Eagle Bay Epic

  • Australia (AUS)
  • Off-Road Running
  • Off-Road Cycling
  • Paddling
  • Open Water Swimming

Adventure Racing Showcase at the Eagle Bay Epic

Press Release / 08.11.2021See All Event Posts Follow Event
Racing the Eagle Bay Epic
Racing the Eagle Bay Epic / © Rapid Ascent

The Eagle Bay Epic Adventure Race put on a magnificent showcase of what adventure racing is all about over the weekend, with 1,600 competitors embracing the Western Australian-based event.

The event featured three off-road adventure races with each course traversing in and around Eagle Bay, Dunsborough, Meelup Regional Park and Geographe Bay.

Based at the Eagle Bay Brewing Co, the courses included mountain biking, trail running, kayaking and ocean swimming through the spectacular natural wilderness synonymous with the south-west.

Event Director John Jacoby of Rapid Ascent said it was an epic weekend that showcased people’s passion for the sport of adventure racing, with the celebrations afterwards just as epic.

“It was fantastic to see everyone lavish in the spectacular setting and superior courses at the Eagle Bay Epic,” said Jacoby. “The level of enthusiasm on course, at the finish line and on the sidelines was truly epic!”

Bart Hollemans and Kristen Gardner (nee Gadsden) showed us what adventure racing is all about, taking out the premier Leeuwin Long Course on Sunday in times of 4hrs27:36 and 4hrs40:40, respectively, with Hollemans out-running his good mate Paul Gardner in a finish line sprint to remember!

“I love doing this race; it’s an amazing course in an amazing location,” said Hollemans. “Paul definitely kept me on my toes as he ran over those rocks like a gazelle… and I don’t!”

The course was described by participants as the “best of the best” and included a 23km mountain bike, 2km ocean swim, 13.5km paddle, and 12.5km trail run.

Kristen Gardner, a well decorated adventure athlete, was over an hour ahead of the next female; setting an extremely fast and impressive course record in the process.

“I felt like I was in a world of hurt pushing it from the start,” said Gardner. “But out on course the hurts the same and the high is the same – it’s a great sense of satisfaction at the end of this race, not to mention the training, you do yourself proud!”

In the relay team of four category, it was team ‘Swimclan’ who powered through the course in a show of strength by clocking a time of 3hrs45:15, and pushing inaugural team winners ‘Team Epic’ off the top of the podium to second place.

Team members included Andrew Donaldson, Jack Retty, Nathan Jones and Cairan O’Kane, who lead from the mountain bike and always enjoy racing together.

“It’s always great racing in a team with guys you get on really well with, so you just want to do it for the team,” said team captain Donaldson. “We all threw the hammer down and it all came together on the day; we’re delighted.”

The Naturaliste Short Course on Saturday kicked-off a pumping atmosphere which saw many newcomers, locals and social athletes embrace the sport of adventure racing with a 13km mountain bike, 1.2km ocean swim, 5km paddle and 7.9km trail run.

Jason Bresanello dominated in the solo male category taking line honours, along with Nicola Hayes winning the female category; posting times of 2hr16.06 and 2hr35.52 respectively.

Hayes held off the 2020 female winner Femke Negus by just 15 seconds with a strong finishing run.

“It was really good out there on course,” said Hayes. “I guess I have a small advantage living locally because I know the trails, and I know when the hills are coming up!” Hayes added with a laugh!

The Kids Adventure challenge on Saturday afternoon saw 450 super-energised kids tackle the 3.5km running and obstacle course, complete with spider webs, hay-bale jumping, hurdles, crawling and slippery dip obstacles along the way.

Saturday afternoon also featured WA’s first ‘Wife’* Carrying Championships with the winning couple taking home their weight in beer thanks to the Eagle Bay Brewing Co.

Couples had to piggy back one another over the 400m course that included hay-bale weaving, hurdles and limbo bars, whilst the crowd cheered and clapped from the sidelines. There were two heats of four pairs with a winner-takes-all Final being the highlight of the weekend for many people.

It was great to see over 5,000 competitors and supporters be part of another sensational weekend, reigniting the flame of adventure racing for young and old.

See you all again in 2022!

Further event information can be found at www.eaglebayepic.com.au.

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