Giles and Richardson win Zach Mach Adventure Challenge

AMAZINGLY Tri-ActiV8's Nikki Giles says her win in the Zach Mach Adventure Challenge is a warm-up for another race next month.

Giles was the first solo female athlete across the line in Saturday's event, the second consecutive year she has done this.

"It was terrific, it was a good training for GeoQuest down at Port Macquarie in about a month-and-a-half," she said.

Photo: Chris Lees / Daily Mercury

Photo: Chris Lees / Daily Mercury

GeoQuest is a gruelling 48-hour adventure race.

Although Mackay's adventure race is not quite as long, it was still a tough event.

It included a 30km mountain bike leg, a 10km kayak on Teemburra Dam, 10km of trail running through cane country and the race finished with a taxing 30km road cycle.

Giles said her favourite part of the course was the kayak leg.

"Weather conditions have been awesome and it's been great fun," she said.

Giles is the owner of Tri-Activ8 in Mackay - which helps people train to do triathlons.

The first person across the line overall was Townsville's Michael Richardson.

"It was great," he said.

"The course was really well marked, everyone is super-friendly.

"The paddle was stunning on the lake, especially coming back through, everyone was having a fat time in the kayaks."

Richardson's strongest leg was the run section. When he began the section he was about a minute behind, and came out about six minutes ahead to help cement his victory.

Richardson said the toughest part of the race for him was the mountain bike section.

"The second half of it was very technical, it was very rutted but great fun," the 32-year-old said.

Richardson said he was hoping to be back for next year's event.

Organiser Peter Lister said this year 185 people competed - a record number.

"It's been brilliant, there's been lots of smiles and people pushing it to finish," he said.

"This is a challenge not a race, it's about pushing it and seeing what you're made of."

The event is named in memory of Zach Roberts - a Mackay Christian College student who died in a car crash in on the beach at Cape Palmerston on December 15, 2012.

Story courtesy of Chris Lees / Daily Mercury

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