By Sri Chinmoy
The Sri Chinmoy Multi-Sport Classic, Jindabyne is an expression and a celebration not only of multiple sports but of multiple capacities and facets of the human heart: courage, enthusiasm, perseverance, sacrifice, camaraderie, sympathy, faith and the joy and satisfaction in one’s own and others’ achievements are all on grand display throughout this epic day. No-one who participates in this event in any way – whether as competitor, organiser, supporter or spectator – ends the day the same person they were at the start: all are uplifted and greatened by the fulness and richness of the experience.
Alina McMaster gave us all a McMaster-class in multi-sport and endurance racing today, combining two supreme qualities of power and grace in a consummate overall performance of 11:49:50. Without the time for long hours of training which forms the diet of most elite athletes, Alina showed the immense worth of experience, enthusiasm, faith and sheer love of her sport. She starting at a cracking pace, setting new solo course records for the first paddle (54:20), run (38:18) and mountain bike (46:15) legs. Thereafter her tenacity was paramount, though always expressed with a smile. Alina’s was an inspiring presence throughout the field and throughout the day, attracting tremendous appreciation and admiration from all competitors and spectators right up to the finish line.
The Solo Male (Under 50) race was an epic; an inspiring and beautiful exhibition of human will, athleticism, heart-power and endurance between two good friends, Klayten Smith of Sydney and Michael Brennan of Canberra. Michael set down a loud and clear marker right from the first swim, leading the field out in a new course record of 20:35 for the 1.5km, already a lead of nearly 5 minutes. If anyone was going to catch him, they would have to work for it! Klayten made up some ground in the paddle and run legs, but after the long 2.5km swim, Michael’s swimming prowess saw his lead stretch to 14 minutes. From this point on, Klayten’s quiet persistence and limitless endurance came to the fore. At the end of the long run up the Pallaibo and Waterfall Loop tracks, the lead was only 3 minutes. The pair rode together the first half of the long mountain bike leg through the National Park, chatting amiably, until Klayten drew away and proceeded to build an unassailable 13 minute buffer by the end of this gruelling leg, for which he broke his own solo course record with a new awesome time of 2:18:16. This margin would grow to over 20 minutes by the finish, with Klayten’s 9:38:03 one of the fastest ever recorded, and earning him a top-10 placing outright, amongst all the specialist relay teams. It was a great privilege to witness two true champions offering all their inner and outer capacities to uplift the whole tone and mood of the event.
First-Time solo participant Ben Rocket was progressing well through the legs, pacing himself wisely, but was forced to withdraw leading into the long run. It was after this same telling leg that Over 50 Male stalwart, Jon School was also withdrawn from the race. Jon was forced to watch from the sidelines as his friend and rival, the smiling Geoff Breeze from Wagga, kept his focus and form to take Jon’s Over 50 Male course record with a new best time of 11:53:38.
Our gratitude, respect and love flows especially to all the Solo competitors, for it is your amazing commitment and superlative sacrifice that is the true soul of this incredible race.
TEAMS OF 2 - 4
“Once Were Intact” – David and Andrew Griffin, David Peedom and Rohan Essex – took full advantage of a fine day for racing, to obliterate the outright course record and win the Open Teams of 4 category in a stunning combined performance of 8:05:18. From the time rider Rohan Essex passed Solo race leader Michael Brennan on the first mountain bike leg, the team never looked back and continually increased their lead. Course marshals and transition crews were scrambling to be in position in time, and were then faced with nearly one hour’s wait for the next team through! Fortunately the team brought their families as support crew, otherwise there would have been almost no-one to applaud their stupendous performance at the finish line.
Next Open Team of 4 were “Struggle Street” – Cameron Butler, Cameron Cox, John Maloney and Isaac Strachan – in 9:17:32, notable for a new record of 39:55 from Cameron Cox for the final paddle leg; with 3rd placed “Magic 8 Ball” – Daniel Gough, James Suthern, George Murray and Glen Sinnott – 5 minutes back in 9:22:55.
The Mixed Teams of 4 category was won handsomely by the pair of “TnT” – Tim Boote and Teagan Belfrage – in 9:52:15. A former solo winner of the race, Tim proved an excellent support for Teagan, whose time of 2:21:32 set a new female record for the long bike leg. The ever-dependable “32 Flavours” – the trio of Katie Binstock, Steve Hanley and Ron Brent – took 2nd placing in 10:04:09; with “Keeping It Real” – Teresa Wynter, Nick Grey, Andrew Lane and Nicholas Moyle – claiming 3rd in 10:23:37.
TEAMS OF 5 - 12
The closest and most thrilling finish of the race came in the Open Teams of 5-12. Two teams had traded the lead in this category throughout the day, and as destiny would have it, it would all come down to the final leg. Miles Waring had to run literally the fastest split of the day (16:42) over the final 5km to clinch victory in 9:01:42 by a mere 9 seconds for his team “Knerds” – Howard Roby, Andrew Garvie, Elise Stewart, Miles and Chris Waring – from a noble “Aviator’s Beach Club” – Dave Hayes, Shane Lund, Andrew Thomas, Richard Palmer, Sean Davis and Pete Hansen – in 9:01:51. 3rd placing went to Goulburn’s “Jindabeen There Again” – Mark and Olivia Stutchbury, Rodney Smith, Kurt Warn and Andy Dawes in 9:26:14.
“The Queen Bees” morphed from an Open to an All-Female team the evening before the race: a smart move which culminated in a category win in 11:42:54. The set-up of Amy Bainbridge, Melissa Backhouse, Carli Shillito, Nicole Barwick, Rach Robson and Megan Divett were happy trophy winners after a splendid day out.
“Team Pav” – Matt Tonner, Yvette Burns, Jason Further, Caroline Kuiper and Glenn Allen – took out the Mixed Teams of 5-12 in 9:24:51. Next home in this category was Canberra’s “Sport and Spinal Physio” – Craig and Zoe Honeybrook, Kelly and Tim Shillington, Claire Campbell, Arty Dziouba, Leanne Wright, Freddy Koche and Simon David – in 9:44:06; with “Resultz Racing” taking 3rd in 10:04:21, comprising Siobhan Palmer, Emily, Stewart-Reed, Rob Mudford, Michael Reed, James Allen, John and Anna McPherson.
Other male course records among the teams included Tristan White’s fine time of 22:21 for the second bike leg for team “Geese”; and Kelsey Boreham’s (team “Grab-a-Kab”) sensational new best time of 1:48:43 for the long second bike leg. A wonderful final 5km run from Alex Keith saw her set a new female course record time for this leg of just 19:22.
An event of this magnitude relies on the enthusiastic support, cooperation and service of numerous people, mostly heroes-behind-the-scenes. We are very grateful to Paul Gardiner for riding “sweep" for all 3 bike legs; to June Weston for permission to ride over her land; to Doug Chatten for medical support throughout the long day; to Les Threlfo and the VMS for logistical and safety support on all swim and paddle legs; to Snowy Hydro, Kosciuszko National Park, NSW Police, NSW RMS and Snowy Monaro Council for permits and permissions to stage the race within their respective jurisdictions; to Andrew Miller for operating the barge service to and from Creel Bay; to David Campbell, Robin Ward and Matt Barnes for paddle safety support on all 3 swim courses; to traffic marshals Steve Gilmore and Brad Fraser; to Miller Merrigan for permission to occupy their construction site on Rainbow Drive; and to members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Mongolia, New Zealand, Perth, Brisbane, Torquay and Canberra.