridges ride and final run over Red Hill – which can be a painful battle for survival or supercharged surge for glory … or both.
This is the first time in its history that the entire solo field – and it was the largest field ever – has finished this gruelling race; testimony to the superb preparation, depth of courage, determination, character and commitment of this elite band of champions. The top 12 solo finishers came in under 13 hours, and 17 under 14 hours, which far surpasses anything previously achieved on this stage.
Julie Quinn and husband David Baldwin have a long and intimate association with Triple-Tri Universe. Both have participated in teams since the early years and David has the highest number of solo finishes – 9 in all. They have missed the last few editions with a busy schedule of international rogaining, yet both felt drawn to the starting line for the 20th, with expectations high that David might give the course record a decent shake in the Solo Male Over 50 category.
The standard of the Solo Male Over 50 category has risen dramatically with the course record falling by large chunks 3 times in the last 4 years. David Baldwin, racing in this category for the first time, grasped the challenge wholeheartedly, not only lowering the record once again but taking it under the formidable 12 hour barrier to cross the line in 11:56:04. In an inspired run home, he just missed his own record for the final run course for solo athletes set back in 2005 (of 1:09:08), by a mere 12 seconds.
Julie’s own overall course record had been broken in 2013 by an amazing race from Queenslander Shannon Proffit in a breathtaking 12:02:59. That year, despite attaining her best time ever, was the only one of her 7 Triple-Tri starts Julie didn’t win. This year was Julie’s first time back at the Triple-Tri since that day. Poised, calm and graceful as ever, she was focused, composed and clearly enjoying her work as the day progressed and the legs folded one into the next. The record was not within sight: her only goal, to offer her all. Nevertheless, a new record time for the 2nd bike leg of 2:01:56 was setting up her race nicely. By the end of the Lake Tuggeranong swim, Julie was only 2 minutes behind husband David; after the last bike she was only one minute behind. Was this what stirred David into such a spirited final run? Whatever the case, emerging from the tunnel at the Hartigan St transition, Julie was one minute behind course record schedule. She would have to blow away her own daunting course record for the final run leg just to be in the picture – and then some. When the going gets tough, champions stand up. Throwing caution to the wind, she went for it. The small gathering at the finish line, still exuberant from David’s finish minutes earlier, were elated as Julie sprinted home to reclaim her crown as Queen of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, taking 3 minutes off her own best leg time (new leg record of 1:27:41) to achieve the incomprehensible. The new record glows at 12:00:09.
There has been a 13 year gap since Alina McMaster’s back-to-back victories in her only previous solo appearances at the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon in 2003 and 2004. With an event of this magnitude, there will always be uncertainty leading into the race no matter what one has achieved previously or how much training one has done. Alina aimed to finish, yet like several others on the day, found herself carried by the spirit of an extraordinary occasion which swept her to an astonishing 13:28:21, just 7 minutes outside her 2004 winning time, flooding with joy and inspiration not only her immediate family but her huge extended family of friends and supporters. Kudos and immense respect to a class athlete of immense heart!
In 2002, Canberra legend Jason Chalker was at the height of his athletic prowess and an international career of professional off-road triathlon racing. A giant of the local off-road scene, Jason’s crowning achievement (in our eyes) was his monumental solo effort at the 2002 Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, a seismic event of such magnitude that when the dust settled an unscalable mountain remained, bearing the numbers 10:25:03. While some have perhaps dared to dream of reaching that pinnacle, most have just admired this massive peak in silent awe.
Rowan Beggs-French first tackled the Triple-Tri solo in 2011 – and won in 11:56. After a stint living in Darwin, he next attempted the race in 2015 – and won, taking half an hour off his PB in an astonishing 11:26. This year would be his 3rd expedition into that unknown world of personal challenge and discovery which is the vast hinterland of Triple-Tri Territory, and he would be facing his strongest competition by far. Rowan started well: despite giving minutes away in the water, ideal conditions favoured his strong suit, the mountain bike legs. Jason Chalker’s record was a distant peak obscured for the moment by much closer mountains in the form of a host of elite athletes all vying for today’s title.
By the second swim, Rowan knew he was going too fast. He wasn’t following his race-plan script. Was it was adrenalin, fear of the looming competition or inspiration? His mind was telling him: you are going to blow up. He couldn’t obey. He was going too fast – and loving it. He blew away the course records for the next two bike legs – 1:42:20 his new time for MTB2 and 1:15:31 for MTB3. Amazing. This brought him into the final transition with victory assured. All the surrounding mountains had been transcended. Only one remained, now clear and looming. He was still going too fast. He was still feeling fantastic. He would soon feel even better … The impossible summit was visible. Just one solid run of 13 km was all that was needed. Crossing the line with arms upraised in sheer ecstatic relief and unbelieving triumph, Rowan had achieved the impossible. He had blissfully stared down Time. It stood for 15 years: now the unmovable mountain had moved. Another has risen higher in its place, inscribed thus – 10:21:10.
The closest anyone had ever come to the great Jason Chalker’s record was Klayten Smith’s victory last year in 10:39. Klayten is a 2-time Triple-Tri champion drawn inexorably to the start line this year, despite an injury-afflicted year. The powers of persuasion backed by overwhelming enthusiasm of his friend and Canberra resident Michael Brennan, proved irresistible. Klayten and Michael would be close to each other throughout the morning, running together on Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie, until Klayten drew gradually ahead. Their placings would swap again in the final run however, with Michael – who only does these events to “keep fit” in skiing’s off-season – claiming his 2nd consecutive 2nd placing in 11:26:42 ahead of Klayten’s 3rd in 11:28:23. Both performances would have won this race most other years.
Tom Brazier made his mark as a quality runner, winning the inaugural Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra (100km) in 2013. Adding mountain biking and some swimming to his training palette, he’s now proven he is capable of anything. Tom’s 4th placing of 11:32:00 is one of the most impressive Triple-Tri debuts ever, powered by his top class running and supported with excellent mountain biking. If he starts taking swimming seriously, Tom will be very much in the frame for a future Triple-Tri win.
Hopefully many of the soloists will offer their own stories, so we will limit ourselves here to listing, and applauding each of their times:
Coming in 5th place in a superb 11:39:47, came 3-times Ironman Dale McCormack. Rounding out the sub-12 hour finishers was multiple-winner Trevor Fairhurst, thrilled to achieve his best result for some years. Paul Ledbrook completed his first ever Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon in the top 7 placings, clocking an excellent 12:09:45.
Adrian Sheppard has participated for years in numerous Triple-Tris, mostly as a competitive mountain biker. Completing the race solo has been his dream all along and this year he has done it in style: another fine debut finish in 12:14:57. Sydneysider and Ironman Blake Nielsen had participated once in a Triple-Tri team and that was enough to persuade him also to go solo: another impressive first-up effort of 12:21:32. Brian Black is another Sydneysider and Ironman and another Triple-Tri debutant: his finish in 12:51:31 a huge achievement.
In 11th place, Craig Johnston’s 13:15:54 almost exactly replicated his first finishing time from last year – we hope Craig will become a Triple-Tri regular. Over 50s 2nd place, Ross Beatty, just keeps getting better and finished emphatically in 13:16:58. Local Canberran Andrew Dankers finished his first attempt in an impressive 13:23:34. Kel Rankin from Picton was another to complete on his first attempt, finishing strongly before the sun went down in 13:36:18. Andrew Renwick, a crowd favourite, returned for his 4th Triple-Tri and 4th finish in 14:54:12; closely followed by former 50 and Over winner from Wagga, Geoff Breese in 14:57:51; while Joshua Smith was the final of 8 first-timers all of whom finished, in 15:18:27.
TEAMS OF 3
“Teams of 3” is for the purists and the elite. Despite all efforts to assemble “Gun” teams of 4 to 9 members over the years, the overall course record for teams has almost always been held by a team of 3 – and so it remains.
The fastest out of all the Mixed Teams of 3 was “Shoklo’s Nifty Fifty”, racing in the T3 Mixed All Over 50s. Former solo finisher Martin McGready partnered with super-swimmer Rose McGready and super-runner Jeff Grey to obliterate the course record for the category by over one hour, setting an amazing new record of 10:26:35 – this one is likely to stand for many years to come.
The T3 Open category was again won (in 9:15:03) by the Triple-Tri’s most famous team, “Stuff the Puffs”. Despite their irreverent name, this is a serious combination which has changed over the years but has always included Dave Osmond riding all the bike legs. Indeed, Dave was presented with a special award this year for the extraordinary achievement of having ridden all 60 mountain bike legs in all 20 editions of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon – and all at a highly competitive level (Dave still holds the course record for MTB1). His companions this time around were James Johnston in the water and Matthew Crane in running shoes.
“One of Each, Thanks” brought together a slick combo of Duncan Adams, Richard Smyth and Andy Isbister to take 2nd in 10:05:28; while Russell Rockford, Andrew Bryant and Jason Martin combined for 3rd place under the banner of “Crusty’s Crew”.
The only All-Female team of 3 this year were “Triple Treat” – Rosie Williams, Katrina Cousins and Leanne Wilkinson teaming up for an admirable showing of 11:52:05.
“Jo Joe Tom Time” was actually sans Tom but they kept the name (“Jo Joe Steve Time” doesn’t have the same ring to it), and just as well – Joe Howland, Steve Hanley and Jo Brischetto took out the Mixed Teams of 3 in 10:37:13. 2nd place in 10:44:59 was “32 Flavours sans Steve” (because Steve had defected to the winning team), of Katie Binstock, Seb Dunne and Peter Preston; while 3rd was taken by “CIA” (Anna Gurnhill, Christo Norman and Iain Johnstone) in 11:29:38.
TEAMS OF 4-9
Standout performance in the Teams of 4-9 came from “Hack Remnants” who smashed the course record for the Open Teams of 4-9 All Over 60. Comprising Alex Gosman, Trevor Jacobs, Peter Clarke, Steven Meredith and Nathan Carroll, the vastly experienced quintet turned back the clock in more ways than one to stage an exhibition of Triple-Tri team brilliance with their consummate 11:18:25.
The tightest competition is often in the Open Teams of 4-9. The all-conquering “Under The Radar” of previous years evolved from a Mixed ensemble to a formidable Open Team of 4-9, this year acknowledging their status as very much “On The Radar”. Fielding Jarrod Lee, Matt McAuliffe, Reuben Caley, David Allen, Jay Vine – who equalled Dylan Cooper’s record of 1:22:32 for the 2nd mountain bike leg – Jasen Higuchi, Emma Gillingham, Dave Medlock and Craig Benson, the team was unstoppable. Their only real competition was with the organising crew who scrambled to get transitions set up in advance of their lightning advance – in the case of the transition from swim to bike at the end of the Lake Tuggeranong swim, “On The Radar” were victorious! Their winning time of 8:21:08 was one of the fastest ever recorded and over half an hour ahead of another superb combination of “Massage One ACT” in 2nd place with 8:52:58, comprising Conor Sproule, Dylan Cooper, Trent Dawson, Corey Bacon, Michelle Cooper, Scott Imhoff, Wayne Corlis, Ed Hall and Nuru Somi (who blitzed the final run leg in 49:05). 3rd place in this category was taken by the stalwart Goulburn set-up of “Giant 440 Woodies #4 Pete”, featuring Rodney Smith, Rodney McWhirter, Jaemin Frazer, Andrew Dawes, Andrew Oberg, Kerry Baxter, Lori McWhirter, Michael Beard and Stefan Hese.
“The Buzz Lightyears” also hailed from Goulburn, recruiting Terry Withers, Kerry Baxter, Craig Johnson, Mark Stutchbury, Rodney Smith and Andrew Dawes to take out the Open Teams of 4-9 All Over 50. People have been members of two different teams in the past. Yet Kerry Baxter, Andrew Dawes and Rodney Smith created history today by all three of them representing two teams, where both their teams won podium positions in two different categories.
“Ladies Who Tri” brought together Lauren Hendricks, Elizabeth Mutton, Aoife Connors, Aoife Farmer (that’s right – two Aoifes in the same team!), Justine Kennedy, Lee Steel, Rosie Staude, Nicole Bruce and Thea Chesterfield to take out the All-Female Teams of 4-9 in 12:11:58.
Yet they were not the only All-Female team – just the only one under 50! “Three Squared FIT” came to the starting line with Rosemary and Belinda Robinson, Robyn McLelland, Andrea Teunissen, Elizabeth Lowe, Geraldine Cusack, Leanne Tennant, Maryann Simpson and Julie Delandro – all over 50 and out to conquer the course which they duly did, in 14:21:46. “One Foot Out of the Grave” took this age thing even further, boasting an All-Female Team of 4-9 All Over 60 (with two of them over 70!), to win their unique category in 14:54:53. A mighty congratulations and deep bow to Nerida Clarke, Rae Palmer, Carol Baird, Brenda Day, Connie Clement, Cathie Sims, Margaret Hadfield, Ann Ingwersen and Cathy Montalto!!
One of the youngest teams in the field, yet already Triple-Tri veterans, “KAOS” shone in taking out the main prize in the Mixed Teams of 4-9 in a superlative time of 10:15:36. Cassia and Saul Cunningham, Corey and Ryan Smith, Ella, Zoe and Paul Cuthbert, along with Adrienne Nicotra were awesome. a perilously close 2nd place was claimed by “Herding Cats” in 10:17:41, a team with probably more combined Triple-Tri finishes than any other with Iain Addinell, Rod Higgins, Vanessa Haverd, Rachel Meyer, Simon Tilley, Allison Campbell, Mark French, Julia Graczyk and John Fleming. The podium was completed by “Resultz Racing” – Anna Reynhout, James Allen, John McPherson, Siobhan Palmer, Kieran Denny, Matt Shadwell, Eva Ellmer, Andrew Reed and Rob Mulfird breasting the tape in 11:08:21.
The unofficial “Best Team Name” award this year goes to “Triple Tripass”. Honourable mention to “Wacky Waving Inflatable Flailing Arm Tube People” – for no succinct reason.
Heartfelt congratulations and thanks to all who participated either solo, in a team or as a helper, friend or supporter on this thrilling day.
Our sincere gratitude for your tireless service to Gai Webster, Technical Official from Triathlon ACT; Craig Johns also from Triathlon ACT; to John Birch and his team from Canberra Canoe Club; to Chris Ablett and Jonathan Muller of YMCA Sailing Club; to Emma of Lake Ginninderra Sea Scouts; to Connie Chan of Hammer Nutrition; to Mike Corrigan, Pat Siciliano and Cathy Pine of Sports Medicine ACT; to volunteer course marshals Nic Bendeli, Geoff Barker, Beverley Jende, Paul Mahoney, Kent Forster, Carinna Tong, Sue and Norm Brennan; to the course sweepers Jean Douglass, Tim Burns, Paul Cuthbert, Peter Lockey and Richelle Turner; to the staff of My Rainbow-Dreams vegetarian cafe; and to members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team of Mongolia, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Torquay and Canberra.
See you next year for the 21st!
2016 Nov 6thSri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, 6 November 2016
Late course changes have become almost customary with the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon. Such is the nature of this event: an off-road adventure held within an urban domain, subject to constant growth and change, with swims in 3 lakes susceptible of invasion at a moment’s notice by algae or bacteria.
On this occasion, the 1st and 2nd swim courses needed to be modified, affecting in turn the adjacent mountain bike and run legs. Hence, while overall records set this year are recognised as official, performances in the 1st and 2nd swim legs and 1st mountain bike leg do not qualify for leg course records.
The Triple-Tri is several races within a race, with Solo athletes on the go from dawn to dusk, while Relay Teams of 3 members or larger ensembles of 4 - 9, battle it out in sometimes dramatic and intense duels spanning the length and breadth of Canberra from morning till dusk.
Every athlete who even dreams of completing the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon solo, is a brave soul indeed. Those who complete the journey are champions in every sense.
Laura Marshall proved that the last shall indeed be first. In conquering the Triple-Triathlon course for the second time, Laura achieved the rare feat of coming simultaneously both first and last, transcending the rest of the field uniquely in two ways: her time of 16:40:11 represented the longest time on the course of any athlete, while also being the first solo female across the line. Congratulations to Laura for her resilience, courage and strength of mind, a real inspiration to all who witnessed her finish.
The Over-50s Male division has seen a remarkable plunge in times, with the record being well and truly broken twice in two years. This year it was Daryn James who brought the mark down to a scintillating 12:19:18 with a well-controlled, focussed and beautifully executed race, which brought him 4th place outright amongst all solo athletes.
Klayten Smith returned this year for his second immersion in Triple-Tri world. Having taken 1st place already in his only previous outing, Klayten’s goal was to significantly lower his time. Embracing the course with its multiple and varied challenges and rewards, Klayten raced with heart and soul, his 10:39:36 the second fastest time in the event’s history, after only Jason Chalker’s legendary 2002 performance.
An accomplished cross-country skier, Michael Brennan only does two multi-sport races each year: the Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic in Jindabyne, and the Triple-Tri. For someone who regards himself as “not really a runner, or a mountain biker – or a swimmer”, Michael races for the challenge and enjoyment, relying on superb fitness and attitude. His 2nd place time of 11:37:16 would have won this race in many a year.
Trevor Fairhurst has had multiple distractions since his winning streak in the 2000s, including fatherhood and a series of injuries. With an uncertain preparation involving minimal running and a lack of long-distance work, Trevor approached the race with no assurance of even completing the course. His 12:11:29 has to rank of one of his finest performances, a real triumph of spirit over circumstance.
Peter Preston’s 12:38:58, Craig Johnston’s 13:13:05, Jon Schol’s 13:46:50 (Male Over 50) and first-timer Joel Murcia’s 14:00:36 were all outstanding returns on a day which boasted more than its fair share of heroes.
TEAMS OF 3
The name ”Stuff the Puffs” was born out of a rivalry with another Canberra team, “The Puffy Puffcakes”, who were a formidable force at the Triple-Tri in the late 1990s. The puffcakes are now a crumbling memory, yet the team they inspired has become the most successful outfit in Triple-Tri history. Newby puff-stuffers James Johnston (swimmer) and Matthew Crane (runner) joined with anchor Dave Osmond (mountain bike) to sweep all before them in a commanding display of 8:47:01 to take out the competitive T3 Open category – and 2nd place outright including all T9 teams.
Indeed after the winning team, the next 4 across the line were all Teams of 3. 2nd place T3 Open was the “3Ple Team” of Andre Carvalho, Ben Buchler and Perry Blackmore in a fine 9:33:29. The combination of Duncan Adams, Richard Smyth and Doug Richards – “One of Each, thanks” – took 3rd in this category in 10:50:26.
Like Dave Osmond’s “Stuff the Puffs”, Steve Hanley’s “32 Flavours” has incarnated with various personnel over the years, with Katie Binstock and Seb Dunne forming a winning combination with Steve this year to take the main prize in the T3 Mixed category in 9:52:51. “Meat and Two Vegs” combo of Chaitanya Shettigara, Michale Lyas and Daniel Oehm were 2nd in 9:58:08; and “Swim ride run sweat then beer” (Erin Thompson, James Lukassen and Stephanie Auston) proved that a team with only one male can be more than competitive to take 3rd place in 10:36:36.
TEAMS of 4-9
A new and formidable combination of Kylie Message, Kate Vandenberg, Elizabeth Humphries, Kym Somi, Alex Orme, Aimee Davenport, Elise Burriss and Alice Bates teamed up to form “Team Loser Shoes” and break a 17-year-old record to take the All-Female Teams of 4-9 category in a sensational 10:16:16. Hopefully this team will stay together and become the new benchmark for this division.
“Aqua Terra” were 2nd placed T9 Female in an impressive 11:37:22, comprising Pauline English, Sue Buckle, Jessica Robson, Leanne Wilkinson, Jo Allison and Carolyn Haupt. 3rd placing went to “Not Enough Lisas” (Lisa Moore, Danielle Winslow, Michelle Dorey, Lisa Keeling, Catherine Fullford, Lisa Charles and Jo O’Dwyer) in 12:33:39.
The stars of the awards presentation were undoubtedly the two “over age” all-female teams. “Three Squared FIT” took out the T9 Female All Over 50 in 14:23:03, comprising Julianne Quaine, Elizabeth Lowe, Sarah Rainbow, Krissa O’Neil, Belinda Robinson, Geraldine Cusack, Trish Phillips, Maryann Simpson and Rosemary Robinson. Normally these astonishingly fit ladies would have stolen all the limelight, yet “The Young Ones” of Lindy Dunn, Connie Clement, Sue Archer, Margaret Hadfield, Toni Bolschelar, Maria O’Reilly, Nerida Clarke and Ann Ingwerson almost caught them, in an amazing time of 14:47:23 – for a team of ALL OVER 60 FEMALES!
“Under the Radar” are under the radar no more. Last year they assembled a team of all-stars and stormed the course record for T9 Mixed. This year they lowered the mark for this category yet again to 8:13:51, the second-fastest time ever recorded in this race. With Emma Gillingham leading the way in all the swim legs, the team was completed with Matt McAuliffe, Craig Benson, Jay Vine, Marty Dent, David Medlock and Jasen Higuchi. Marty Dent added the course record for the 2nd run (leg 6) of 37:43 to his record for the 3rd run (leg 9) which he set last year. We can only assume he will have a go at the 1st run (leg 3) next year?
“Cold Water” proved hot on the day, with an ensemble of Triple-Tri veterans Stuart Godley, Rod Higgins, Stu Doyle, Rachel Meyer, Simon Tilley, Louise Sharp, Mark French and Julia Graczyk taking out 2nd in this category in 10:04:29; from “The Buzz Lightyears” of Goulburn bringing together Emily-Mae Strickland, Kurt Warn, Terry Withers, Elke O’Rourke, Kerry Baxter, Steve Boyt, Niamh O’Rourke, Mark Stutchbury and Olivia Stutchbury in 10:22:15.
The T9 Open category saw triumph in 10:07:46 for one of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon’s most loyal and consistent teams. Also from Goulburn, “Giant 440 Woody’s – 4Pete” race to honour the spirit and memory of former team captain Peter Oberg, one of the Triple-Tri’s most ardent supporters. Now headed up by Pete’s brother Andrew, the team was completed this year by Rodney Smith, Rodney McWhirter, Michael Pickford, Andrew Dawes, Lori McWhirter, Michael Beard and Stefan Hese.
Ahead of the “Giants” for much of the day in a topsy-turvy race which proved to be the closest of any of the categories, another Triple-Tri stalwart team of “Aviator’s Beach Club” took out 2nd place in this category in 10:09:49. Captained by swimmer Dave Hayes, James Meadley, Sean Davis, Pete Hansen, Andy Thomas, Richard Palmer and Kate Chipperfield completed the team. 3rd place was taken by “Tri Squared Friends” of Rory Sullivan, Anthony Newman, Jack Chenoweth, Grace Zhang, Jack Allison, Brad Valette, Kevin Chan, Oliver Lee and Alexandra Grant came home in 10:50:52.
Gratitude to all whose tireless and selfless service helped make this such a successful and memorable outing. The sports trainers of Sports Medicine Australia, members of the Canberra Canoe Club and YMCA Yacht Club, Race Referee Fiona McWhinnie, staff of Access Canberra, the NCA, Triathlon ACT, Canberra Girls Grammar School, National Arboretum Canberra and Stromlo Forest Park and the many volunteer helpers on the day including Adele Yin, Ben Lees & Michaela Watts, Duy Nguyen, Sue Brennan, Carinna Tong, Gopi Ganesasundaram, Terry Dixon, Geoff Barker, Erin Smith, Mike Edmondson, Tim Burns, Mike Matthews, Jane Hiatt, Jackie Leuthi, Beverley Jende, Jane Gordon, and to members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Serbia, France, the UK, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.
We look forward to your company next year for an historic occasion: the 20th edition of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, to be staged in and around Canberra on Sunday the 19th of November 2017.
2015 Nov 15thSri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, 15 November 2015
Triple-Tri Race Report
The Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon is a portrait of life: a journey; an adventure; a story; a commitment; a passion; a quest. It is pursued alone and in concert with friends and colleagues. It demands discipline, faith, love, even devotion. It offers exquisite joy and abysmal despair; engages our body, vital energy, emotional, mental and spiritual powers in their full array. It doesn’t teach us about life – it is life.
The 18th Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon was staged in and around Canberra on Sunday the 15th of November 2015. Effectively, this was a postponement of the 2014 event, which had been cancelled by the ACT Government the day before it was due to be held, due to the high possibility of a Total Fire Ban forcing the closure of Canberra Nature Park to all events. That day it had been 39 degrees with strong scorching winds – today was 22 degrees with a light breeze and soothing cloud cover. For those who waited patiently a full year and more for this race, the day itself was sumptuous reward.
The day was just asking for records, and our athletes didn’t disappoint.
Due to the amended courses used for the 1st and 3rd swims, the times set for these courses have not been recognised as official records. However, the overall course records are recognised, as the 1st and 3rd mountain bike legs were both longer this year, due to the changes in the swim legs.
Among the solo athletes, the record for the Male Over 50s now belongs to the astonishingly cheerful Geoff Breese from Wagga Wagga, who is smiling broadly in every photo taken of him over the entire course. Geoff returned 13:06:53 for his first attempt at the distance, and only raced solo because he couldn’t persuade enough friends to join him to make up a team!
Rose McGready, Amanda Nott and Elizabeth Bennett teamed up as the “Nifty Fifties” and proved themselves nifty indeed, taking out the T3 All-Female All Over 50 record with an outstanding 13:06:54.
A decade ahead, “The Tearaways” proved the darlings of the Awards Ceremony by setting a high mark for the T9 All-Female All Over 60 with 13:47:58 – comprising Lindy Dunn, Kay Pendlebury, Carol Baird, Brenda Day, Rae Palmer, Cathy Montalto, Ann Ingwersen and Liz Thompson. These ladies set about the course with unbounded enthusiasm, indomitable determination and engaging grace – always a winning combination!
At the pointy end of the field, “Under the Radar” raced very much above the radar the whole day, almost becoming the first ever Mixed Team to take line honours, only missing that distinction by 51 seconds to the all-star “Onya / PTC” outfit (of whom more later). In any case, “Under the Radar” – under the tutelage of Triple-Tri aficionado Peter Klein – established a slick new time for T9 Mixed of 8:28:17, a fine effort for the ensemble of Emma Gillingham, Matt McAuliffe, Craig Benson, David Medlock, Jasen Higuchi, Isabella Marinelli, Jason Klein and Martin Dent.
Although Rad Leovic had previously fielded Open Teams all over 50 and even all over 70, this was the first time a team of All Over 60 had participated – “Rad’s Rattlers” duly set a new course record for this category of 14:15:47. Mighty congratulations to John Kennedy, Geoff Barker, Peter Clarke, Geoff Llewellyn, Hugh Crawley, Mick Saunders, David Baussmann, Chris Lang and Jim White, whose average age is 69!
Special mention and accolades for Emma Gillingham (19:17 in Swim 1) and Isabella Marinelli (15:18 in Swim 3) – both of whom would have had course records had the traditional courses for these legs been in use …
THE FINEST LEG
The stand-out single leg performance of the day was a master-class in speed and form presented by the phenomenal Martin Dent, whose 44:45 for the final 13km run leg over Red Hill, eclipsed the old best time over this leg by a full 4 minutes and 15 seconds! Had the leg been another 2 km, his team might just have pulled off the ultimate prize …
Rowan Beggs-French has won this event previously in 2011, when he was training heavily and supposedly in his prime. Now a father with less time on his hands, he nevertheless led from the literal word “Go!” and never looked back, powering home over the last triathlon to win in an outstanding 11:26:02, eclipsing his previous winning time by half an hour. Rowan is a true champion in every respect, showering his appreciation and gratitude on all his fellow competitors, officials and helpers and positively radiating at the finish line.
Every solo finisher deserves acclaim, for to even dream of completing this truly gruelling event is a significant life accomplishment. Warren Evans took 2nd in 12:07:49; Cameron Darragh not far behind and completing the podium placings with 12:13:15. Multiple-time team entrant, Tim Shillington finished his first solo attempt in fine style to come in under the 13 hour mark in 12:58:42. Wes Fraser cruised home in 13:16:05; and Paul Jeffery gutsed it out to finish bravely in the dark in 16:04:01.
Sharing the Male Over 50s with winner Geoff Breese, were return entrant Marty McGready, who obliterated painful memories of a technical DQ at this race a few years back, in the best way possible, scaling his personal Mt Everest of the Triple-Tri in a complete, controlled and compelling performance of 13:27:32. Ross Beatty came back from the disappointment of last year’s cancelled event, when he was trained, primed and ready to fire, to finish gloriously and with a smile, in 14:00:13.
A notable absence this year were the Solo Females – we look forward to ladies lining the shore of Lake Ginninderra in 2016 …
THE TEAMS OF 3
Competition in the Teams of 3 was slightly overshadowed this year by the ding-dong battle in the T9s at the front of the field, yet some truly top-class performances were returned by “HMAS Friendship” (Murray Robertson, Edmund Hall and Tom Brazier), winning the T3 Open in 9:08:51 from “Stuff the Puffs” (John Fleming, Dave Osmond and Matthew Crane) in 9:18:10. Salutations to the amazing Dave Osmond, who has now completed every single one of the 54 bike legs staged in the history of this race!
“Floored Logic” (Grant Prowse, Mathew Nott and Peter Haggar) took out the T3 Open All Over 50 in 11:40:55; while “Nifty Fifty” T3 All-Female All Over 50’s record is mentioned above.
“Tropical Tango” (Cid Mateo, Cristy Henderson and Steve Fitchett) were solid winners of the T3 Mixed in 10:21:04 from “Meat and 2 Veg” (Chaitanya Oehmigar, Michael Lyas and Daniel Oehm) in 10:43:28.
THE TEAMS OF 4-9
Although racing in different categories, the race between “Onya / PTC” (Callum McClusky, Brad Morton, Robbie Skillman, Nuru Somi, Bob Mathieson, Adam Ridgley and Griffin Layton-Scheld) and “Under the Radar” (listed above) proved edge-of-the-seat stuff throughout the day. It was a sight to behold their two runners flying up Mt Taylor as though they were running on flat ground, shoulder to shoulder. At the end of the 3rd swim in the pool at Tuggeranong, only 2 seconds separated them. ”Onya / PTC” took the glory of line honours – along with victory in the prestigious T9 Open category – in 8:27:26.
Second in this category saw a transcendent effort from one of our favourite teams, Goulburn outfit “Giant 440 Woody’s #4Pete” – racing this year for the first time since long-time team stalwart Peter Oberg passed away. Their finishing time of 9:47:33 would surely have made Pete mighty proud of his team …
The “Old Hacks” (Alex Gosman, Graeme Allbon, Simon Claringbold, Mike McGurgan, Peter James, Terry Dixon and Peter Klein) took away the T9 Open All Over 50 prize with 10:04:00; while “Rad’s Rattlers” are listed above among the course records section for this efforts in the T9 Open All Over 60.
“PTC Ladies” (sisters Eilliee, Suzie and Grace Hoitink, accompanied by Jennifer Davis, Angela Ballerini, Kym Ireland and Natalie Wood) were convincing winners of the T9 All-Female division with a fine 10:43:07. The now-famous “Tearaways” are mentioned above for their stellar return in the T9 All-Female All Over 60, and “Under the Radar” are also credited above for their win – and course record – in the T9 Mixed division.
A photo album from around the course is now published. The 2016 Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon is scheduled to be staged in and around Canberra on Sunday the 20th of November.
2015 Nov 15th"HMAS Friendship" Team Report, 2015, by Murray Robertson
"Las Triple Triathlon"
So our brave and gallant team of three boys had a cracking day of racing at the Sri Chinmoy Triple Tri in Canberra.
What the hell is the Triple Tri? It is a 9-leg beast of a race that demands the utmost respect!
It is three off-road triathlons back to back, in various distance (think about it as a big relay). It makes a loop around Canberra, hitting every lake, every mountain and nearly every bike path. We start in the pond-like Lake Ginnindera and end up at Yarrumlumla at the Sailing Club. It adds up to around 6km of swimming, 100km of mountain bike riding and 45km of running.
It is a beautiful, brutal race.
You can have 9 people doing it, with one taking each leg, or you can do it solo or anywhere in between. We decided to do it as a team of three. A triathlon relay. Team HMAS Friendship.
The line-up was as follows:
Tommy Brazier: The gun runner, Tom has honed his skills doing 100km races and was worried that this one would be too short. We gave him the first two runs to destroy himself, so he could relax and let poor old Murray do the last one.
Ed Hall: Big E was an unknown quantity because he had made the smart decision to ditch mountain biking for the world of road cycling, but we had faith that he would get the job done. He would do all the bike legs, a very solid day out.
And of course, there was me. I had hesitantly volunteered to do all of the swimming legs, as well as the last run! My cycling crash three weeks before had left me with a less then ideal preparation but I thought I could gut through the swims without letting anyone down.
We spent the night before the race gorging on pesto pasta and sweet potato, talking smack and working out logistics for the big day on Sunday.
We knew that there was another team of 3 who would give us some serious competition throughout the day. They were seasoned veterans of the race and were very strong athletes. I was more worried about them then Tom and Ed, because I knew their swimmer was better then me. We would soon see by how much.
I was staying away from the boys in the house of Tom's mum, who had kindly given me a bed. The day began at 5am, as I prepared for the first 1.5km swim that would start us off.
So it was that I found myself in the scummy Lake Ginnindera at 6am, watching duck poo drifting past me and trying not to think ahead to the 3.5km swim that awaited me later in the day.
I did my usual, excitable sprint at the start and found myself leading the field, not the smartest beginning to a 9hour plus day of racing.
I dropped into a pack of 4 swimmers and while I slowly slid off the back of them, I was within 40 seconds of the leader, giving Ed a good crack at our rivals.
When not competing or eating, the day is taken up by driving to the next checkpoint to hand over for the next leg. So Tom and I made our way up to Antill St, below Mt Majura, where Tom would begin his first and longest run at just under 20km.
Ed came screaming into the transition, just behind our rivals, having taken a wrong turn on the course (it happens).
Tom then proceeded to annihilate the entire field on the Ainslie/Majura run and posted the fastest split of the day (a hugely impressive effort considering that the majority of racers were only doing one leg, or one run).
This gave me a couple of minutes lead over our competition for the start of the 3.5km monster swim in Lake Burley G.
We started behind King's Bridge and swam down the middle of the lake, under Comm Bridge and into Acton Ferry Terminal.
It is a long, hard slog of a swim. As soon as your arm enters the water you lose sight of it in the murky, dirty depths. Visibility was at a range of about 5 to 10cm.
Luckily we had a little bit of a tailwind, so I cruised down the lake. When I occasionally flipped over to do some backstroke I could see the orange cap of our competition, slowly but surely gaining on me (he would take 2 and a half minutes off me in this swim). I could also see my kayaking escort, who I would say hello to every time I did backstroke. He said nothing back. It was a long swim.
With about 400m to go I was over-run by my rival but, tactical genius that I am, I cut across and sat on his feet for as long as I could.
So halfway through the race we were neck and neck and we knew it would be very tight. (there were two teams of 9 in front of us, with some pro-triathletes and Martin Dent, enough said).
Big E gave us a little lead for his second ride and then Tom, being the backbone of the team, proceeded to put another 3 minutes into them, running up and over Mt Taylor into Tuggeranong.
I was looking forward to finishing my swimming with the last leg looming but that was short lived because it was now in a 25m pool (due to the water quality of Lake Tuggers). It would be a lot of tumble turns with a run in the middle as you had to get out and run to the end of the pool to start again (3 x 400m loops of the pool, ducking in and out of each lane).
Luckily, I am nearly 2m tall, so because I could push off the wall each time so I only swam about 15m a lap. Perfect.
The pool temp was about 30degrees, so I was feeling pretty drained at the end, but we had our 2 and a half minute lead still intact and only 2 legs to go.
And so this is where things got tactical. I was feeling fresh (relatively fresh, after 6km of swimming) so I would do the final, 13km run over Red Hill. Tom had smashed himself knowing he only had to do 2 runs, so we put our plan into action.
So it would come down to the final leg. Did I feel better after 6km of swimming than their runner who had done nearly 30km of tough trails?
Ed came in with that crucial 2 and a half minute gap and I took off, up and over Red Hill!
I felt amazing, and my splits started at 5:00 per km as I climbed over Red Hill and got down to around 3:40 in the first couple of flat km's, but that's when the day caught up to me and I started to fall to pieces.
I began to cramp in both arms. Arms! WTF, who cramps in their arms when they are running. And my toes.
I had to rein it back a little, otherwise I would have been in real trouble. This wasn't helped when our rival teams swimmer and cyclist started waiting for both of us at certain points along the course and providing splits and updates.
Finally, after 9 hours and 8 minutes of racing (something like that), we finished.
The tactic had worked, as I put over 6 minutes into their poor, tired runner.
We won our division, and come third overall. Beating teams with up to 9 members in them.
It really is a fantastic race. It is lonely too, because we were out in front the whole day, we rarely saw any other teams because the field gets strung out by hours.
About the Organisers
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
Serving the athletic community for over 35 years...
Team Founder Sri Chinmoy
A lifelong advocate of fitness and self-transcendence...