Michael Lori and Kristen Gardner battled challenging conditions in Dunsborough today to take the X-Adventure 2018 Long Course and Cross Triathlon State Championship titles with fast racing and close tussles at the pointy end of the field.
Over 1,200 competitors made the journey down south for two big days of racing at the 2018 X-Adventure Dunsborough off-road triathlon and new Aquathlon-X, battling not only for prizemoney but also a spot at the World Championships and glory of a State Title.
The weekend got off to a stellar start with magical weather and conditions for competitors in Saturday’s Short Course X-Adventure, Kids X-Adventure and Groms X-Adventure races.
Sunday’s inclement weather didn’t slow the racing down, with Lori, 27 of Perth, swift across the rocks to finish in an impressive two hours, 27 minutes, 2 seconds; a full 15 minutes ahead of the field and $500 richer.
After coming out of the water neck and neck with close rival Jonathan Sammut, Lori put on the gas to attain a nine minute lead heading into the final leg, the mountain bike.
“I pride myself to be pretty good on the rocks, and so I knew I had to put a lot into the run today,” Lori said.
“I knew I needed as big a lead as possible so I just went for it. The rain made it tough; it was slippery on the rocks, but you have to commit. You have to carry your momentum the
whole time, as soon as you slow down, that’s when you start falling.
“I’m stoked, I’ve had a great local season, where I’ve managed to take out the wins where I’ve showed up, and Jonney’s been pushing me every time, so I’m always nervous when he shows up. But it’s great to take another win.”
Rounding out the Long Course X-Adventure podium was runner-up Brad Wardrope (San Remo, 2:42:23) and Adam Oldmeadow in 2:46:02.
Not much separated the top women after 1500 metres of swimming, 12km coastal trail running and a 20km mountain bike through Meelup National Park.
Kristen Gardner, 42 of City Beach (2017 runner-up) won in two hours, 53 minutes, 57 seconds and walked away with $500 cash. Rachael Smith was runner-up in 02:58:49, ahead of Dunsborough’s Jess Reynolds who also repeated history with another 3rd place, today in a time of 2:59:35.
Following the X-Adventure Long Course action was the new Aquathlon-X; featuring a 1000m ocean swim and 5km coastal trail run. Walking away with State Titles and berths at the
Aquathlon World Championships was reigning 19&U world Aquathlon champion Rahul Jegatheva, 16 of Perth and Dunsborough’s Nicola Hayes, 38.
Saturday’s Short Course X-Adventure saw Hilton Power, 35 of Scarborough and 14-year-old Lauren Mellett (Stratham, WA) take top honours.
In the Kids X-Adventure Kale Arena and Zoe Davison were fastest over the line, Davison blitzing the field to become overall champion with a two minute lead in 37 minutes, 21 seconds.
The Groms X-Adventure for the smallest of the off-road racers rounded out the day’s action.
John Jacoby Race Director couldn’t have been more thrilled with the weekend of off-road racing.
“With strong winds forecast we had to make adjustments to the swim courses to hug the coastline which worked well, and were well-received.
“Despite a few downpours today, which heightened the difficulty level on the courses slightly with slippery rocks and some mud on the mountain bike leg, everyone seemed to get through it in great spirits. Today’s swim was pretty challenging to begin with, a hard slog out to the turnaround buoy, but they all came back fast, with some great times.
“We were blessed with magical weather yesterday, and slightly more challenging conditions today, but all in all it’s been a fantastic weekend of exciting racing down here in Dunsborough, we hope you all had a blast out there.
“X-Adventure Dunsborough is one of the highlights of the year, and we can’t wait to be back next March 30-31 for X-Adventure 2019! Thanks to everyone for making it an awesome weekend of off-road racing.
X-Adventure Dunsborough is the ultimate mix of triathlon and adventure racing; featuring ocean swimming, trail running and mountain bike riding, with the courses passing through the pristine coastal wilderness of beautiful Geographe Bay and Meelup Regional Park.
Returning for its sixth year in 2018, the X-Adventure weekend included long and short course races, two kids’ events plus the all-new Aquathlon-X.
Elevating the profile of this popular event was the new World Championships qualifier status and WA State Championships titles for the Long Course X-Adventure and Aquathlon-X.
There were stacked fields in all races across the weekend with over 1,200 athletes competing and hundreds more spectators.