Sorcha Flett at Grampians Challenge - the race winner story

Sorcha had a great season of racing establishing herself as one of the strongest Australian multisport and adventure racing female athletes with convincing victory in the Grampians Challenge.  This is what she said after her race: 

“I have found myself going to the Grampians quite frequently for training because it’s close to where I’m living at the moment, it’s a beautiful place to go to on my days off and has the only hills of any degree I can get to within 2 hrs drive! So I was pretty excited when I found out AJ host a race there. 

The race started with the run and I looked around at the start line and thought, “it’s going to be a hard day!” The field was strong. My vague race intention was to try to get a bit of a gap in the run, try not to lose too much time in the paddle and then go all out in the bike, as it’s my strength. 

This pretty much went to plan, I was second on the water but knew that there were some (if not all) faster paddlers behind me. Two weeks before the Grampians Challenge I attempted the Sri Chinmoy Multisport Classic at Jindabyne. It didn’t end how I would have liked and one reason was me not paying enough attention to the course maps, paddling around the wrong side of an island and ending up at a beach 1km from the transition. So when the Grampians paddle course was changed to 3 laps of a small loop with huge, orange buoys marking the course I was a happy lady! Surely not even I could screw that up! Maria flew past me as expected, I watched her beautiful technique fade from my sight. As Marlena passed me I was, unfortunately, splashing about next to my boat, after a double kayak gave me a cheeky boost from behind, sending me in for a swim. She called out that it was a fast deep water re-mount, which I found extremely encouraging. I’ll take any compliment about kayaking from Marlena, even if that is one kayaking skill I’ve had plenty of practice at. 

In the kayak/bike TA Jarad and Sergey both helped me with gear and encouragement, saying Maria was about 7 mins ahead. I set a steady pace for the first 12km up to the lookout. Approaching the 2ndlookout I could see two riders way ahead. I could tell I was gradually catching them. I assumed they were a team riding together and thought “it’s taking me so long to catch these guys, I’ll never catch Maria”. I caught them at the bottom of the descent and it turns out it was Maria! She jumped on my wheel for a bit but as the sand got deeper I pulled away. She is always strong but I have had some experience riding on sand. I enjoyed the steep track down to the finish and was as surprised as anyone that I came first female. 

Thanks to Serge and Maria for putting on a great race. I fully appreciate how much work and energy goes into the organisation. You’re both amazing. I’m looking forward to trying to compete in a few more races next year”. 

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