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The Sri Chinmoy Googong Challenge 2006

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  • one_prachar
    Hills in races… you either love ’em or you hate ’em. If you don’t care for hills and plenty of them, the Sri Chinmoy Googong
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2006
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      Hills in races… you either love ’em or you hate ’em.

      If you don’t care for hills and plenty of them, the Sri Chinmoy
      Googong Challenge (Long Course) will NOT be your cup of tea. On the
      other hand, if you relish the challenge posed by the ever-mounting
      slope ahead, and the thrill of the descent, and if you love full
      immersion in the Australian bush…

      The mountain bike and second run legs of the Googong Long Course can
      only be described as relentlessly hilly, the type of terrain on which
      champions thrive. Run-away winners in the Solo Male and Solo Female
      Categories, David Baldwin and Julie Quinn both waxed lyrical
      post-race. Julie enthused: “I love this bike course. With every hill
      I seemed to get stronger and stronger. And the countryside out here
      is really beautiful.” David agreed: “That last run is a doosie! You
      go up and up along that ridge and then the descent is pretty hairy: I
      just loved it.”

      Googong Dam was constructed in the 1970s as a supplemental storage
      facility for Canberra’s growing water needs. 10 kms south of
      Queanbeyan, it is about 30 minutes’ drive from central Canberra. The
      catchment area feeding the reservoir has been designated a Nature
      Reserve: gentle rolling former farmland on the western shores gives
      way to quite rugged densely forested hills to the east and south.

      First staged last year, this Sunday 29 October saw the second
      installment of The Sri Chinmoy Googong Challenge. There are two
      races: Short and Long. The Long race comprises a 5 km run / 10 km
      paddle / 31 km mountain bike / 5 run format, while the Short race is a
      3.3 run / 5 km paddle / 11 km mountain bike / 3.3 km run. Both races
      can be entered by Solo athletes or Relay Teams of 2 or 3 members
      (generally the same team member will complete both run legs). The
      race starts at the northern end of the reservoir, not far from the
      dam, and concludes at the southern end, at a picnic area adjoining an
      historic disused woolshed.

      Strong, cold winds the previous day did not bode well for an easy
      paddle on picturesque Googong Reservoir, yet in the hour before the
      start the waters seemed to become becalmed. Bright, clear skies
      smiled over the race throughout, with mild sunburn the only lasting
      legacy of the weather.

      Not surprisingly, almost twice as many entrants preferred the Short
      Course option, with its milder version of ‘fun’ still affording great
      views, fantastic countryside and around 2 hours of fresh air and
      honest exercise.

      A warm-up run along the foreshores spread the field prior to entering
      the first longer leg, a 10 km (Long) or 5 km (Short) paddle on the
      pristine lake.

      Star performer on the water was Australian representative Tom
      Warne-Smith of the “Swamp Donkey Adventure Racing Team,” whose 50:05
      for the 10 km was faster than some recorded for the Short-Course 5 km
      paddle!

      The first 3 Open Male place-getters in the Short Course race â€" Alan
      Boyle, Kieran Day and Glenn Folkard - each led home all the Teams.
      Strangely, there were no Solo Female participants in the Short race
      this year. Amongst the Relay Teams, “Blunders Never Cease” just
      pipped “David Wawn’s Team” by 13 seconds in the Mixed Category, with
      the first All-Male Team “Yikeshurt” just over a minute in arrears.

      Only the star-studded “Swamp Donkey Adventure Racing Team” finished
      ahead of Solo athlete David Baldwin in the Long race â€" in 3 hours and
      28 minutes. To their great credit, every single Long Course entrant
      completed the grueling contest, even if it took 5 and a half hours to
      get there. After their exertions, contestants enjoyed a hearty
      veggie-burger from the barbecue at the finish line at the rustic
      London Bridge Woolshed, one of the most tranquil of race venues.

      A group of Armed Services personnel, many from the UK in search of
      some enjoyable cross-training, contributed almost half the field
      amongst the Relay Teams with 6 teams bearing the name “Roofless
      Efficiency” entered in both races. Their good sportsmanship and
      jovial spirit added much to the atmosphere both on course and at the
      finish line.

      A special thanks to the Queanbeyan SES who provided support services
      and communications on the water and throughout the bike course; and to
      Environment ACT and the Ranger and Staff of Googong Foreshores for
      their kind cooperation.

      Check the full results by category for the 2006 Sri Chinmoy Googong
      Challenge at
      http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/au/results/googongresults291006 and
      view the event photo gallery here -
      http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/gallery/australia/googong_001/
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