Record field to contest triathlon

With a record field of 800 competitors, aged from 16 to 72 years, one of Australia’s most popular triathlons will be held at Byron Bay on Saturday.
 The 14th annual triathlon will also mark the last official Olympic distance event of the NSW Triathlon season.
Event co-ordinator Jacque Hogan said the triathlon was also a great lead-up to the World Triathlon Championships which were being held in September on the Gold Coast where more than 42 countries would compete.
She said the gruelling event featured a 1.5km swim, a 40km cycle to Lennox Head and back and a 10km run.
“We have individuals as well as teams competing as well as many locals,” Jacque said.
 “This is a very dynamic sport and currently the bulk of the competitors come from men aged 25 to 39 years and women in the 20 to 29 year age group.
“There is also a strong professional field with young professional Josh McHugh, 21, from Ballina racing to add his name to the trophy and to take out the prizemoney.”
 Josh has recently turned professional and is sponsored by Sunrise Cycles, who are also one of the major sponsors of the triathlons.
After the triathlon, Josh will head overseas to compete.
Josh will be up against Paul Ambrose (NSW), Andrew Wright (Vic), Brian Fuller (Qld), Leon Griffin (Vic), Chris Waterhouse and Boyd Conrick (NSW).
In the female division, the world number one triathlete in 2008 Felicity Abram from Queensland is expected to be the one to beat.
Jacque said she wanted to thank the major sponsors the Hotel Great Northern, Byron Village Apartments, Nomads Odyssey Backpackers, Coopers, Sunrise Cycles, NBN, 2XU and Eyeline, for without them the event wouldn’t be possible.
Money raised from the triathlon will support the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club and the Brunswick Valley Rescue Squad.
“We also proudly support the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
At the completion of the triathlon,   the end-of-season Cooper’s award party will held at the Hotel Great Northern from 7pm.
All age groups and teams will be presented with prizes for first, second and third placings.
The first five placegetters in the professional field will receive prizemoney.
“The tri has so many positive effects on Byron Bay and maintains the image of Byron as the physical beautiful environment,” Jacque said.
“Everyone is welcome to come and watch this great event. It’s a great spectator sport and you can cheer on all the competitors.”
There will be a host of prizes and awards for competitors and all individual competitors and teams will receive a race bag.
The race starts 1pm on Main Beach.

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