team definition : a number of persons associated in some joint action
Wether you were chasing glory or there for the challenge or fun, the teams catagory is the dna of this event making it the fantastic spectical we all know and love. It was great to see athletes and weekend warriors of all abilities doing their best to master the unforgiving course.
The runners had their time in the spotlight with Bike Ride’s Chris Sullivan expected to set the pace after a dominating performance at the Winter Challenge recently. Whilst taking the lead early WHK’s Phil McConnon wasn’t letting him get away and ended up first over the saddle closely tracked by Naked man on a horse’s Robbie Hunt. Running fitness does not always equate to great running over terrain such as that on offer today. Running in soft sand and having light feet and co-ordination to land on rocks on the right angle is something you either have, or not. It was good to see newly crowned age group World Champion triathlete James Hodge out running for the Avantiplus Launceston team which shaped up as the favourite for the event. Unfortunatley injury struck Rapid Pantry’s Paul MacKenzie who got a hip flexor injury early in the run and did a great job to finish in a slow time. When you have a line up of Steven Brown, Matt Dalziel and Phil Leslie to come, it’s worth the effort as they made up some time during the day.
In the cycle leg Avantiplus Launceston’s Ben Mather put in a storming ride to give his team a sizable lead. Mather has had an epic 7 days after riding agressively in the Launceston to New Norfolk Cycling Classic and competing in the tour of Tasmania for the first 3 days. An unexpected performance came from downhill mountain bike gun Kaine Cannan who showed his strength can be transferred to the road.
Kayaks lined the beach at Swanwick and slowly departed for the two lap journey. Avantiplus paddler Sam Norton built on the lead established by Mather, followed by Bike Ride’s Ben Maynard. Rapid Pantry were way back and out of contention, but Matt Dalziel couldn’t count how many competitors he passed.
Mountain bikers ripped up the fast and flowing course with Avantiplus Launceston’s Tom Goddard recording the fastest time and the first day lead for the all star team. Bike Ride finished well for second after a solid ride from Stephen Matthews and WHK’s Nick Miller finished off the good work layed down by his team mates earlier in the day for third.
Full results are available at the Freycinet Challenge website