Xterra Australia – Great Ocean Road – March 30th 2014

Penny H_3

This was my first Xterra event and I loved it!

We were treated to perfect conditions on race morning. I was nervous as I lined up especially when I saw yet another top pro added to the start line, Annabel Luxford. There were some nice clean, small waves and not a cloud in the sky! I had a great swim start and not long into the swim the nervousness disappeared. It was a 2 lap swim with a 100m beach run in between each lap. I was coming into the beach after the first swim lap and felt someone body surf over the top of me from behind, it was Xterra gun Jacqui Slack! The start of the second swim lap is tough, your arms feel like lead and your heart rate and breathing goes through the roof after the beach run. I lost Slack around the back of the swim buoys but caught a nice wave back into the beach which helped me catch back up.

I was happy to be headed out onto the mountain bike in 3rd with the leaders in sight. I passed Luxford early riding up the boat ramp but lost sight of Slack in the first single track section. I hadn’t ridden this section of the course before and hence lost time being hesitant. I learnt the importance of riding the course before when racing offroad!

Penny H_2

The middle section of the course was great fun. There was some nice single track. I was glad that I had been regularly mountain biking with Topgear Cycles as when I rode it the day before I saw a number of road triathletes struggling a bit and was pleasantly surprise that I was ok. After a rocky decent back into town we came back onto the beach and crossed the creek before entering T2. I headed onto the run in a solid 2nd. The first section of the run was good, hard sand running and undulating beachside trails. Then came the section of soft sand running that seemed head out forever (approx. 2km) before you finally reached the turnaround where you had to run back along the same dreaded beach. It was tough! I passed transition again for the final little lap around Anglesea inlet were I was overtaken. Due to the lack of run training, I just had nothing left in the tank to go with Blegg.


I finished 3rd female pro in my first Xterra and am very proud of that. This qualified me for the Xterra Pro World Championships in Maui in October this year. Time to get training!

  1. Jacqui SLACK                        2:16:19
  2. Deanna BLEGG                     2:27:49
  3. Penny HOSKEN                     2:28:41
  4. Peri GRAY                              2:29:51
  5. Annabel LUXFORD                2:31:22
  6. Bernadette DORNOM            2:34:52
  7. Rebecca HOSCHKE              2:35:47



Thank you to TopGear Cycles for the Specialized Fate to ride and on the day support, Dextro Nutrition for the entry and Aquasphere for the wetsuit.




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