SOLO STARS: Michael Richardson (2nd) and Sam Stedman (1st) from the Zach Mach solo category.
SOLO STARS: Michael Richardson (2nd) and Sam Stedman (1st) from the Zach Mach solo category. Aidan Cureton

Townsville Zach Mach champs challenge Mackay

NONE could slow team Townsville as they headed to the finish line to take out this year's Zach Mach Adventure Challenge.

The two northern athletes, Michael Richardson and Sam Stedman, were the first to cross the line for the solo category.

The two kept pace for the most of the challenge, but the final 20 metres were a race of their own when they put their heads down and powered for the number one spot.

 

Sam Stedman powers towards the finish line at the Zach Mach Adventure Challenge 2019.
Sam Stedman powers towards the finish line at the Zach Mach Adventure Challenge 2019. Aidan Cureton

Stedman claimed his third win in a row, but Richardson was only a ruler's length behind.

"That's my third win here, but Michael and I have both taken the gold up to Townsville," he said.

"It's good that team Townsville has come back and taken the win again this year.

With 15 years experience in adventure sport competitions, Stedman said Mackay would need to bring its best to get one over him.

"They better do some more training for next year," he said.

The solo challenge winner said the competition had been improving each year and welcomed a local competitor to top him next year.

"Thanks to people like Peter Lister there are a lot more multi-sporters in the region, which is great to see," he said.

"I takes years of experience and training to get up to the front. Richard and I have been at this for years so we went hard, but we'll see what happens next year."

Mackay takes team event

While Townsville took out the solo category, the team event was dominated by a Mackay trio made of Kyle Marwood, Graeme Harris and Steven Bird.

Marwood on the bike hammered over the finish line first to earn his team another win.

"It's the third year our team has won it," he said.

 

Kyle Marwood on the bike helped his team of three to win  the team category of Zach Mach.
Kyle Marwood on the bike helped his team of three to win the team category of Zach Mach. Aidan Cureton

The cyclist had a laugh before making himself comfortable on the floor where he said the only thing that rivalled the feeling of winning was getting off his bike.

"It was tough conditions today so feeling a bit sore now," he said.

Marwood's team is a group of acquaintances that know how to get the job done when they need to.

"We actually came together for this event," he said.

"We know each other from different parts of our lives, but don't interact until this match.

"It's cool to pull together and gel as a team.

 

Kyle Marwood, Graeme Harris and Steven Bird were the first team to cross the line at last year's Zach Mach.
Kyle Marwood, Graeme Harris and Steven Bird were the first team to cross the line at last year's Zach Mach. Ashley Pillhofer

"Even though we're not side by side, everyone digs in and does their hardest."



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