Padgett leads home Challenge field

Mark Padgett leads the kayak field yesterday

Mark Padgett leads the kayak field yesterday

BEAUTIFUL weather but arduous and trying conditions greeted about 60 hardy multisport enthusiasts who took on the challenge of completing the 25th Ben Lomond Challenge from the Ben Lomond National Park through the North Esk River valley at Blessington yesterday.

The state’s longest-running multisport event, with an emphasis on fun and participation, saw competitors complete a 16-kilometre mountain bike leg, an 11km kayak leg and 9km run.

Entrants completed each section in sequence, as an individual entrant, or as a relay team of two to three entrants with a mass start for each leg.

The event finished with a celebratory barbecue and the presentation of trophies and prizes.

Launceston’s multisport competitor, Mark Padgett, took out overall honours in the men’s individual section, in his first attempt at the race, with a winning overall time of two hours, 15:02 minutes.

Launceston’s Kelly Aitken was the women’s individual winner in 3:23.07.

The first men’s team to finish overall was the Cycology team made up of Harrison Hughes, John McCausland and Daniel Milner, which finished in 2:26.34.

The winning women’s team, called Toodlepoms, made up of Robby Holmes and Emily Ingram, took line honours in 3:05:01.

‘‘It went very well and was a great day with some really great competition,’’ race director Claye Mace said.

‘‘Conditions were the most amenable they could be – the track was great, the river was nice and the run was scenic and the weather so nice as well.

‘‘We had a good spattering of elite athletes and a good bunch of weekend racers who came out to enjoy it.

‘‘We had three female teams this year and they all finished within a couple of minutes of each other, which was really fantastic work on their behalf and they all finished quite well overall.’’

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