More than 1000 competitors – possibly as many as 1200 – will line up for Saturday’s Byron Bay Triathlon, a record for the increasingly popular event.
Just to show how popular it is, for the first time in its 15-year history, it took only a week to fill the field, leading to disappointment for many who left their run too late.
Organisers say competitors are coming from all around Australia and the world to be part of the event.
They say with an army of family and friends joining competitors, millions of dollars will be pumped into the local economy at a time of the year when it is traditionally quiet.
Competitors will compete over an Olympic distance course – 1500m swim, 40km bike ride and a 10km run to finish.
The transition area opens at 9 am and closes at 11am. There will be a race briefing at the finishing area near the Byron Bay Surf Club at 11.20am.
The first competitors will hit the water at Clarks Beach at noon and will follow an ‘m’ shaped course which will bring them back to Main Beach and the transition area where they will jump on to their bikes for the ride to Lennox Head and back.
This year, with the coast road closed to cars, it will be much safer for riders.
The triathlon will be completed with a 10km run that will take athletes four times along Lawson Street, Cowper Street, through the Rec Ground, Gilmore Street and back to Main Beach.
Twenty elite professional athletes will head the field this year including Clayton Fettell from Alstonville and Joseph Lampe from Lennox Head.
Both the men’s and women’s winners will each receive $1000, with prizemoney going to the first five placegetters.
The professionals will be well and truly outnumbered by the enthusiastic age-group ‘weekend warrior’ athletes whose numbers will include Keith Pearce, at 74 the oldest competitor in the event.
An Australian representative, Keith has competed in about seven Byron Bay triathlons and is setting himself for other major events later in the year.
With such a big field, triathlon co-ordinator, Jacque Hogan, is both nervous and excited at the same time.
Jacque said the athletes loved the Byron Bay event.
She said as well as getting to compete in what was the end-of-season triathlon event, many competitors took the opportunity to turn it into a family holiday.
Prize presentations and awards will be made at the Great Northern Hotel from 7pm.
You don’t have to be an athlete to part of Saturday’s Byron Bay Triathlon.
It’s a big event and plenty of help is needed to ensure it runs smoothly.
Organisers are still looking for volunteers to act as marshals in the swim area, the run course, the bike transition area and the finish line area to collect competitors’ tags.
If you want to be part of the day, call Jacque Hogan on 0400788336 or email email@example.com
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