Sri Chinmoy Triple Tri - Run 1

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The weather gods were smiling on us for the Sri Chinmoy Triple Tri; light cloud cover and mild conditions with a light breeze greeted the over 900 competitors (21 individuals and 131 teams of 3 to 9) for the 5:30am start at Lake Ginninderra on Canberra's northside.

This remarkable event is a crazy concept and logistical nightmare; swims in each of Canberra's man made lakes, linked by arduous and often technical mountain bike legs traversing the hills and nature parks and runs over the peaks of Mt Majura (824m), Mt Ainslie (814m), Mt Taylor (855m) and Red Hill. The amazing Sri Chinmoy Team here in Canberra organise this extremely well, with busloads of helpers, eight transition points and many intermediate aid stations. Amazingly, it works.

The tradition of previous years had established that "Rad's Ravers" had to be entered; a fun team of friends and supporters of the inimitable Rad Leovic, the inspirational 78 year old triathlete of all of us in Canberra. Last year was my introduction to this event as a participant, where I had elected to do the first run leg, the most stunning tour of northern Canberra over the summits of the the two peaks as the event of the same name. The point to point Sri Chinmoy course is more interesting however, with a portion through the single track of Majura Pines and final kilometres past the War Memorial and along Anzac Parade and around a portion of Lake Burley Griffin.

I did well last year, and thought that it was one of the best events I had ever been a part of. I longed to be more involved this year, and having seen Mister G take off on each of the run legs secretly held this to be my goal. With a running focus in Rad's contacts, we were able to stitch together two teams this year; an over 50 team of eight competitors (one swimmer doing the 2 shorter swim legs); and a 'family' team of four - Father Ron electing to do two bike legs, daughter Milly each of the swims, and Bob taking the other bike leg whilst I ran. The lead up and preparation hadn't been ideal, although I was keen to do it. Bob wasn't so optimistic and kept reminding me that he could/would do the final run leg. Having competed (and won) the run legs in a team of 3 during the first year he knew what was involved and expected me to crash and burn. Spouse of little faith.

Milly's wave started at 6:05am and she was not well from the outset. Tagging Ron for the bike leg, she was taken home to bed, hopefully to recover from a 24 hour lurgy. I was oblivious to this as I started my first run; very slowly and conservatively over the stiles and along the orange trails around the base of Mt Majura. I counted those who passed me in the early stages, and concentrated on 'pacing myself' and taking it very easy. I wanted to do all the legs and there was a long day ahead. I couldn't mind when Emma Murray came flashing past with a smile on her face!

Slow on the ascents, my fitness had deteriorated over the last few weeks, however nearing the end of my second course of antibiotics meant that my wheezing had ceased and I was breathing more easily. Slow and Steady. At Mt Majura we clambered over a sharp rise to circumnavigate the Trig Point, before descending again to begin the welcome roadway descent for a kilometre or two. I was concerned to see individual competitor, super volunteer and Bilby supremo, David Baldwin walk/jogging backwards on this stretch; he had been far behind his partner at the start of the run and had problems with both of his glutes. To need to walk backwards so early in the event did not auger well and was of great concern.

Despite dosing up on too much Imodium (as usual), a wombat stop was necessary in the thick bush between the Majura bushland and the lush needle carpet of the mountain bike tracks of Majura Pines. I adore this section of the course, it has a sense of a magic forest while one searches out the white arrows on the ground.

Through the open trails around the base and on the slopes up Mt Ainslie. It is a good route up the northern side, partly on narrow, shaded tracks. A steep clamber over to the roadway at Mt Ainslie, and another circuit to the Trig Point before beginning the long, steady descent down wide shallow steps, and a winding sealed path to the War Memorial, dodging many Sunday morning walkers looking on with surprise as they were passed by a succession of sweaty runners with race numbers barrelling down the track. Over a grassed section, and we were then on the homeward stretch. Supporters sat on the edge of some of the national monuments to nurses and seaman cheering as we went past, and the lake beckoned in front. Around "Blundell's Cottage" and on to the north shore of Central Basin. Not far to go now.

I had estimated around 2 hours 10 minutes for this leg, and knew that I had to be much slower than the 1:50 I flew through last year. Nearing the business end and knowing that it was flat, it looked as though two hours was in reach, a good measured and sensible result. I called out for Milly as I came to the transition chute, not knowing that Ron was doing the long swim (3.5km) leg. We tagged and changed over, and I went and drank dozens of cups of water in the little marquee.

One down!
Pre Leg Nutrition: Demi-tasse of espresso. Water.
Post Leg Nutrition: 1/2 Endura Energy Bar. 1 'Fruit Slurpy' (apple puree). 1 FortiJuice. 1.25l Mineral Water. 1 Long Black. 375ml Saxby's Diet Ginger Beer.

1 Responses to “Sri Chinmoy Triple Tri - Run 1”

  1. Anonymous Friar 

    It's a great event, Flashduck last year ran the first leg and the last leg.

    There's no stopping her.

    This year -- well read the Blog.

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  • Distance Swum
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