Four-time win­ner to re­turn for triathlon

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

FOUR-TIME cham­pion Sam Bet­ten will re­turn to the Whit­sun­days in­tent on re­claim­ing his throne.

The most dom­i­nant athlete in the event’s his­tory, Bet­ten last claimed vic­tory in 2012 but was forced to miss last year’s race with other com­mit­ments.

Bet­ten is cur­rently pre­par­ing for the World Long Course Cham­pi­onships, but is cer­tain to be a sure thing when the Air­lie Beach Triathlon comes around next month.

The event will be Bet­ten’s fi­nal hit out be­fore the World Cham­pi­onships in China just two weeks later.

“Air­lie Beach holds lots of pos­i­tive mem­o­ries for me, and a chance to com­pete on a happy hunt­ing ground just a fort­night out from the World Champs will be great for me phys­i­cally and men­tally,” he said.

Bet­ten is likely to be tested by lo­cal hope Lloyd Clode-Roberts, Mackay’s Ryan Palazzi and Townsville’s Sam Mur­phy.

In the mean­time, the pre-race build-up con­tin­ues to build pace, with ju­nior reg­is­tra­tions flood­ing in.

The big push by the Whit­sun­day Triathlon Club has been to en­gage with the com­mu­nity on a greater level while also en­cour­ag­ing first-timers to get in­volved.

“Our ASICS En­ticer and the var­i­ous team op­tions in all races are all about pro­vid­ing that av­enue for peo­ple to have a go,” club pres­i­dent Steve Jackson said.”

“Peo­ple still get the full race day ex­pe­ri­ence with the same or shorter swim, ride and run courses, a com­peti­tor sin­glet and gift pack, the thrill of the crowd sup­port, but with­out the crowded start line. The em­pha­sis is on be­ing part of it rather than times and fin­ish­ing places.”

Jackson has been visiting lo­cal schools and is strongly urg­ing chil­dren and par­ents to get be­hind the younger for­mats.

The Air­lie Beach Triathlon is three weeks away, and the club is of­fer­ing adult and high school-aged com­peti­tors free mod­i­fied race train­ing from 6am on Satur­day morn­ings at the Air­lie beach La­goon.

Ju­nior ses­sions com­mence at 7.30am.

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