You wouldn't dare pray for conditions this good. Over the course of 16 Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlons we've had all weathers from head-to-toe torrential slosh to parched furnace â and now the perfect day: still, calm waters, smiling sunshine, soothing cloud cover and a benevolent breeze.
On a day of dazzling performances, several shone with extra brilliance.
THE SOLO ATHLETES
Nathan Morris â 22 from Coolangalook â has been running, swimming and biking quite a lot but never got around to entering a race, anywhere â¦ until today. Right now, Nathan has the best performance record of any athlete in the world: 100% victories. Not many would contemplate the Triple-Tri â solo â as their debut race. A personal trainer, he took his preparation seriously, including coming to Canberra for a few of the familiarisation rides. Consistency won it for him, with solid returns in every leg and still looking fresh at the finish after 12:25:45. A remarkable effort and promise of tremendous potential!
Every solo athlete to finish deserves an ode in their honour. This is a demanding, even gruelling race, to conquer which in one day is an athletic personal Everest. Luke Schofield, who lives almost on the course, was 43 minutes behind Nathan at the end of the first triathlon, and proceeded to take back 35 of those minutes over the next 6 legs, crossing the line in 12:33:52. Perhaps if the Triple-Tri had 10 legs?â¦ Travis Wayth, a 19-times Ironman finisher from Porepunkah in Victoria, overcame the bitter disappointment of an early wrong turn on the first bike course to finish strongly and proudly in 13 hours and a mere 49 seconds.
Craig "Foxy" Holland from Port Stephens, the only entrant in the Over 50s, charged around the course all day like a kid, thoroughly enjoying his outing and taking 4th overall in 14:02:22. Somewhere along the Mt Stromlo bike course, several of the solo athletes found themselves together, staying in close touch and helping each other along in a true spirit of camaraderie over the next few legs until the final run home. Another local, Craig Benson finished in 14:13:19 to fulfil his dream of completing this epic Canberra challenge.
Friends James Kuyper and Nick Boustead travelled from Melbourne for the event, and raced for much of the way together, fittingly crossing the line adjacent after 14:39:28 to complete a highly satisfying journey. Adam Carter and Warren Evans, both of Sydney and several endurance campaigns, followed the Melbournians in 14:46:49 and 15:09:57 respectively to round out this year's roll call of solo finishers.
TEAMS OF 3
New Zealand trail runner, Vajin Armstrong has been encouraging his Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team friends to stage a 100 km trail race for the Centenary of Canberra in 2013. He felt the best way to familiarise himself with some of the trails here would be to participate in the Triple-Tri â and so a new "All-Star" team was born as gun open-water swimmer, 17-year-old Oliver Bourne and local mountain biking ace, Dylan Cooper were enticed to join team "Aspire" for an all-out assault on the long-standing course record. Though none had ever participated in the Triple-Tri and they only met 2 days before the race, their plans were executed near-perfectly as the all-comers record held by "The Team With No Name" (team of 4-9) since 2004 was eclipsed with a spirited and superlative all-round performance resulting in a new record of 8:09:10. Never before in Triple-Tri history, has every leg been won by a member of the one team, resulting in the first-ever set of "Perfect 1s" in the Results Table. "Stuff the Puffs" (John Fleming, Dave Osmond and Rob Walter) raced superbly in their own right, yet still finished 35 minutes adrift of the "blink and you'll miss them" team "Aspire", in 8:44:31; ahead of "Iceman, Maverick and Goose" (Nikolai Kobetsky, Edmund Hall and Thomas Brazier) in 9:51:30.
One week prior to the Triple-Tri, when the prospect of an "All-Star" men's team was being discussed, Michaela Watt was struck by the idea that the guys shouldn't be the only ones having a shot at a record â¦ With star junior swimmer Brooke James and highly credentialed triathlete and runner, Sarah Richardson on board, team "Powerpuff Girls" was born and one week later, shortly after the men's team record fell, so too the All-Women's team record was lowered to 10:18:37. As in the men's race, team "QAB" (Tara Booth, Libby Adamson and Julie Quinn) were following all day yet still returned an outstanding 10:45:05. The ever-popular "Femme Fatale" (Rachel Meyer, Sam Reinhardt and Susie Kluth) rounded out the women's T3 podium with 11:36:58.
In the Mixed Teams of 3, "1 Hundred Percent PT" (Amy and Rowan Beggs-French, with Steve Fitchett) took gold with a splendid race of 10:06:44. Nina Magurie, Martin Handley and Jason Finlen's combination of "firt2tri" came next in 10:32:09; from "2 Bilbys and a Marlin" (Greg Gourley, Michelle and Tim Burns) just shading in under 12 hours with 11:59:56.
Special mention must go to the team of "Smart and Smarter", Eugene Irvin and Michael Benson. These tough yet charming gentlemen took out the Open Team All Over 60 category â by themselves! They also set a quirky new record â for the fastest ever slowest time (15:12:42), meaning the organisers were able to get to bed earlier than we ever have!
TEAMS OF 4-9
Along with "Aspire" and "Powerpuff Girls", the performance of the day belonged to "Old Hacks", the definitive Over 50s line-up of Alex Gosman, Trevor Jacobs, Peter James, Simon Claringbold, Peter Clarke, Rico Fitch and Peter Klein. These guys ate up the course to shatter their own record, and take 5th outright across the line. According to Team Captain, Peter Klein: "3 of those 7 team members were over the age of 60, so to still achieve a time of 9:47:56 was truly remarkable. It must have been the Sri Chinmoy spirit, where one can transcend and achieve what sometimes appears to be the impossible".
Luke Grattan has been assembling awesome teams for the 4-9 division almost since the inception of the Triple-Tri. It was his ensemble, "The Team With No Name" whose all-comers course record had stood until today. Now with a naming sponsor, "The Runners Shop" (Luke Grattan, David Medlock, Nick Walshe, Jack Bigmore, Robert Allen, Paul Brodie and Peter Hosking) once again set the standard in their Open category with a fine 8:49:45; from "Ziggy Stardust and the 2602 Hobbos from Mars" (Chris Southby, Martin Worthy, Nick Horsepool and Peter Maher) in 9:44:44 and the perpetual 3rd place "Giant 440 Woodys" (Rod Smith, Rodney McWhirter, Peter Oberg, Andrew Dawes, Andrew Oberg, Jaemin Frazer, Lori McWhirter, Michael Beard and Bradley White) from Goulburn and Wollongong, in 9:56:48.
"GoGo Girls at 50+" have in one form or another brightened the mood of this event for many a year. The grouping in 2012 of Jane McCallum, Adair Ferguson, Cathy Crompton, Rae Palmer, Robyn McClelland, Brenda Day, Belinda Robinson and Maryanne Simpson showed fine form with a finish of 13:23:39.
Rad Leovic is the pre-eminent supporter of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, this year organising and managing 4 teams, and anchoring one of them with a final run leg. His all-women's "Rad's Roses" returned a gold medal for the stable, with Sarah Whittaker, Bec Thorpe, Sue Archer, Phoebe Davis, Bianca Mausch, Pam Muston and Carol Baird romping home in 12:24:37; ahead of "Last Minutes" (Jo Lane, Michelle Weir, Laura Allison, Hayley Thomas, Lucy McGarva, Kerren Crosthwaite, Sam Kennedy, Emily Morton and Emily Kennedy) in 14:11:44.
In the Open Mixed Teams category, "Priapism Plus" (Raeleigh Rogers, David Cook, Greg Register, Charles Nicholl, Michael McGurgan, Jayne Corssling, Marc Roberts and Ben Watson) were first in 10:27:38; from ever-present competitors "Aviators Beach Club" (Dave Hayes, Damon Bennett, Elliott Wise, Pete Hansen, Rachael De Hosson, Kate Chipperfield and Richard Palmer) in 10:41:47 and "Go Mum Go Dad" (John Power, Emily Walter, Kristen Power, Tom Walter, Belinda Allison and Alison Jones) with 11:25:39.