The fifth and final day of the Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge took over the city and outskirts of Hobart today. The morning started with a run along Mt Wellington summit and finished by the water in Hobart’s dock area.
Racing for Team discovertasmania.com, Richard Ussher and Braden Currie, Kiwi powerhouses, may not have crossed the finish line first today but they are the leaders in the overall standings. “We didn’t really have our heads in the game today and we made a few silly mistakes. But we’ve had a great week, and there have been some amazing places around Tasmania we’ve seen. Racing with Braden has been fantastic; we’ve been pushing each other all week. And, now we can just relax and enjoy ourselves,” said Ussher. Currie admits that going for the win wasn’t easy, “it was pretty tough out there today, I was definitely felling five days of racing.” Ussher and Currie overall standings was 19:59:00, more than two hours and 42 minutes ahead of second place Pure Tasmania, Mark Hinder and Alex Hunt.
Grabbing line honours for today were former Ironman champ Guy Andrews and triathlete Ben Allen who finished well ahead of the pack. And after a bout of food poisoning yesterday, Guy was looking strong and fresh when he crossed the finish line, with a big smile on his face. “The whole course was fantastic; I think one of the best. The west coast is amazing, starting in Launceston then finishing here in Hobart. And today, we had such a good day, couldn’t ask for better weather. I’m ready to go again”, said Guy.
Guy’s teammate, triathlete Ben Allen, a first time competitor in adventure racing, is wrapped with the experience. “The satisfaction of getting through all the challenges, and some were so grueling and really difficult, and you think it’s not possible, but with your teammate there encouraging you all the way, all of the athletes being encouraging, it’s a huge reward and I’ll look at it as one of my highlights.”Guy and Ben didn’t place in the overall standings due to Guy pulling out for most of yesterday’s race.
The two Olympian’s Courtney Atkinson and Kenny Wallace, racing for Team Red Bull were surprised by what they achieved over the five-day adventure race but it was tough to compete with experienced adventure racers. “We finished really strong today and it goes to show with adventure racing, that you never give up. This morning, we thought we were out of the race, but then we came good. A week ago, I never would have thought we would be competing so close for a podium finish,” said Atkinson. Wallace admitted that it was a tough week but he kept, “going and going” but “prefers kayaking to running”. He went on to say, “it’s a great event but I am wrapped it’s over!”
Enthusiast winners, Team Backcountry Adventure Addicts, David Leggo and Jarrod Mitchell, finished first for the second year running in their category. “We put a bit of pressure on ourselves this year after last year’s results, we wanted to finish well and we got there,” said Leggo, “but I’m knackered!”
The adventure racers weren’t the only one’s competing in Hobart today. The Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge Adventure Run also took place in the capital city. The 6.5km ‘fun run’ gave the community a chance to be involved with the Challenge and help raise funds for the Mark Webber Foundation that supports both the Whitelion and Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal charities.
ELITE PAIRS OVERALL
1st Richard Ussher/Braden Currie discovertasmania.com (TAS) 19:59:00
2nd Alex Hunt/Mark Hinder Pure Tasmania (TAS) 22:41:30
3rd Jarad Kohler/James PrettoSwisse Active (AUS) 27:37:05
4th Ken Wallace/Courtney Atkinson Red Bull (AUS) 28:59:51
5th Mitch Evans/Samuel SteadmanOuter Limits (AUS) 35:00:40
6th Peter Williams/Brett ParkinRACT (TAS) 35:28:55
7th Phil Sargent/Alex SpinksEuropcar Tasmania (TAS) 35:53:23