The Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon began as a concept, an idea to celebrate Canberra’s unique natural environment, inspired by its 3 lakes, and the possibility of joining them via Canberra’s wealth of tracks and trails through its bounty of bushland, forests and parkland. Yet for a concept to become a fully fledged event requires the participation and engagement of athletes; the planning, training, dreaming, scheming and execution of skills, effort, ambition and aspiration, and the transcendence of all manner of inner and outer hurdles, barriers and obstacles to reach the finish line. Athletes are the beating heart of every event; its living breath, aching cries and beaming smiles. Events help form and shape athletes; while some athletes shape the destiny of events.
There is a such a symbiosis between Trevor Fairhurst and the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon, each with a deep and abiding fondness for the other. Trevor’s humility, kindness, thoroughness and self-discipline are exactly the qualities this event calls for and brings forth; while the complexity, sheer magnitude and many-layered daunting difficulties of the event are clarion calls to Trevor’s impossibility-challenging, dauntless inner dragon-slayer.
Trevor has won the solo Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon a record 5 times, and now stands as the first to win the race outright from the over 50s division (a feat matched a few hours later, by Beth Bowen) – his winning time, 13:27:55.
By 10pm, most of the teams had left. But a small crowd remained, for this moment. Then a light came reflected off the water, the bobbing head torch of a runner in sight of the end. Beth Bowen came under the finish banner. Unable to speak and overcome by the day, she leaned on her thighs - the moment of completion too vivid and present to digest, the finish line too narrow to transition from the race to the victory. It took a moment, but she straightened and accepted her trophy and flowers – first place Solo Female Over 50 … EVER (and 1st place Solo Female outright). This historical moment established a new 50-59 women’s age group record of 16:12:51, and a new standard for all women to aspire to, and beyond. The numbers hold value in what they reflect – our efforts to stretch and open ourselves. Records and numbers change and fall, but experience is permanent. Our strength and capacity finally expressed, we step forward into new potential. Beth’s effort and expenditure is the inspiration behind such challenging events. We give everything we have, only to find and give something more.
Joe Walshe completed his 3rd finish in 3 starts of the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon since his debut in 2021, and has quickly established himself as an integral member of the Triple-Tri ‘inner circle’, earning just reward for his dedication with 1st place in the Male Under 50 category in 15:02:21.
For anyone to finish in their first attempt at the Triple-Tri solo is a hugely impressive achievement. Newcomer Kurt Michl did just that, finishing exhausted but happy, in 16:01:32 – and almost promising he will be back next year.
A very special mention to Michael Brennan, who despite carrying an injury into the event which would have led most to not event consider starting, led the race from the outset, to establish a new record for the longest time a solo athlete has been in the lead before being overtaken by a team – in this case, on the climb of Mt Stromlo, on leg 5, more than half way into the all-day race. Finding himself nauseous and continually vomiting from the early stages, Michael eventually withdrew after the second triathlon, to spend a night recovering in hospital.
Aston Duncan is another Triple-Tri stalwart who is perfectly suited to this event, and who gives it all his heart and soul each year – but this time, found his body simply not cooperating and reluctantly withdrew after the Lake Tuggeranong swim for his first DNF in 35 years of racing. We know Aston will be back.
TEAMS OF 3
“JT Multisport Black” took the withdrawal of their gun swimmer on the eve of the race in their stride, finding an able replacement in Ash Lawson, to join with biker James Thorp and runner Tom Driscoll, to win the race outright in an impressive 9:35:30 and take out the T3 Mixed category. Tom was fastest outright in each of the 3 run legs, a mighty fine showing given that many runners on other teams were running just the one leg.
2nd team home, the most consistent team in Triple-Tri history, “Stuff the Puffs” simply do not age, taking out the T3 Open category with a more-than-one-hour lead in 10:13:22. Joining Ben Buchler and Adrian Sheppard, runner/biker Dave Osmond has participated in every single edition of the Triple-Tri – now 26 finishes, and every one of them on the podium.
Sam Reinhardt, Christy Henderson and Susie Kluth combined perfectly, mixing their legs between them to claim victory in the T3 All-Female category in 12:06:58, also winning their category by over one hour.
T3 Open All Over 50 is these days often a competitive category, and sure enough, only a few minutes separated the top 2 contenders at the finish. “Tri IP” too the crown on this occasion – Craig Allot, Martin Handley and Ross Hamilton winning with 12:07:09, from “Team 157” (Andy Hogg, James Sullivan and Graham Atkins) coming through the finish in 12:15:17.
Meanwhile, 2nd place in the T3 Open went to the consistent “3 Amigos” (Mark Mallinson, Anthony Butt and Thomas Allen) in 11:24:54; with 3rd going to “Matt and Ant”, the brothers duo of Anthony and Matt Dowle, with 12:34:28.
Podium placings in the T3 All-Female were claimed by “Happy Go Lucky” (Sabrina Moir, Samantha Morley and Genevieve Hofman) in 13:23:44 for the silver medals; with bronze going to “Force de Femme” – Emma Inglis, Sue Moore and Meghan Kenny with 15:34:33.
“Tri hards” – Jacinta Essam, Raymond McAleer and Samuel McNamara – were the 3rd fastest team of 3 and 2nd T3 Mixed in 10:46:36 – with swimmer Jacinta Essam blitzing the female record for the 2nd swim in a new best time of 39:31. 3rd place in the T3 Mixed was claimed in 11:22:31 by “Full Send”, the combination of Nicholas Gailer, Libby Adamson and Caitlin Chandler tilting the Mixed concept with 7 legs completed by female team members.
TEAMS OF 4 – 9
Breaking the magical 10 hour barrier, fastest team of 4-9 and winner of the T9 Open category, “Triple Threat” (James Pattison, James Charlesworth, Tom and Alexander Skeffington, Steven Boyt, Mark Gibson, Adam Kiss, Gerard Walsh and Isaac Hogan), were the 2nd fastest team outright behind “JT Multisport Black” in 9:59:25. The T9 Open certainly proved to be the most closely contested category, with 6 of the top 10 teams coming from this cohort. The gap between 2rd and 3rd was only 20 seconds, with “Not all those who wander are lost” (Louisa and Karl Hulin, Daniel Carson, Mackenzie Edwardson, Matthew Van Arkel, Amber Collins, Ben Cartwright and Jono Windsor) taking the silver medals in 10:14:10, just ahead of the 10:14:30 recorded by “Giant 440 Woodys for Pete” (Rod Smith, Michael Beard, Nathan and Jaemin Frazer, Andrew Dawes, Andrew Oberg, Stefan Hese, Lori and Rod McWhirter), the first of a record 5 Goulburn teams participating this year, most of whom went back with medals.
Another Goulburn-managed ensemble, the “Buzz Lightyears Over 50” (Mark Stutchbury, David Medlock, Bretto Storrier, Gav Moroney, Rodney Smith, Andrew Dawes, Geoffrey McMahon and Ted Goad) claimed the main prize in the T9 Open All Over 50s with 13:48:17. In the T9 All Over 60s, the winning time of 13:48:17 belonged to “Last men standing” (Scott McClymont, Peter Igoe-Taylor, Trevor Jacobs, Alex Gosman and David Clarke), all true veterans of this race.
A record percentage of female participants was reflected in the higher number of all-female teams this year. “Chai Tea Ladies” (Rebecca Lannin, Claire Aubrey, Ruth Patton, Niki Hale and Catherine Horan) didn’t sit around sipping chai all afternoon, as they were focussed on winning the All-Female T9 category in 12:18:16. 2nd place was claimed by “Tri sisters” (Kate Kiely, Monica Dalidowicz, Lesley Steel and Mary Sietsma) in 12:41:42, from 3rd “Goulburn Gals” (Joanne Lainson, Lori McWhirter, Ayla Roberts, Ellie Gundry, Mikaela Rose, Melinda Goad and Danielle Connell) with 13:27:35.
Next team home were “FIT Actually” (Geraldine Cusack, Elizabeth Lowe, Nafrelle Patrick, Lesli Findlay, Helen Jeffs, Sarah Rainbow, Michelle Grech, MaryAnn Simpson and Elna Jennings), who took home the main prize in the All-Female All-Over 50 team awards in 13:31:36.
“Resultz Racing” has always lived up to its name at the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon , and delivered again today, yielding a 1st place finish in the Mixed T9s through its current members of Michelle Welch, Robert Mudford, David Liddle, Anna McPherson, Michael Reed, Philipp Loesel, Matt Shadwell and John McPherson, placing 6th outright, in 10:16:31. 2nd placed T9 Mixed was “JTM Gold” (Georgie Hicks, Myles Wood, Andrew Walton, Joseph Pascall, Stuart Gordon, Michael Mitchell and Kim Elms) in 10:52:37, ahead of 3rd placed “Adultz Racing” (Dominic Howard, Richard Smyth, Fan Xiang, David Clements, Megan Cahilll, Luke Barrett and Glen Patterson) with 11:08:48.