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.