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By Joel Savage – July 2017.

During July (2017) as the south of the country suffered under the winter chills, Townsville was experiencing perfect, mild conditions weather wise and was definitely the place to be for Adventurethon Townsville! After recent race events around the country suffering some pretty intense, chilly conditions, the visiting competitors were very excited to see sunshine and warmth (& not the intense North Queensland heat of summer time).

As the day set off team paddler, Alex Duggan set a cracking pace, with regular Adventurethon winner, Jarad Kohlar not far behind. Jarad himself had told us his training has been less than usual, with the exciting addition of a son in his life and so he wasn’t sure how he would fare compared to previous years. Along with some very excited local competitors, who had been putting in the hard yards training, we knew it was going to be a fun day out.

Alex encountered a shark during his paddle…We know he’s a strong paddler, but maybe that’s why he paddled so much faster than the other competitors, lol. Rowan Crawford and Jarad arrived on the island soon after him and the race was on. The 2.4km run to the top of Hawkings Point was done in super quick time, and then paddlers made the quick time back to the mainland.

The Ultra Adventurethon course consists of a 16km paddle to and from Magnetic Island, a 16.4km trail run (split between Magnetic Island and to the summit of Pallarenda’s Mount Marlow) and a 29km mountain bike ride featuring the recognized Under the Radar track and Smedleys track. There’s also the first time addition of the abseil section during the run leg, which challenged and thrilled so many people.

Angus Rodwell, Robert Laporte, Quentin Smith and Peter Spilsbury all arrived on the island in very quick succession and off they ran. Alex (Team 2 RAR Recon) reached the mainland and headed into transition a good 10 mins ahead of nearest competitor Jarad Kohlar. But if we know anything about Jarad, he will still keep forging ahead, chipping away at the gap.

The women’s field had a very good representation also, seeing Elizabeth hit the lead early on and never looked like losing it. But competing against someone of the likes of Elizabeth Dornam was the motivation to push some of the other girls even further. It is so great to watch these women and men competing against each other, but with such admiration and respect that the results are enjoyed all around. Elizabeth finished a good 90 minutes before the nearest female competitor and retains her winners crown from 2016.

Nikki Giles from Mackay was 2nd female across the line, followed by Karen Riley.

As each leg went by, Jarad and the Team 2RAR Recon jostled for line honors. At the top of the run (Mount Marlow) Jarad was still behind, but had made up much time). And even with a brief stop to assist a young fella with their bike tyre repair, Jarad managed to cross the line first 5 mins ahead of the 2RAR Recon team.

With the introduction of the Adventurethon Demolish format in Clarence Valley, NSW, on November 25 & 26, things are set to be a little shaken up. Instead of beginning with the first leg and continuing until all legs have been completed, the Demolish format has 3 different races over the weekend, with times being totaled at the end to crown an overall Demolish Winner.

Adventurethon Demolish removes the need to “find team mates”. Instead enabling you to do just the legs you love, or even do a mixture – longer distances in the discipline you love and smaller in the ones you don’t love quite so much, all the while in the same magnificent backdrops that you have come to experience with Adventurethon.

Will this new format play an advantage to the repeat offenders at Adventurethon? Or will the break in between give other competitors time to get one up? Either way we can’t wait to see how that goes. And with the winner of the event being awarded a Coast to Coast entry in New Zealand, we are looking forward to more of an international contingent, ready to claim their prize.

To find out more about the Adventurethon Demolish head to www.adventurethon.com.au/events/clarence-valley

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