As day dawned across beautiful Crusoe Reservoir in the heart of the Bendigo goldfields, it was clear that the tranquillity of the morning would soon be smashed as the best of Australia’s off-road athletes braced themselves to tackle a brutal 1500m swim, followed by a 30km XC MTB in Bendigo Regional Park and finish up with one of the most technically challenging 10km trail run courses in the country.
Into the water and it was Ben Allen who once again demonstrated his dominance on the swim, exiting the water with a 3:33min lead over his closest rivals Declan Jefferey and Rodney Bell, Lead female Catherine Sterling from Mornington Peninsula finished the swim in second place overall with an 8sec lead on Jacqui Allen and national series leader Anne Alford 20 sec behind.
Onto the mountain bike and a fast, dry course awaited athletes with a few rocky, pinchy climbs and descents ready to challenge riders at every turn.
For the men Allen continued his dominance on the bike finishing up a tough 30km in a time of 1:14:35 now over 9mins ahead of closest rival Jacob Storey and Declan Jeffery. Jacqui Allen proved her strength on the bike leg regaining the lead from Sterling with Penny Slater putting in a strong ride for second and Anne Alford in third.
The trail run hosted in Crusoe is one of the most diverse and technically challenging courses on the national circuit. 80% of the run is off trail and runners are challenged with a nice little section the race organisers have named ‘Log In… Log Out’ where runners must traverse a 150m section of 1m high logs, all with the lactic acid burning in the legs from the mountain bike. This is followed by a water section before tackling the beautiful but challenging downhill rocky gully back to Race HQ.
In the previous three series races, the run leg is where series leader Jacob Storey has asserted his dominance and this race was no exception. Storey pulled back 1:37mins on the leaders but ultimately Allen was not going to give up his lead easily and with a strong performance on the run went on to claim the title as the champion of Victoria in a time of 2:11:43, with Storey taking silver in 2:18:34, and Declan Jefferey in third in a time of 2:26:25.
Jacqui Allen and Penny Slater battled it out on the run but Allen with her typical grit and determination crossed the line to take the title in 2:27:43 with Slater in second place in 2:29:35 and Anne Alford in 3rd in 2:35:09.
Race Director, Simon Lazenby, from In2Adventure who hosted the ITU World Championships in the Snowy Mountains in November 2016 told us,
“It is so great to be back in Bendigo after the ITU World Champs. Every course in the National TreX Series is very unique and brings its own charm that creates a very special challenge at each race for our athletes. This round of the series adds that dirty, dusty rough and rugged course that our TreX Tri family love.”
The TreX Series serves up a tough challenge for racers in the standard distance course, however, with Sprint, Junior, Teaser and Dirt Kids courses it’s also about participation. The TreX series offers an opportunity for athletes of any age or ability to come along and enjoy the off-road experience.
In the sprint event which included a 400m swim, 10km XC MTB and 5km trail run there were also some amazing performances, especially from Queensland young gun Callum Kingston taking overall line honours in an amazing time of 50:50:04 with local star Ruben de Silva-Smith from the Bendigo tri club in 2nd and Russell Weekley also a Bendigo local in 3rd.
For the females it was Julie Clark from Berwick taking line honours with Alison Cartner from Bendigo Tri Club in 2nd and Catherine Cunningham from Knox Tri Club in 3rd.
In the Junior course Olly Sanderson also from Bendigo Tri Club took line honours in a time of 26:26:55.
And the TreX Dirt Kids was certainly the feature event of the day with our young off-road champions of tomorrow aged 7-10 years tackling a 50m swim, 3km mountain bike around Crusoe Reservoir and a 500m run. After learning all the skills at a free tri clinic with international superstars Ben and Jacqui Allen from B&J Racing, the Dirt Kids raced hard and finished with big smiles at the finish line.
The TreX series continues on its national tour with round 5, TreX Snowy Mountains and the Australia Cross Triathlon Championships hosted at the home of the 2016 ITU World Champs at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa in the spectacular Snowy Mountains.
The weekend also includes the Australia Aquathlon Championships, world champs qualification rounds and the inaugural Snowies Ultra Trail Run Festival including 50k ultra, half marathon, 10k and 5k trail run events.
Events are open to all comers and there are courses and distances to suit all ages and abilities which makes it a fantastic weekend away for the entire family, but be quick, this event is close to sell out.
For more information about how you can be a part of Australia’s ultimate off-road triathlon visit the website at https://trextriathlon.com.au/
For ten years TreX has positioned itself as the pinnacle of the cross – or off-road – triathlon racing series in Asia-Pacific inclusing the hosting of the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in 2016. Presented by the premier outdoor adventure event specialists In2Adventure, TreX consists of a swim, mountain bike and trail run as well as duathlon and aquabike formats. While each TreX event features an open category the TreX Cross Triathlon national series invites participation from all ages and skill levels. For more information visit TreX here
In2Adventure are Asia-Pacific’s premier adventure event specialists, and the proud host of the 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships. With a full calendar of national events scheduled throughout Australia, including adventure races, cross triathlon, XC Mountain Bike, trail runs and corporate events, In2Adventure fully embraces all things ‘off road’ and ‘off the beaten track’ and offers a unique, individual experience for all ages and skill levels. For more information visit In2Adventure here
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