Nestled in the foothills west of Mt Kosicuszko and 125 km east of Albury/Wodonga,
the Upper Murray has plenty to offer competitors and visitors.
This challenging event for individuals and relay teams will start at 8:00am on Saturday the 3th of October 2015 in the main street of Khancoban N.S.W. For ‘single leg’ competitor’s, the start times are:
- MTB – 8.00am in Khancoban,
- Paddle – 11.00am at the Khancoban Transition and
- Run -1.15pm at the Towong Transition
Section 1 – Snowy Mountains Climbing School Ride (Mountain Bike)
Competitors will cycle 38 km over hilly forest trails, 4wd tracks and open paddocks in and around Khancoban township, including 20km on the privately owned property ‘Khancoban Station’. From the start outside the general store,
competitors will follow residential streets onto a short section of forest trail that leads onto a hilly 5km loop on 4wd tracks and 2 single track sections above the golf course and town.
The route then returns over the forest trail section, follows some quiet backstreets and crosses the Alpine Way near the dam wall. Follow the flat dirt track for the full length of the airstrip before entering Khancoban Station.
The route follows internal farm tracks as it passes through prime cattle country before climbing steeply onto a high ridge that offers fantastic panoramic views of the district, there is one section of single track on the way up to the ridge, and another just off the crest of the ridge through scenic bushland. A steep descent and creek crossings follow, before crossing the Swampy Plains River on the second bridge, and riding on the other side for 2km approximately. We will then cross the first bridge, and you’re nearly at the transition. Total distance is 38km and will take between 105 and 210 minutes to complete. Use of ‘slick’ tyres is not recommended and competitors should have plenty of steep hill climbing practice.
Competitors can only practice on the Khancoban loop prior to race day, as the remainder of the course is on private property’. .
Section 2 – Meek Kayaks Paddle
From the transition, competitors will paddle down the swift-flowing Swampy Plains River for 11 km, to it’s confluence with the infant Murray River. The characteristics of the Swampy Plains River change significantly depending on the volume of flow. At high levels (which is normal in spring) there are 0.5m high standing waves in places and a couple of tricky ‘chutes’ to negotiate. From the confluence competitors continue for another 15 km to the transition at Towong Bridge. The whole paddle is not usually suited to craft with an understern. Kayaks and other craft, including K1, ski’s (Endorphinn etc), sea kayaks and Down River Racers, with trailing rudder, are recommended if you have experience in swift flowing conditions. Paddlers not experienced with turbulent eddies should exercise caution, particularly on corners.
For paddlers who mainly practice and compete on lakes or slow moving rivers (Murray River below Albury/Wodonga, Barwon River, etc), it is recommended that you gain some experience on a river with some current OR sacrifice some time in this event and use a more stable craft. A capsize will make self rescue of your craft difficult, due to the volume and power of the freezing water.
Total distance is approximately 26 km and will take between 90 and 150 minutes to complete.
Section 3 – Run
Runners will follow and should enjoy a gently undulating dirt road for 7 km (that offers outstanding views over the Murray River flats towards the Main Range), before a grueling and at times very steep climb, gaining 500m to the summit of Mt Elliott. They then follow the undulating Mt Elliott Ridge 4WD Track until descending into Thougla valley and then through farmland to the finish at Corryong . Total distance is approximately 25 km and will take between 120 and 210 minutes to complete.
No navigation is required on any of the course.
Showers, toilets and recovery massage are available at the finish.
Snacks and meals are available for purchase at the finish line for spectators and supporters. A coffee shop will also operate.
Presentations will commence at 6.00pm. A post race meal for competitors will be served from 3:00 pm.
Entry Fees for 2015
Individual Entry Fees: Early Bird (before 30/8/2015) $150, otherwise $170
$80.00 per relay team member
$80.00 for each Single Leg entrant
A major spot prize of an AVANTI mountain bike will be drawn and presented during the presentations
Individual Open Male and Female champions will receive $500 cash plus prizes.
A cash prize of $150 will be awarded to the fastest male and female for each leg of the race
‘Most winters and springs the upper reaches of the Murray River threatens to flood due to the combination of heavy local rain and snow melt. On average a significant flood does occur every 2-3 years. A significant flood only effects the paddle section of the Snowy Hydro Upper Murray Challenge. The organising committee are committed to holding the paddle section on the Swampy Plains and Murray Rivers, however they will not compromise on competitor safety if conditions are not suitable.
If a flood occurs, the event will continue in a slightly changed format, being:
a.. The MTB leg will be 2km longer and finish at the boat ramp on Khancoban pondage.
b.. The paddle section will be held on the pondage.
c.. Competitors will then drive (or be driven by their support) to the start of the run leg at Towong. Individual competitors must commence their run leg within 30 minutes of finishing their paddle. A time penalty will apply to breaches. Relay competitors can start their run once they have their team’s bib
d.. The start and finish remain the same.
e.. Depending on flood water levels, support vehicles may have to travel to the start, MTB/run transition and finish line via a detour over the Murray River at Tintaldra, which adds about 20 minutes to travel times.
The committee realise that changing the paddle location will effect the choice of craft for most competitors, however the decision to change the course will not be made until midday on the day before the event.
During the week preceding the event the website will be updated with forecast weather conditions and competitors are encouraged to contact any of the committee for an update’.