Adventurethon Kalbarri 2017 Race Report
Adventurethon Kalbarri 2017 kicked off with some great weather. Milder temperatures than those predicted meant that competitors avoided the winter chill, and instead were treated to stunning conditions.
Ultra & Duathlon competitors headed out on a 21.9km run, with Ben Freer (Duathlon) from Geraldton Tri Club out in front at first bit of bitumen. Kris Plain, brother Rick Plain and local Kalbarri teenager, Luke Dooley not too far behind. They couldn’t hold him on the non-technical start. It wasn’t till around a couple km into trail where it gets technical, before they could pass due to the technical running.
Enduro competitors began their race with a 9km run, before heading out on an 8km river paddle and a 20km mountain bike.
In the Ultra Adventurethon, the new Rock hop feature a hit with long runners…with competitors enjoying the spectacular limestone cliff faces of Kalbarri.
Everyone hated the soft sand of beach on an angle but found it super scenic especially with swell and great surf breaks along the way. (Jake’s point is a top 10 surf destination in Australia which they run right around).
Kris Plain came in first from the run, with brother Rick only a minute behind and then Luke Dooley 3 minutes after that. With less than 4 minutes between the top 3 competitors it was looking like being a close race.
After the run, Ultra competitors headed out on a 16km paddle. The large swell made the river mouth very hard to get out of – bravo to those that made it out. Paddlers were rewarded with dolphins in the mouth of river surfing…also dolphins joined in following them in the river.
Jake’s point (surf spot) was going off with a number of surfers being towed off the back of jetskis.
Kris’s favourite leg is the paddle, and he did not disappoint. With a cracking time on a tough paddle, he came in first, followed by Luke (who posted the second fastest paddle time for the day) and then Rick, who is not as experienced in the paddle as the other two.
Duathlon competitors headed out on the mountain bike leg after their first run, with Ben Freer having an 8 minute lead at this point. Soon after him was Ben Smit and Claire O’Brien-Smith. Once the Duathlon competitors finished their bike leg they had a short run and into the finish line. Final result was Ben Freer 1st, Ben Smit 2nd and Troy Gildersleeve 3rd. Claire put in a gutsy effort finishing very close after Troy.
The Enduro was hotly contested -Andrew Hewlett put in a blistering performance finishing first in the Grand Masters 50 + Category and 2nd overall. kudos to Paul Cochrane for his time improvement in the Masters Category… Phil Davies dominated to take overall win…. Lochy Jones had an amazing paddle – he was in plastic boat and it was close…eventually he blew up and ended up finishing 5th overall and 2nd in the Open Category. But Lochy himself admits that he doesn’t train adventure …he just plays footy…and his last paddle was at Adventurethon Albany.
The Enduro Female category had quite a good showing with the girls holding their own amongst the male competitors. Annelise Remigio came in from the run first with Sarah Althorpe and Katherine Ross only minutes behind. As they headed out on their paddle leg, Katherine made up time with a 54 minute paddle, putting her approximately 10 minutes ahead of the nearest female competitor. With very close bike times, Katherine was able to hold on to the lead, finishing first Enduro Open Female, followed by Annelise Remigio in 2nd and Sarah in 3rd. The 50+ Category in the Women’s Enduro were also very good with Lauren Cartledge, Sue Stott & Heather McQueen finishing 1st, 2nd & 3rd respectively. As always, we are thrilled to see so many female competitors out there achieving awesome things, in a historically male heavy sport.
Kris didn’t slow down all day. Rick came home strong in the bike (which he says is his favourite leg) passing Luke Dooley around half way through bike… Luke says he didn’t drink during first run (but did every other leg). It may have been too late to try and play catch up swigging 1lt at first transition … good lessons no doubt to help him in future and we are sure he will go from strength to strength.
At the end of the day, first over the finish line was Kris Plain (04:45:16), then Rick Plain (05:30:47) and in 3rd Place, Luke Dooley (05:45:20).
Kevin Kelly won 50 plus in the Ultra Adventurethon, as Bill Whalley had a few dismounts at river mouth and took the modified paddle (2x river instead dropping him back to 2nd, even though his time was quicker). Kevin gets the win due to the rough nature of course.
There was a lot of entertaining banter between Kevin Kelly, James White & Bill Whalley as they ventured around the course.
It was great to see Beginners and Juniors out there having a go at the Taste of Adventurethon. It is one of the parts we enjoy the most about Adventurethon – seeing people testing their limits and having a go. First timers, or people new to the adventure playground. This course involved a 4km run, 1km paddle and 10km mountain bike…a real taste of Adventurethon.
Team T1 (which included Megan Kelly & Judy Whelan) are usually support crew for their husbands at these events, so it was refreshing to see them out having a blast. Megan is now keen to come back and do the whole thing herself. “It wasn’t that hard”… apparently.
You can read all your results HERE.