After a year of pandemic hiatus, Baw Baw extreme multisport race was successfully held over the weekend of April, 17-18. More than 200 participants with their support crews descended on Baw Baw in the pursuit of challenging themselves in the inaugural edition of a new extreme event.
The individuals, pairs and relay teams ran, paddled and mountain biked from historic gold-mining Walhalla town to the Mt Baw Baw Alpine resort covering a 84 km course. The course had more than 3000 meters elevation gain.
The most experienced and fit completed the course non-stop within one day while others stopped for overnight rest at Erica and continued on the next day. The participants came from all over Victoria and some from NSW and SA, bringing the support crews and families with them.
The highlights of the course were downriver paddling on the Thomson river, riding on Erica mountain bike park trails and climbing Mt Baw Baw via Australian Alps walking trails. It took 8 hours and 30 minutes for the winner to complete the 84km course.
- Off-road skills in mountain biking, trail running and downriver kayaking, endurance and mental toughness are required to compete in the events like Baw Baw Extreme. It takes years of training to win.
- Participants from interstate raced along with local Baw Baw residents.
- Whole families raced. Simon Vandestadt finished 2nd in over 50 yo category in the toughest One Day challenge was racing along with his daughter Ellie and son-in-law Zuk, while his wife Beata was manning his grandkids.
The female winner, Australian National adventure racing series champion Elizabeth Dornom said:
“Great race weather conditions set the scene for the very spectacular, yet tough course certainly living up to the name Baw Baw "Extreme". Each leg had something different and as with any challenging course left you wishing the finish was just that little bit closer. The tough climb up to mt Baw Baw on the final run leg was worth it for the pockets of snow and amazing trails and views from the top. Fantastic camaraderie from other competitors, superb assistance from support crew, lots of helpful volunteers and a very well organised event. I would definitely put this one on my to do list again”
The male winner, world multisport champion, Luke Haines noted:
“On paper, the first edition of the Baw Baw Extreme looked to be a solid multisport experience for seasoned competitors and a great challenge for new ones. It turned out to be an Epic multisport event for everyone and worthy of the Extreme tagline. Serge promised a tough course and delivered in spades with the final 25km trek to Mt Baw Baw. From a fast opening 5km, to a bumpy paddle and MTB that had everything from climbs, fast descents and cool single track, the queen leg was the final trek. Steep grades, snow, mud and plenty of water to go along with rather chilly temperatures at altitude. A true multi-sport test and one I am happy to be a part of and proud to have put together a solid performance despite carrying a leg injury sustained 3 weeks earlier. See you all again next year!”
Over 25 volunteers from WICEN, Whitehorse Canoe club and Adventure Junkie came together to enable this event to happen.
The race was supported by Baw Baw shire, Destination Gippsland and Mt Baw Baw resort and would not be possible without their assistance.
The Premier Solo category podium:
- Elizabeth Dornom
- Narelle Croizer
- Courtney Ellis
- Luke Haines
- Josh Roy
- Warren Proctor
Full results in all categories are available on the event website http://bawbawextreme.com.au
AJ events Pty ltd is an outdoor event management company.