IT was wet, it was muddy and he crashed along the way, but Gavin Borg's maiden tilt at a Cross Tri event also saw him crowned a state champion.
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The Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club member headed to Port Stephens' Fingal Bay late last month to compete in the TreX Cross State Championships.
Like regular triathlons it featured a swim, cycle and run leg, but there was a twist. The 1.2 kilometre swim was in the ocean, then followed a 30km mountain bike leg and finally an 8km trail run.
"It's an off-road triathlon," Borg said.
"It's my first one but I'd done plenty of trail running, I did UTA 50 last year at Katoomba, and I've sort of got a motocross background, so mountain biking comes pretty naturally I suppose."
Despite Borg being comfortable with the Cross Tri disciplines, he admitted it was tougher than a regular triathlon.
Still, he crossed the line in a time of three hours, five minutes and 54 seconds which was good enough to see him become the 35-39 years male state champion.
"For me it was it was a lot harder, it rained, the weather was bloody terrible, so it was muddy and sandy - you're riding in sand and I fell off a couple of times," he said.
"I actually got third in my age group, but because I was the first Tri NSW member, that's what got me the state championship. The first two in front of me were from Queensland.
"I felt strong pretty much the whole day, I came out of the swim pretty close to the front and no-one overtook me on the bike and I did start cramping in the run so a couple overtook me, but I was quietly confident I suppose that I did well."
Fellow Bathurst Wallaby Claire Wessell also raced at Port Stephens and came away with a 40-44 years female state championship. She completed her race in 3:48.56.
"It was a great result for her and for a small country club to win two state champs, that's pretty good," Borg said.
While his legs cramped on the way to the finish line in the Cross Tri, that was not the only challenge Borg tackled over the weekend.
"The next day I backed it up with a half marathon trail run, that was at Port Stephen too. It was like a two-day multi-sport type of thing," he said.
"I just plodded along, it took me awhile because my legs were pretty buggered obviously. But I finished it."
Borg said he "definitely" plans to do more Cross Tri races in the future.
"The world triathlon, their world championship for multi-sport is coming to Townsville in 2024, and so my plan next year will be to try and qualify for that Cross Tri World Championship in 2024," he said.
Before that bid, Borg's season plans include tackling the Port Macquarie 70.3 Half Ironman, the Western Sydney Half Ironman and December's Busselton Ironman.
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