Perth-based Brendon Dimmer and local lady Kristen Gardner claimed the respective men's and women's titles in the Long Course X-Adventure over the weekend in Dunsborough.
The results were a clear testament to the skills and familiarity required for the 'rock-hop' running sections and technical mountain bike leg on the challenging off-road race in the Meelup Regional Park.
A tough 1.5km ocean swim, followed by a 12.9km coastal run and 20km mountain bike ride put athletes of all levels to the test when the starter gun fired.
Brendon Dimmer, who was third in 2013 and 2015, and 1st in 2017 backed up his earlier success with a win again in 2019 in a time of 2:23:02, Dimmer was wrapped to be back for this year's event.
Breathing down Dimmer's neck was the aforementioned Hilton Power in a time of 2:23:02. Hilton suffered an ankle injury on the rock hopping section but pushed on. Frenchman Simon Billeau was 3rd and only a couple of minutes behind Dimmer and Power.
Veteran competitor across multiple off-road disciplines, Kristen Gardner, 42, won her second Women's title in a row.
The 2018 champ blitzed the field in a time of 02:40:47, 12 minutes ahead of former winner and Dunsborough local, Jess Reynolds, and a full 18 minutes in front of 3rd placed getter Phip Hughes.
"I just can't get enough of this area. It's so beautiful. It never hurts. You've got this most spectacular coastline. It just really uplifts you. Why wouldn't you want to come here!" said Kristen after the race.
Despite being from City Beach, Gardner has been calling Dunsborough home for the last six months having fallen in love with the area.
Following the Long Course was the Aquathlon-X format-a 1,000 metre ocean swim and 5 kilometre coastal trail run. Lachlan Murray and Robyn Blake took out the respective men's and women's titles.
Saturday's Short Course X-Adventure saw Matt Coutts claim the top podium in a time of 1:20:59. Three minutes behind was local Perth boy Matt Burton-fresh from his 4th placing at Ironman NZ. Matthew Ware wasn't far behind Burton in 3rd place. Lucy Hill claimed the Women's title in a time of 01:33:23.
Over 1,300 competitors took part across two big days of racing in and around the Meelup Regional Park.
"The whole event centre was pumping on Saturday," said Event Manager Sam Maffett, "with races for 4yr old kids through to the nation's best endurance athletes, the atmosphere was really happy and enthusiastic all weekend."
"Dunsborough provides a playground for off-road action and the courses here are world class, resulting in the event being Australia's largest off-road triathlon. We'll be back next year for sure!"
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