ALONG FOR THE RIDE
THREE Port Douglas women did the town proud by finishing strongly in the amateur women’s results in the gruelling nine-day bike enduro, the Croc Trophy, on Four Mile Beach at the weekend.
For Jean MacDonald, Jodie Keirle and Jacky Cooke it was the culmination of an idea and a dream that began on the finishing on the last year’s race, which is fast becoming a standout fixture in the mountain bike firmament.
“We watched the finish last year and it was so exciting, and we thought it would be great if there were some Port Douglas riders.,” said Jacky.
“Hopefully there’ll be a lot of great mountain bike riders in Port next year and there’ll be a big contingent.”
Their high placings were a great result for first timers in thevent, even given the small numbers in the amateur women’s division of the race.
But they shared with professional female winner Sarah White a background in endurance running.
Jacky Cooke explains that she is not really a cyclist, “really a runner, but once you prepare for an endurance event it’s a similar strategy.”
Starting in January, the three women got down to training and in the months since then clocked up an average of 20 hours a week of riding, much of that on trails.
Though they raced as individuals but “we basically travelled together”.
They slept in motels along the way and, crucially they say, relied on Jean’s husband who provided mechanical and equipment support.
The race had been a brutal experience, Jodie said.
Once across the finishing line they enjoyed showers in the clubhouse at Four Mile Beach and then a well deserved drink and lunch with their families.
The final kilometres were raced on the beach, right on the water. that morning they had started out on from Wetherby Station for the ninth and final stage of the 700km race.
Jean MacDonald, Jodie Keirle and Jacky Cooke