MAINPEAK MULTISPORT RUNDOWN AND RESULTS
The second annual running of the Mainpeak Multispoprt was held yesterday the 9th of September, starting in the historic main street of Toodyay, finishing at the renowned Houghtons Winery in the Swan Valley. The sun was out and temperatures were just shy of the 30 degree mark which made the tough course that little more challenging. The story of the day belonged to first time competitor and local, Sean Ralph, who took out an unexpected win shutting down an invasion of east coast elites who were out to snatch the 133km multi discipline endurance title. In the women’s, Narrogin (WA) local, Sarah Wiese, took the fight to Victorian Peri Gray. The tussle continued right through to the final paddle leg where the lead swapped several times before Gray managed to hold on by just three minutes, delivering her an impressive East-West Coast double multisport crown.
An Occupational Health & Safety professional, men’s winner Sean Ralph has a history of surf boat rowing but has only ever paddled a kayak three times and only purchased a road bike 18 months ago.
“I gave up the rowing after ten years because of a sore back,”.
“I was looking for a new challenge and got into duathalons, which I found fun and I seemed to improve pretty quickly.”
“I didn’t think I’d go anywhere near (winning)! It was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done. It was a super tough course, harder than I expected – that second trail run (19km) is just nuts. I had to walk on most of the hills. It was steep and hot and ridiculous.”
The second trail run punished most including second place Kohlar.
“It was tough for me today, I was in the hurt box for sure. I felt as though I was basically stuck in third gear all day. I suffered on that 19km run and on the paddle, again, I just suffered.”
“I got back on Wednesday and haven’t quite felt right – I think I need to go and have some blood tests.”
Another race favourite who returned from Mongolia to race the Mainpeak, James Pretto also had his troubles on course, a foot injury and a broken boat slowing his pace. The Victorian literally limped over the line to take third place.
The women’s race showcased much tighter and tougher duel up front with the winner of Victoria’s Marysville to Melbourne Multisport, Peri Gray, challenged from the first run around Toodyay by Sarah Wiese, a West Australian from Narrogin, 200km south of Perth who took out the veterans and placed 10th overall in the 2011 race.
“It wasn’t until the longer stretches of flat-water that I managed to catch her and then put in some time,” said Gray. “But I know Wiese is a fast runner so I was still worried that she would catch me over that final 700 metre dash into Houghton Winery.”
“It was a battle (with Wiese) all the time,” said Gray. “On the paddle leg it was back and forth, back and forth. It was only the flat part where I felt I could dig it into her a bit, and I knew I needed to if I was going to hold on for the win.”
“I really struggled in the second run because of the heat,” said Gray. “I’m used to training in four degrees,” said the Victorian, who rated this Mainpeak course – already shortened to 133km from last year’s – as being tougher than the Victorian Marysville to Melbourne, which she won in April.
In the Teams category, it was a repeat performance by Team Crank’n Cycles, taking victory for the second year running to own both Mainpeak Multisport titles. The team of three also took the line first overall, crossing in an impressive 6:17:49 following 133km of trail running, road riding and river paddling.
“It was a beautiful day and good to get out there and back it up after last year,” said team rider, Eric Mellegers. “It was still a tough course. The cycling section had a few short sharp climbs in it that didn’t suit me and where Sean (Ralph) got away from me a bit.”
“It was a grind,” said team paddler Martin Gunda. “I think I took most of the wrong lines through Bells Rapids which didn’t help. And it’s not good being in front, because you don’t have anyone to chase down! But we had a good race, we’re wrapped.”
“And we’ll be back,” added team runner Todd Ingraham.
For the full story, results and timing splits can be accessed on THE MULTISPORT WEBSITE
1. Sean Ralph 6:39:56
2. Jarad Kohlar 6:50:44
3. James Pretto 7:06:48
1. Peri Gray 7:54:55
2. Sarah Weise 7:58:05
1. Team Crank’n Cycles 6:17:49 (Team of 3)
2. Team Goats Go Large 6:40:53 (Team of 3)
3. Team Handsome Idiots 6:41:16 (Team of 3)