Participants in Saturday’s Murray Quad were greeted with trying conditions to complete the 141km from Yarrawonga to Tocumwal.
The anticipated calm waters 3.2km swim on Lake Mulwala turned out to be crazy white cap waves generally associated with the ocean.
The new course for the Running of the Black Bull Half Marathon was certainly a challenge but runners enjoyed the opportunity to test their ability.
Strong winds and a short intense storm around Tungamah and Katamatite tested the rider’s skills and endurance in the 91.5k individual time trial from Yarrawonga to Cobram.
Then warm and humid conditions did not offer any relief for the final 25km paddle down the Murray River.
After spending 9 hours and 41 minutes on the course Stuart Finley was the only competitor to complete the entire grueling event and earn the title as the 2017 Australian Quadrathlon Champion. In true spirit of this community event Stuart donated his prizemoney to the event’s charity partner Channel 4 Change.
With individual events and relay teams many participants had a chance to race their own preferred discipline with some great results achieved.
The individual swim produced some very impressive swimmers, such as 16-year-old Morgan Morffew, who is originally from Yarrawonga but now from Melbourne. Morgan swam the 3.2km swim in a time of 41 minutes and 6 seconds and Brenda Norman the captain of the Channel 4 Change team who used the event as a leadup to her fundraising swim across the English Channel completed the swim in just under 50 minutes.
The relay competition was a hotly contested competition and each team had their different strengths. The Channel 4 Change team finished first in a time of 7 hours and 36 minutes holding on to beat the Ocean Grove/Barooga Sport Academy by just under 6 minutes with the all-girls team of the Mighty Murray Matriarchs in third place a further 24 minutes behind.
Once again it was the local female athletes from Yarrawonga Mulwala to the forefront with personal trainer Sarah Dare who is in training for the upcoming Busselton Ironman. Sarah was called up the morning of the event to do bike leg for the Mighty Murray Matriarchs and easily won the fastest female bike leg. Lisa Saunders was another last-minute replacement and finished fastest female runner in the half marathon event while local swimming school instructor Emma Pocock completed the swim in a time of just over an hour.
Murray Quad Race Director Tim Roadley said the increase in local female participants in events like the Murray Quad has been growing. “This might be due to the great work by a number of local personal trainers and other fitness incentives which can only be good for the community,” Tim said,
Tim said that one of the highlights of the day was the paddle which had a large variety of water craft involved including SUPs and rowing skulls joining the normal kayaks.
“There were also participants of all ages and locations but local knowledge of the Murray River and youth proved the difference with 16-year-old Joseph Burton from Albury in his K1 taking out the fastest male paddler and 17-year-old rower Paige Cooper from the Corowa Rowing Club was the fastest female into Tocumwal.”
The Murray Quad Organising Committee would like to thank the following volunteer groups that supported the 2016 Murray Quad;
Yarrawonga Mulwala Amateur Canoe Club
Yarrawonga Rowing Club
Yarrawonga Men’s Shed
Yarrawonga Yacht Club
Tungamah Lions Club
Katamatite Lions Clu
Shepparton District Amateur Radio Club
Tim also said the event would not have been possible without the support of the following sponsors;
Yarrawonga Mulwala Business & Tourism, Yarrawonga Chronicle, Intersport Wingates, Brooks Running, Central Murray Credit Union, Rich Glen Olive Oil, Thyme for Coffee, Action Bike & Ski, Engine Swimwear, Shotz Sports Nutrition, Runner’s World and Woolworths Yarrawonga.
“Also a big thank you to the Black Bull Golf Course team for hosting the award celebrations at their new Bull Bar and allowing participants the experience of running on their spectacular course,” Tim said.