(Posted - 27 Sep 2012)
Race organisers of the World’s Biggest Adventure Race have announced that a team of athletes from South Africa will travel to Augusta, Western Australia, in November to compete in the first Tri-Nations competition, to be held as part of the Anaconda Adventure Race National Series.
Previously, the Anaconda Adventure Race at Augusta hosted a Trans Tasman Adventure Trophy competition between the Kiwis and the Aussies. Athletes racedas individuals across the challenging off road course with their combined results determining who was the best adventure-racing nation Down Under – New Zealand currently holds the title from the 2011 outing.
This year a South African team consisting of Jane Swarbreck, Robert Crichton and Alex Pope, will enter the fray, transforming the competition to a three-way battle for adventure racing supremacy and the title of the best adventure racing nation in the Southern Hemisphere.
“We have a total of nine weeks from confirming our entry to race day, so we've all been searching for a bit of speed and trying to rescue the disciplines that have been neglected over winter," said South African team spokesperson, Rob Crichton. “We're hoping to bring some good fitness, speed and we'll be keen to race! Jane is paddling and swimming nicely, and with a good base of running and cycling over winter, she'll have a well balanced arsenal. Watch out for her swim.
“All in all, we will bring three balanced athletes and an eagerness to race and have fun!" says Crichton.
The full course Anaconda Adventure Race at Augusta is a multi discipline off-road race with over 1,700 competitors tackling a 13.5km coastal run, 1.9km ocean swim, 13km ocean paddle, 32km mountain bike and 2.5km beach run to the finish. Racers can tackle the event in a relay team or go it solo and complete all legs in an epic physical challenge. Also held on the weekend is the new Anaconda Mini, an abridged version of the main event for those new to adventure racing.
The South African trio brings to the off road battlefield a serious depth of racing experience across multisport, adventure and single discipline events.
Jane Swarbreck’s expedition adventure race team, Cyanosis, came fifth in this year’s Patagonian Expedition Race and her first in a recent cross-tri series shows she’s no slouch on the shorter, faster and solo stuff, too, meaning she will be in contention to take out the women’s individual title in Augusta.
Alex Pope has an orienteering background, which won’t help much in the marked course Anaconda, but his off road triathlon, Ironman and expedition adventure racing experience will. As a member of Swarberck’s Cyanosis team he came second in the 500km Expedition Africa, was first in South Africa’s Sasol Cross Triathlon and was second in age group (19-34) in this year’s Ironman South Africa.
Rob Crichton, also a member of the Cynosis team, is the paddler of the bunch, having completed 11 Dusi Canoe Marathons and registering a win in a Sasol Cross triathlon event. With none of the South African team ever having competed in an Anaconda, they will face stiff competition from New Zealand and Australian representatives, most of who have chalked up Anaconda entries.
Current Trans Tasman titleholders, Team New Zealand, is headed by Braden Currie, who came second in last year’s Series Championship and has already registered a win at Noosa Anaconda earlier this year. His team mate, Sam Clark, did well in a New Zealand round of the Anaconda Series a few years back, while Nic Leary counts herself as an Anaconda newbie.
The Australian team will put up their fight backed by the most experience in terms of Anaconda races completed. The team is headed by Anaconda Series stalwart, Jarad Kohlar (second place at Noosa). He teams up with James Pretto, who has registered podium places at Anaconda previously, and Deanna Blegg, last year’s overall Series Champion.
Round Two of the Anaconda Adventure Race National Series kicks off in Augusta, Western Australia 3-4 November, with the finale of the Series taking place in Lorne, Victoria, 8-9 December.
TRI NATIONS TROPHY // MINI BIOS AND LINKS
Jarad Kohlar – winner of past Anaconda AR rounds, Australian multisport champion, noted expedition adventure racer, winner of the Salomon Trail Run Series 2012.
Deanna Blegg – last year’s Anaconda Series champion, noted expedition adventure racer, winner of numerous multisport events, ToughMudder champion
James Pretto – noted adventure and multisport racer, winner of Marysville to Melbourne Multisport, experience Anaconda competitor, member of winning team in Surf Coast Century 100 trail ultra.
TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Sam Clark – noted adventure racer, member of ARWC team, podium in only NZ Anaconda event, Coast to Coast racer, 3rd in Australasian Multisport Championships
Nic Leary – known for her strong mountain biking and winner of two Xterra titles in NZ
Braden Currie – second overall placing in 2011 Anaconda Series including round wins, strong multisport credentials and one of the fastest trail runners around.
TEAM SOUTH AFRICA
Jane Swarbreck (www.teamcyanosis.co.za) – noted expedition racer with top five results in Patagonia and Expedition Africa.
Alex Pope (www.teamcyanosis.co.za) – orienteering background that has led to expedition adventur racing and shorter stuff in off road triathlons.
Robert Crichton – the strongest paddler of Team SA, has dabbled in off road triathlon and adventure racing with strong results.
For a background on the New Zealand Team, see a news item here
For Australian competitor profiles see:
Jarad Kohlar & James Pretto