The diamond year of a nationally acclaimed triathlon saw some of Australia’s best athletes compete through some of the most rigorous conditions in the South West. The X-Adventure Triathlon was hosted in Dunsborough for 2022 for its 10th year and the two-day event saw both team and solo competitors make their way through the Geographe Bay coastline. Professional Athlete and XTERRA champion Ben Allen took our the premier long course on Sunday, completing the 1500m swim, 12km run and 20km bike leg in an incredible time of 2 hours, 20 minutes, 14 seconds. Second, third and fourth places went to Bunbury’s young-gun Zeke Tinley, current Triathlon National Champion Tom Fisher and the 2021 reigning champion Brendan Dimmer who all completed the course within a matter on minutes after Allen. Allen said he was surprised to take the win but it had given him motivation for a huge triathlon season ahead. “I’m almost double the age of some of my fellow competitors that I was racing against so to get the win, I was super elated and it was pretty good going into the rest of the season,” he said. Allen said Dunsborough’s course was unique and always challenging for the most experience. “That race is always super challenging, its a swim, run, bike, compared to a normal triathlon which is a swim, bike, run,” he said. “Coming out of the water and going straight into the run leg, with it being a very technical run leg, that was probably the most challenging part of it. “Your legs are pretty fatigued coming off the trail run and then having to negotiate the technical course they have in Dunsborough, you are staring to fade and fatigue, mental clarity isn’t too good at that point,” he laughed. “I suppose my experience with the racing I’ve been doing has paid off, I managed to pace myself pretty well and I think that paid off in the bike where I think I was able to make up time and capitalise on the other guys.” For many athletes, the long course is an important qualifying event for the WA State Off-Road Triathlon Championship and an ITU World Championship. Allen said he has used his time to qualify for the ITU World Championship in Romania as well as off-road triathlons in Europe later this year. “There are no more off-road triathlon races left in Australia for me, so it’s up to travelling overseas depending on if the pandemic will allow us to,” he said. “I will hopefully be representing Australia in the ITU World Championship.” Other races include the short course on the Saturday which saw athletes complete a 700m ocean swim, 6km coastal trail run and 11km mountain bike ride and the Aquathlon-X event featuring a 1km swim and 5km trail run. The South West can expect to see the champions race again in the inaugural Busselton 100, serving as the State Long Course Championship set to take place on April 30.