Donnybrook Marathon 2009

Saturday, Nov 21, 2009 at 01:00

TriathlonOz - David

This weekend I headed off with my mates for a boys weekend of competing. The target this week the Donnybrook Marathon.

Comprising six sections which total 83kms, the race commences in Donnybrook's main street at 10.30am with the 34kms cycle to Glen Mervyn Dam where the 7kms canoe paddle follows on.

After a half hour lunch break, the 1.4kms swim is next, after which the 20kms mountain bike ride through some rough terrain continues on to end at the Yabberup Hall where the 8.5kms power walk continues on ending at Trevena Road for the 12.1kms run back into Donnybrook finishing at the Recreation Centre

Between all of the boys we ended up with three teams. Tony decided to go the Ironman, Clyde and myself a vets team (ExplorOz) and John, Garath, Hugh & myself again the third team (Cranky Monkeys). Yes I entered in two teams being asked by John if I could do their run leg as Matt (AKA: Tramp Boy) broke his collar bone playing on a trampoline during a recent holiday.

So for this weekend I had placed myself in the Cycle (34km), Swim (1.4km), Walk (8.5km) and the Run (12.1km). What was I thinking putting myself into a 12.1km run after the already scheduled three events for team ExplorOz - sucker and idiot are terms that come to mind but John needed a runner.

Clyde and I had decided that we should really give the Veterans category a good shake and we actually thought we were in a good position to win this category. For reference Vets is 35+ and Clyde and I are both 42 so mid way in this pack. There were 11 Vets teams in the event.

So the event started with the cycle (my favorite and best leg). A 34km fast run with a 2 km hill climb at the end. I went out as hard as I dared and was a pace setter for a number of drafters in my pack. We only had one rider in front of us until we hit the 20km mark when a guy came past us in a flash, we are already riding at around 46km/hr and he just blasted past - we broke away and tried to catch him, getting on his wheel for just a few minutes but the pace was just too fast. I dropped back and at this point my pack had dropped to just myself and one other guy. We continued to the uphill section and my new riding partner helped encourage me up the hills and we crossed this line basically third off the bike. A great start and our team number 50 was called down the radio to tell Clyde to start paddling.

I have been lead to believe that Clyde was not 100% ready to start as he was trying to arrange Tony's boat (ironman) and his boat in little time. He departed a few minutes late (this was such a shame - but this is competing). During the paddle Clyde also had a rudder problem with his now famous Wood Pecker boat. This boat and Clyde have had very mixed results and today the woodie would let him down a little. The rudder decided to play up forcing Clyde to paddle to shore twice for running repairs - bugga this was going to hurt our chances. Anyway Clyde came in somewhere in the first 5 off the boat, so we were still travelling well.

After lunch the swim was my leg. The bouys were set and it just seemed like such a long way in the fresh brown water of the dam. As a swim goes it was uneventful except the leg cramps I got in the lower left leg that upset me for several metres after about 1.1kms. I made it to the end and tagged Clyde for his mountain bike run.

I have done the mountain bike leg twice before and it is not a technical challenge there are a good number of hills however as a riding leg it is fairly fast. While Clyde was racing I had to drive the car down to the walk start and get changed ready to do the walk. I got there with about 10 mins to spare and before I really knew what was going on I was away on the 8.5km walk.

So this is walking, I have never done the butt wiggling walk in a race before and I was not sure I was going to be able pull it off however after the first few kilometres getting myself sorted and trying different walking styles I actually found a way to get decent pace without killing myself. It is not as easy as it may seem to walk a distance at pace however before I knew it I could see the reduce speed signs indicating that I was nearing the transition. I walked even faster (I think) after I knew I was almost there so this is something I can work on next year. Clyde was there and ready to go so once tagged he was off.

As mentioned above I was going to run for John's team and I had heard that he was about 15 mins behind me on the walk, horray a breather and a change of shirts. I was as ready for it as you can be having actually put 110% in my own teams legs however I was not going to be a dud performer for John. So John arrived with a smile on his face as he tagged me for the run and I was off.

Thankfully the run is not too bad mainly flat with a few longish hills. I was moving ok until about 8kms in when my right hamstring cramped fully and locked my leg straight. As you can imagine this stopped me dead in my tracks and I tried to massage it away but nothing seemed to work. Stuff it I thought and just started running again, it hurt but only for about 300m and the pain was gone, I even think I was able to pick up the pace. Once you see the outskirts of town it makes it a lot easier and I made my way to the end.

At this point I was able to talk with Clyde to see how he went and he advised me he was about 4th over the line so even with the paddle issues we were still on track for a really good result. We went back to the hotel for showers and several liquid refreshments.

At 6pm we went back for presentations and our hopes were high that we had placed, we knew we had to be first or second in vets due to our finishing position. The announcement was made and in first place vets Team 50 ExplorOz - woohoo 6 medals and $250 for the win (our fiirst cash prize). We were very pleased and actually only 13 seconds from being the fastest vets team ever in the event (bloody boat - we will fix this next year).

Our Results

Total Time: 4:41:45
Cycle: 51:50 - 39.36 km/hr
Canoe: 42:40 - 9.84 km/hr
Swim: 24:54 - 3.37 km/hr
MTB: 50:22 - 23.83
Walk: 57:01 - 8.94 km/hr
Run: 54:58 - 13.21km/hr

What more can I say other than we have booked our rooms for the hotel next year and we will have another go. We may team, we may iron man who knows but we will certainly be in Donnybrook for the next race.

Visit the race website at:


If it's not hurting your not tri'ing!
David Martin
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