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Sladden Park Duathlon – Chocolate Fish (#1)

August 31, 2009

23rd August – With many conflicting events on the day it was great to see everyone come along to the 4 km run/8 km kayak/2 km run.

Our events are intended to be able to be completed by competitors between 70 – 90 minutes and this duathlon event went to about that timeframe with the fastest at 74 minutes. The beautiful weather for the day certainly ensured that competitors were comfortable right from the start although the Hutt River had a bit of a current and paddlers who looked for the deeper channel in the 2km lap course were rewarded. There were no mishaps or injuries and therefore the Chocolate Fish were well shared by everyone.

Race Report

Eric Waterson and Simon Trotter raced around the 2x2km run course in 15:19 getting into the water with only a 20 second lead on the next two, one of which was 16 year old Jake Allen. Katherine Alan had put 30 seconds on Marianne Archer in the run to be first female into the water but Marianne has had a big winter training and it looked like Katherine would be hard pressed to hold that lead in her U2.

Out on the water Eric and Simon went left out of Sladden Park (the wrong way lads) and Ryan Welch shot to the lead (he had listened to race briefing – one chocolate fish there for a start). Marianne paddling her K1 picked up Katherine and was about 2 minutes down on Ryan and behind them Jamie Welch, also in a K1, was in the water a bit over 2 minutes behind Katherine would have to paddle well to hold her 2nd place. Simon and Ryan paddled together and came out of the water together, although Ryan out thought Simon in race tactics by running in bare feet while Simon was putting his shoes on. Both these boys were accredited fastest time and third was Eric Waterson, Jake Wells got overtaken by Mark (oh I havent been paddling much !) Wallace in the kayak and Turi Hodges was next after a very quick kayak in his Sharp, fastest multisport boat time.

The race for the females was won by Marianne Archer as a result of a very quick kayak, third fastest, so most interest was on the battle for second and third which eventually saw Jamie Welch cross the line 20 seconds ahead of Katherine Alan. In fact the judging panel had to be called into a ruling as Jamie struggled to cross the finish line when Matt Archer tackled her in a classic side on around the ankles effort.

Great effort by all and three chocolate fish went to Kristin Jarvis who, as I recall, was paddling her Eclipse for the first or second time and first on a river.

Thanks to Jakes Mum and Ian Welch for the timekeeping and adjudicating efforts. Brian Grace in his Sprinter for on the water technique tips, this is a new feature to kayak races.

We will let you all know when the next Chocolate Fish event will be held. Check out the other upcoming races on the calendar.

Greg Adlam

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