By Lisa Pringle on 18/11/16 at 6:14 am
It was our age group women that were the first to race the purpose built course at the 2016 Snowy Mountains ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship held at Lake Crackenback today.
In all, 28 nations are represented here across the three days of racing, matching the number of nationals who worked on The Snowy Mountains scheme – a hydroelectricity and irrigation complex that consists of sixteen major dams; seven power stations; two pumping stations; and 225 kilometres (140 mi) of tunnels, pipelines and aqueducts that were constructed between 1949 and 1974.
The host nation, Australia have fielded the largest age group team with 228 athletes and it was clean sweep of the top three to them, Kim Beckinsale (45-59) age group who claimed the overall victory from Kate Bramley (25-29) and Penny Slater (20-24).
“There was so much support on the course, thanks everyone for cheering me on, it’s just so great to have that Aussie support,” said Beckinsale.
“It feels really special, we’ve had a big week at Noosa coaching and training for this week. I probably started doing off-road about 11 to 12 years ago and it’s probably taken a long time for people to get into it.
“It’s just so exciting to see so many people here having a go and so many Australian’s stepping up and getting into the off-road.
“The overwhelming support was for the course – everyone was full of praise for the effort and passion for the race organizers have invested,” she added.
It is one of the most technical and true courses produced with the swim consisting of two 750m laps of Lake Crackenback.
The mountain bike trails encompass two alpine lakes, the Thredbo River around Kosciuszko National Park and spectacular views, highlighted with sculpted flowing single track.
It also includes rocky paths, bridges, rock gardens and creek crossings which will require technical skills.
While the challenging trail run, course is a 3.3km lap, including a few surprises and challenges including creek crossings, a river run, suspension bridge, obstacles, rock scrambles and some true off road terrain.
Beckinsale was proud and glowing of the course and sport that delivered her a first Cross Triathlon World Championship title.
“The course out there today was lightning fast – perfect conditions, everything went really well.
“It’s the environment, were out in the bush seeing the best, beautiful landscape in the world and go to the most beautiful spots in the world to race, and I think you just get to be amongst nature and breath fresh air, that’s what makes it really special,” said Beckinsale.
New Zealand were also well represented including twin sisters Elizabeth and Kathryn Bunckenburg.
“I thought the course was amazing, it’s the best one I’ve ever done. I did the best I could out there; it definitely wasn’t an error free race. I made some mistakes on the bike and run, it was definitely an advantage to know the course,” said Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was the first home, but waited for her sister at the finish.
“I totally love the swim and mountain bike, but didn’t feel as bouncy as I would have liked on the run - I got a stitch, I’ve never had a stitch before on the run,” said Kathryn.
“It was such a cool course I was really worried about the run and bike but it was so much fun.
“The run you just couldn’t even go fast, it was the best run I’ve ever done.”
Full results at http://www.triathlon.org/events/event/2016_lake_crackenback_itu_cross_triathlon_world_championships
Tomorrow is a full day of racing with the age group men up first in the morning followed by the Elite Men and Women.
Saturday 19 November -14:30 UTC/GMT +11
Sunday 19 November - 14:30 UTC/GMT+11
Watch the live stream at http://www.triathlon.org/live and on twitter @triathlonlive for race updates
Find more details about this event - 2016 Snowy Mountains ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships