Defending Champion Tom Fisher and Aussie Penny Slater made a cracking return to racing at TreX Snowy Mountains on Sunday 20 February, on the adventure course of off-road dreams in the heart of Kosciusko National Park.
Victorian Fisher finished the Crackenback course - 1500m swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run - in 02:27:27, beating out second placed Ben Allen (02:32:27) and Tyla Windham (2:36:40).
New Zealand’s Maeve Kennedy-Birdsall took line honours in 02:48:30, with New South Wales’ Penny Slater the top placed Aussie in the race with a time of 2:52:15 ahead of 2021 Australian Champion Jacqui Allen, rounding out the women’s elite podium with a 2:56:48 finish.
For Fisher the hard work of the past nine months paid off, but it’s just the start for the Aussie champion saying it feels ‘incredible’ to take out the title and top spot on the podium at Snowy.
“It feels amazing, something I had my eyes on for a long time, right through U19 junior elites, and I can’t believe it, it’s great,” said Fisher.
“It was prime conditions, perfect temperature, tracks in immaculate condition, it was awesome.”
“I’ll have a bit of a rest now, bit of a break, I’ve been going pretty hard for 9 months, building up to this race and hopefully get over to Europe for the summer to do Xterra racing.”
Joined by the locals on the trails - deer, brumby and kangaroos – crowd favourite Penny Slater said she’s feeling ‘really good’ with her strong return at TreX Snowy - her first race in 8 months.
“It’s so nice to be back here in the Snowies, it’s always such a good race and I’m so glad it’s able to be on this year. I’m just happy to be back out here, to be back racing and seeing so many familiar faces.
“I always say even if you’re in pain here at least you’re in paradise, it’s so picturesque and everyone’s so friendly so it’s always a great event and really family friendly.
Slater will back up her champion race with a return to long course at Challenge Shepparton in three weeks (where Slater took silver in 2021), before setting sights overseas to race the ‘big ones’.
For Australia’s Age Groupers, it was a picture perfect day on course and another successful campaign returning champions Annkathrin Franzmann, Tim Lang , Toby Smith and Emmanuel Hovette who kept competition out to hold on to their 2021 titles in their respective Age Groups.
Congratulations to all Australian Cross Triathlon Champions and competitors.