One of the Lower South West’s most unique sporting events drew crowds to the Blackwood region at the weekend. The Bridgetown Rotary Club’s 2021 Blackwood Marathon Relay, which has been running since 1979 but was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw people flock south once again for the much-loved event. The relay style marathon sees teams ranging in size from one to five athletes take on the five legs including running, swimming, canoeing, equestrian and cycling, across about 60km of the Blackwood River Valley from Boyup Brook to Bridgetown. Marathon chief steward Jamie Doust said the event, which had about 130 people enter, went exceptionally well this year. “The weather was fantastic, the river was high which made it good for the paddlers, and it all went very well,” he said. Competitor director Sue Doust said the feedback from everyone was also good to hear. “Every email we’ve had come in, they’ve all been exceptionally positive,” she said. “All the teams that registered turned up so 100 per cent attendance and we had some fantastic comments throughout the day. “I think everyone who comes down always enjoys it.” Winning in the open category this year, and fastest overall, was a team which has won multiple times in the past, Safety Brakes Revisited. They finished in just over two hours and 39 minutes. Coming in second overall was the Rusty Ironmen Gold in the veterans category, in two hours and 59 minutes. Dominating the iron categories, where competitors race solo, once again this year was the Wiese family. Partners Tim and Sarah Wiese have won the event multiple times before, but Tim decided to step down from the category this year and let his 19-year-old son Dan take the reigns. Riding his father’s horse in the equestrian leg, Dan took out the ironman category in just under three hours and 33 minutes, the 14th fastest time overall. However, Sarah just pipped Dan with her time, taking out the iron ladies title in just under three hours and 32 minutes, also the 12th fastest overall.