Photo: Kane Fillingham, Toni Neuhaus, Alex Rose, Phil Gould, Mel Bullock, Sarah Watson, Ryan Goddard, Amanda Miller, and Chris Miller (Supplied)

A group of athletic Yassites braved freezing conditions to compete in the Sri Chinmoy Triple-Triathlon in Canberra recently.

Consisting of three off-road triathlons back-to-back, the 24th time running the event celebrates the natural side of Canberra.

A landmark event on the national multi-sport calendar, competitors had to complete three swims, mountain bike rides and runs in a team or solo.

Swim 1.5km + Mountain bike 36km + Run 18km + Swim 3.5km + Mountain bike 36km + Run 11 km + Swim 1.2km + Mountain bike 23km + Run 13km = Triple-Triathlon

Our team dubbed themselves Love Yass and team members included: Kane Fillingham, Toni Neuhaus, Alex Rose, Phil Gold, Mel Bullock, Sarah Watson, Ryan Goddard, Amanda Miller, Chris Miller.

Alex Rose and Phil Gould in a swim to bike transition

Love Yass placed 13th out of 20 in their category of teams with four to nine competitors and 38th overall out of 60 contestants and six that did not finish.

Sarah Watson who completed the first swim leg at Lake Ginninderra said they threw a team together but had never trained for a triathlon together.

She said there was some time and space analysis required when tagging your teammate for the next leg of the race.

“You had to just tag your person and then they took off for their leg and disappeared for a couple of hours and then you meet at the next spot.”

Love Yass travelled all around Canberra to the different transition spots with swims at Lake Ginninderra, Lake Burly Griffin and Lake Tuggeranong.

The group ran together semi-regularly before Yass’ lockdown, meeting at 6am once or twice a week for a running session around Riverbank Park or other prime running spots in Yass.

Mel Bullock on the third run

“It’s just been a nice,” Sarah said. “All of us are parents with young kids and trying to juggle everything, so it’s a good little outlet for some of us.”

Sarah said they’ve been running for about 18 months but it’s largely just a group chat where they ask who wants to run that morning.

“When we had cases in Yass it sort of died off,” she said. “We haven’t all been meeting as much but this triathlon sort of got us all back together.”

She said the group’s sentiment was to just have a crack at something different.

The wind, rain, sleet and unrelenting cold set a dismal tone for the day but competitors persevered throughout it all anyway.

Sarah said it was feral cold and organisers nearly cancelled the race because of the water temperature.

“It was really hard conditions, but we finished the whole thing so that’s good.”

Despite the weather the team’s family were there to support them on the day. “They came out and supported in their six layers trying to stay warm and dry,” Sarah said.

Sarah said her goal is to eventually establish a registered Yass Triathlon Team that can compete for points in state and national competitions.

By Brianna O’Rourke