Top Field of Athletes converge in Townsville this weekend
A top field of athletes from around the country (& New Zealand) will converge on the Cape Pallarenda trails, in Townsville this weekend for the Adventurethon National Challenge with both the men’s and women’s field expecting a real show of adventure.
The BNG Sports Ultra Adventurethon kicks off on Saturday with an 8km paddle to Magnetic Island, a 2.4km trail and beach run on the island followed by the 8km return paddle to the mainland. Once on the mainland competitors will head out on a 29km mountain bike ride incorporating many kilometres of single track through Under the Radar and Smedleys trails, and finish off with a 14km trail run (including the summit of Mount Marlow where 360degree views showcase the stunning Townsville surrounds).
In the women’s Ultra we will see a record number of individual women stepping up to take out the title. We have seen all of these women in different capacities over the course of the Adventurethon history from Taste and onwards, and we are just bursting with excitement to see the way this will all pan out.
Elizabeth Dornom who has had solid performances at various adventure races around the world. As an individual competitor she has qualified for Kona Ironman with a run leg as strong as many of the top men.
Elizabeth has a strong racing attitude and her Sister Bernadette won the Townsville event a few years ago. She is a competent paddler, although short on paddling hours in a ski until the last couple of weeks. She will have to draw on her experience and competitive nature
Andrea Peebles – has had a recent bout of success in paddle, bike run racing format with a win at Adventurethon Coffs Harbour, coming from behind to take the lead in the bike from Bren Turner, only to lose the lead in transition and then claw it back on a descent on the run.
Andrea has also spent a good portion of time training for Coast to Coast world champs in NZ where she missed out on a 3rd place by just over 2mins to this years Adventurethon Magnetic Island champ Fiona Dowling. Andrea has a strong bike leg and has made some great headway in her paddle. Andrea’s fun attitude and quirky sense of humour makes her fun to watch …she has been known to dress up as a butterfly to races in the past to not take things too seriously 😉
Daina Clark – Daina has been very strong in the bike in the past and has made it her mission to improve on her newest discipline the paddle leg (hiring world class paddler Clint Robinson) to bring her paddle leg up whilst she organised the destination adventure training programs on magnetic island recently.
Su Pretto has made the trip north with her son James, and is as much of a challenge as any of the other girls. Su has a lot of history in this type of sport, often finishing on the podium. Her fierce determination will see her do well this weekend. Other women involved in this years Ultra will mean it is most definitely a great hit out and we can’t wait to see how they shine on the day.
Mens Ultra Adventurethon
With Multiple Adventurethon National Challenge winner, Jarad Kohlar out of the race (choosing to be at home for the arrival of his baby), there is an open title to be claimed, bringing with it a surge of excitement amongst the Individual males.
Alex Hunt – winner of the Red Bull Defiance with another team mate. He also participated in the world multisport champs, at Coast to Coast in New Zealand this year (after Jarad Kohlar said he should have a go…) With only 3 weeks of prep he was able to take on the course and secure 3rd place. Who knows what this guy can do with a proper lead in. He has a fast ride and run split and can hold his own in the paddle leg.
Alex Polizzi – Alex has a bit of a background in off road, then went to triathlon getting hi pro license. He has had a few successes recently and at the Busselton 70.3 he came in only 6 mins behind Craig Alexander who set a new course record at the event. Although Polizzi hasn’t done a lot off road lately his engine is in good shape so that will allow him to conserve energy if needed on the technical descents.
Sam Stedman – no one knows the course better than Sam. Stedman has forged his racing weapon in these trails and has recently been in form, winning the Mt Buller mountain run earlier this year. Sam’s weapon is his run, however he has also set some of the fastest mtb splits on the Adventurethon courses over the years. On this course in 2015 Sam was narrowly beaten by Jarad Kohlar and managed to run down James Pretto who was ahead till just near the end of the bike leg.
James Pretto- has a strong paddle leg and was neck and neck with 2015’s National Challenge champion Jarad Kohlar by the end of the second paddle. He was gunned down in the run leg by Sam Stedman and took out 3rd place overall. Since then we have seen James get back into much better racing shape climbing the ranks with 3rd place behind Guy Andrews at the 2015 Adventurethon Coffs Harbour, and he was able to outrun Andrews at Anglesea last year finishing close 2nd behind Kohlar.
Luke Smythe – Luke is a younger racer and one of the highlights of his race would be his paddle… as a standalone athlete in any 1 of the disciplines he is able to mix it with the best however his only downfall in past races has been pacing and inexperience leading to cramping in the final run. Since leading out Stedman at Magnetic Island Adventurethon paddle leg 2014 he has had a lot of extra experience, with efforts in 100km running in NZ as well as 24 hr mountain biking in which he was able to take 1st place in open men’s and 2nd overall in solos. Watch this space to see if this extra experience pays off for him.
Tom Chadbourne – Travelling from Western Australia to compete, we are interested to see how Tom stacks up against the east coast rivals. His recent results in W.A saw him with the win at Adventurethon Kalbarri. Tom also won the x adventure and his off road skills are as good as his fitness.
He is very even across all disciplines. When Tom was up against multiple champ Jarad Kohlar in Albany earlier this year he only finished 7 minutes behind which we would assume could put him on the podium considering how good Jarads’ run is.
Special mention to Dean Cane who will be challenging the field for the fastest mountain bike leg on the day, getting a feel for the full technical course of mountain biking. Dean is a top junior (at 17yrs of age) and we suspect you’ll see his name in the Olympics one day soon.(he recently turned down an MTBA Olympic pathway program towards Tokyo so he can keep running) He is a weapon on the mountain bike and will be an absolute delight to watch.
Everyone who steps up to the start line on July 2nd is a winner in our eyes…but who will win out in the end.