Anaconda Adventure Race Augusta - World Records Broken

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7th November 2010, 08:44pm - Views: 1432

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Sunday 7th November, 2010

World Record Participation in Anaconda Adventure Race Sees Kohlar and Blegg Back On Top

Blue skies and still waters provided perfect conditions for the Anaconda Adventure Race in Augusta today. 

What a race it was with thrills, spills and amazingly fast and close competition.  Nearly 1700 competitors

battled it out in the 65km off road course around Margaret River in the biggest adventure race in the

world really signifying what an established and popular sport this has become in Australia.  Throw in over

700 kids aged from 5 to 13 years old who did their own mini adventure race in the Anaconda Junior

Survivor yesterday and you could say that this is the fastest growing sport in Australia with a very bright


Adventure racing pits the best athletes of all backgrounds against each other to determine the ultimate all

round athlete.  It’s fast, it’s furious and definitely not for the faint hearted.  Surf life savers, triathletes,

runners, cyclists and kayakers all in together with the ultimate goal of just finishing this epic event.

Competitors started with a 13km run across rocks, on sand and harsh conditions starting at Cape Leeuwin

Lighthouse.  The individual athletes taking on the whole distance themselves started 15 minutes ahead of

the teams and it was Jarad Kohlar from Port Melbourne, Victoria, who set his race up with a blistering first

leg and a handy 40 second lead.  Kohlar who was sidelined with an ankle injury for the last year is back in

top form and desperate to win back an Anaconda Adventure Race having relinquished the title last year. 

His warm-up races for this weekend put him in an excellent position after he was recently crowned

Australian Adventure Racing Champion ahead of Grant Suckling, from Geelong, Victoria, who is the

current leader of the Anaconda Adventure Race National Series. 

Suckling who is the better swimmer of the two caught Kohlar in the second leg, a 1.9km ocean swim along

the spectacular coastline.  The two stayed together for the next 15km ocean kayak leg really putting the

pressure on in lumpy conditions with the wind lifting slightly.  These experienced men are used to tricky

conditions as in the face of fatigue but the effort was evident for many in the field behind.  Kohlar and

Suckling continued to fight out the lead for 10km or so into the mountain bike leg but Kohlar took

advantage of a sandy uphill section to pull away and maintained it for the remainder of the 30km.

Finishing with a 2.5km run to the finish line, Kohlar never looked back and won in 4 hours 17 minutes, 5

minutes ahead of Suckling.  An ecstatic Kohlar said, “it was a perfect day for racing and I felt great.

Whenever you do well it feels easy”.  He noted that Suckling pushed him all the way but he still managed

to enjoy the amazing surrounds. “I had a dolphin pop up next to me in the paddle, and there were heaps of

fish in the swim on the reef.  It was an awesome race!” 

An exhausted Suckling finished a further 5 minutes ahead of new boy on the block James Pretto, the 21

year old also from Melbourne who is making a name for himself against the big boys. Kiwi, Dougal Allen,

faded half way through relinquishing his podium position to Pretto after a fine performance in his first try

at an Anaconda Adventure Race.

The women’s race wasn’t quite as exciting as Deanna Blegg from Melbourne also signalled her return to

the top of the podium leading from start to finish with a time of 4 hours 57 minutes.  An extremely strong

runner, especially off road and over rocks, Blegg showed why she has won several Anaconda Adventure

Races over the last few years.  Blegg had taken some time out in 2009 and early 2010 to regain

enthusiasm and build up her iron levels after a deficiency but was unstoppable today.  “It’s so good to be

back.  I didn’t realise how much I missed it”, said Blegg. “I didn’t know how far behind the other girls were

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but I just kept the pressure on. I think I’m fitter than I’ve ever been before!” claimed Blegg with her

trademark glowing smile that she manages throughout all her races. Louise Mark from New Zealand was

second over 15 minutes later. 

In the teams category, team Shotz (Jon Gregg, Reece Baker, Simon Hutenga, Raf Baugh) only marginally

held off team Shotz 1 (Todd Ingraham, Peter Ward, Dean Beament, Rowan Brown) to take line honours.  In

an impressive performance the two man team of Sean O’Neill and Brendan Sarson were only minutes

behind after having done two legs each.  The remarkable duo lived up to reputation as O’Neill is the

reigning Anaconda Adventure Racing Champion, and Sarson is top Western Australian Surf Life Saver.

O’Neill chose to race as a team due to an extended holiday in Europe this year.

In the Trans Tasman Challenge which had three Aussies battle against three Kiwi’s it was the Australian’s

who won convincingly.  Jarad Kohlar, Grant Suckling and Deanna Blegg made it a clean sweep for the

Aussies over the Kiwi’s who struggled with the speed of this type of racing and the swim leg which they

don’t have in their more traditional style of adventure racing in New Zealand.  Dougal Allen, Gavin Mason

and Louise Mark all raced extremely well in their own right all with top 5 placing.  Allen said of the Aussies,

“They’re just too good.  I gave it my best shot but they were just too fast”. Mason agreed and added that

they were really happy they made the effort to come because, “I really enjoyed the course.  It was quite


Over 700 kids completed the Anaconda Junior Survivor race yesterday and from the squeals of delight and

smiles on faces it appeared to be a huge success.  A relatively new addition to the Anaconda Adventure

Race weekend of activities, the Junior Survivor was added to the agenda last year and has absolutely taken

off with numbers doubling this year.  Kids aged from 5 to 13 years old completed a 4.5km fun obstacle


Augusta is the second in the three race Anaconda Adventure Race National Series.  The first round was on the

Gold Coast in September and then the grand finale is in Lorne, Victoria along the beautiful Great Ocean Road


SUNDAY 7th NOVEMBER 2010 (Available from 2pm WA time)

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For further information, quotes and photography on this event, please contact 

Naantali Marshall on 0419 000 689 or e-mail


Suite 2, 1-3 Gilbert Street, Torquay, Vic. 3228

Tel: + 61 (0)3 5261 5511

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