Sunday, August 21, 2011

Winter Challenge 2011: multisport madness

Around 440 extremely fit people took part in today's Winter Challenge in Franklin. Run by Kris and Imogen of Endorfun along with many helpers, the event consists of a 10km run, 18m mountain bike (both courses steep and muddy), 37km road bike and 11km kayak. Some people do all four sections, others compete as teams of two or four. Last year, we volunteered as marshals and were stationed on Swamp Road on the uphill mountain bike leg. This year we were posted on Hope Hill behind the Franklin township, at a farm gate where athletes were coming down a steep and muddy hill towards the end of the run leg. It was amazing to see the different shapes and sizes - tall and lanky, short and stocky, young and old(ish) - but all so fit and determined. The last bloke to come through was running backwards! He had a nasty injury but was determined to complete the run.

Once the track was clear, we closed the farm gate and moved downhill to where we had left the truck to watch the mountain bikes coming down another steep and muddy section. We saw a few come a cropper - one bloke tumbling head over heels on the bike - but all just got up and kept going. Amazing.

After a foggy start, Franklin turned on some glorious sunny weather for the crowds along the foreshore watching the kayakers come in. Once again a terrific and well run event.

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