Close to 70 competitors tackled the heat on Sunday in the 3rd Annual Ballarat leg of the Silva Duo series organized by Eureka Orienteers. Competitors could choose from either a short or long course option but either way they had three legs to complete in a run-ride-run format in the Ballarat East and Canadian Forest areas.
The first run leg of either 3 or 5 km was mainly in the streets, parks and reserves between Sparrow Ground and Lake Esmond and within 15 minutes the first runners were back to transition and heading into the northern end of Canadian Forest on the mountain bike leg. In the Open sections on the long course Aaron Dodd had a narrow lead, while Shayne Hill was looking like a winner on the short. In the Womens divisions, a good battle was emerging between Kath Copland, Aislinn Prendergast and Thorlene Egerton on the long course while on the short Amy Cusworth was edging away.
The ride proved to be the decisive leg on all courses and class categories, with those who had clean rides emerging to tackle the final run in the Pax Hill area with a lead that was unassailable. In the Senior classes, Peter Cusworth was well clear on the Short, while Tim Hatley on the long was still in front despite having a puncture; and in the Womens, Denise Pike could take it easy on the final run of the short leg.
One interesting battle occurred on the Long Course where Kevin Humphrey (runner) and JiM Russell (rider), teamed up to do a relay but were still beaten by 37 sec by Aaron Dodd.
Course setter, Blake Gordon, was pleased with the reaction from the competitors who all enjoyed the mix of terrains and the reduced hill-climbing which had been a feature of the past years around Black Hill and Nerrina. Eureka Orienteers plan to base the 2013 event in the same area.
Long Course Individual : Open Men – Aaron Dodd Open Women – Kath Copland Senior Men – Tim Hatley
Long Course Team: Senior Team – Kevin Humphrey & JiM Russell
Short Course Individual : Open Men – Shayne Hill Open Women – Amy Cusworth Senior Men – Peter Cusworth Senior Women – Denise Pike
Short Course Team: Mixed Team – Luke Steele & Anna Cronin Senior Team – David Goddard & Kathy Liley