Gatorade Portarlington Triathlon 6 February 2011
Craig McKenzie added a fifth crown to his Gatorade Portarlington Triathlon wins at the event’s 25th anniversary today in Portarlington.
Defending Portarlington champion Madeleine Oldfield took out the Elite female field, also adding a fourth straight win in the 2010/11 Gatorade Triathlon Series.
The traditional race format of an 800m swim, 26km ride, 8km run was amended to a duathlon as a result of the heavy rainfall leading up to race morning, with the EPA deeming the water unsafe for swimming. In only the second time in the event’s iconic history, the swim leg was replaced with a 2km run.
Oldfield was on track coming into T1 after the first 2km run. She had a lead I and was looking good. Then things started to go a little pear-shaped. For some reason she decided to keep running past transition and up the stair climb. No one stopped her and before she knew it Oldfield ran for about 1min before she realised no one was following her. “I was looking around confused, asking officials where to go. No one had any real idea. That’s when I saw all the girls head off out on the bike…not good I thought! I eventually got back into transition however I was now about 2-3min down on the lead girls and had run an extra km.”
Madeleine was “mighty p^^^ed off” and thought momentarily about giving up and calling it a day. “I’ve never had a DNF and don’t plan on having one in the future so I had to make the split second decision to refocus, find my bike, have a smooth transition then get out on the cycle course and go as hard as I could for as long as I could”.
Oldfield caught up to some of the Elite girls and then eventually the main group. “I was pretty relieved to have caught them however there were still a few girls up the road.”
Madeleine came in to T2 in a much better position and managed to get the lead at the 2km mark of the run. “At about the 4km mark I made the decision to back it off and conserve as much energy as I could for next week (Falls Creek). This probably cost me the overall win as top age-grouper Bev Thomas went flying past, however my goal was to secure the Elite win and get the pay check to pay next week’s rent!”
We look forward to seeing Madeleine up against Michelle Wu (Canberra), Nicole Ward (Sydney) and Liz Blatchford. (read Madeleine’s full race report)
In the Elite male field, Geelong bred ex-AFL player Tim Clarke proved today that not only can he run, but he can also match the field on the bike course coming into transition in third place, before a blistering run leg to finish only seconds behind McKenzie.
A record field of competitors made the journey to Portarlington, with seasoned campaigner and 2005 Portarlington winner Bev Thomas making a courageous run to be the first female age-grouper across the line.
1. Craig McKenzie 1hr 10min 57sec
2. Tim Clarke 1hr 11min 21sec
3. Leigh Stabryla 1hr 11min 33sec
1. Madeleine Oldfield 1hr 24min 2sec
2. Elly Franks 1hr 24min 59sec
3. Sarah Grove 1hr 25min 10sec