ATH­LETES READY FOR TRIATHLON

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

A CON­VE­NIENT “mar­riage” be­tween var­i­ous sport­ing events will cul­mi­nate un­der the ban­ner of the Whit­sun­day Triathlon this week­end.

Whit­sun­day Triathlon Club race di­rec­tor Stephen Jack­son said whether com­peti­tors were ama­teurs or com­mit­ted ath­letes, the triathlon would suit any­one with a pas­sion for fit­ness.

“We have the beau­ti­ful set­ting of the la­goon and a re­ally tran­quil (ocean) swim, a bike ride through town and we will fin­ish with a run on the bi­cen­ten­nial board­walk to show­case our re­gion,” he said.

“Some of these events are fo­cused on spe­cific sports and this is a good mar­riage.”

The triathlon of­fi­cially runs from Septem­ber 1-3 and fea­tures a se­ries of fam­ily fun and in­ten­sive sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to suit ev­ery­one.

The ac­tion kicks of with a Com­mu­nity Car­ni­val at Broad­wa­ter Av­enue on Fri­day and of­fers peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to im­merse them­selves in the live mu­sic, jump­ing cas­tles, craft ac­tiv­i­ties, a bike stunt dis­play and show-stop­ping fire­works from 5-8pm.

Be sure not to miss live per­for­mances from Michaelia ‘Micks’ Cook, Is­land Rhythm and an ex­treme bi­cy­cle stunt show cour­tesy of Bo­rys Za­grocki

On Satur­day, the Icon Homes Ocean Swim head­lined by Ky Hurst be­gins at Broad­wa­ter Av­enue from 8.30am, al­low­ing time for peo­ple look­ing to warm up for the event with the 7am park run kick­ing off from Abell Point Ma­rina.

The swim will in­clude a range of themes in­clud­ing the 2km ocean swim, 750m ocean swim and the 750m any­thing goes swim.

Peo­ple will be per­mit­ted to sup­ply their own snorkel and flip­per equip­ment for the Any­thing Goes Swim in the event of any swim­ming abil­ity con­cerns.

Fol­low­ing this will be the Er­gon En­ergy Kidzpower Triathlon at 2.30pm which is set to at­tract 150 en­trants rep­re­sent­ing them­selves and var­i­ous schools across the re­gion.

The kids will bat­tle it out for the Mc­Don­ald’s School Cham­pi­onship ti­tle and their share of $1000 worth of sport­ing equip­ment for their school.

The Truecore ‘Abs of Steel’ com­pe­ti­tion from 5pm will be a sur­vival of the fittest com­pe­ti­tion which runs un­til there is only one com­peti­tor stand­ing.

Mr Jack­son de­scribed the high pro­file event as a “sur­vivor-style ac­tiv­ity” which would test the core strength of ev­ery­one in­volved.

This elim­i­na­tion chal­lenge will be open to men, women and ju­niors.

Prizes will be on of­fer for the event from Air­lie Fit­ness and Bet­ter Body Cafe.

Af­ter a day of in­ten­sive ac­tion, there will be an op­por­tu­nity for some down time with a Whit­sun­day Times Sea­side Cin­ema screen­ing of Moana at 5.30pm.

The Colour­bond Air­lie Beach Triathlon will fi­nally com­mence from 7am Sun­day, fea­tur­ing head­line acts from triathlon le­gends Sam Bet­ten, Max Neu­mann and Emma Car­ney along­side 150 adult com­peti­tors.

Mr Jack­son said the Air­lie Beach Triathlon would in­clude a sprint dis­tance of 750m swim, 20km cy­cle, 5km run.

“We also have a short dis­tance event, which is only a 300m swim, 10km ride and 2.5km run it’s a good way for begin­ners to test the wa­ters in the sport,” Mr Jack­son said.

He said the whole idea of the event was for ev­ery­one to en­joy them­selves.

“We don’t want peo­ple to be in­tim­i­dated, we run the event pro­fes­sion­ally but it is for ev­ery­one’s fun and en­joy­ment,” he said.

“It is pre­dom­i­nately en­joyed by ama­teurs giv­ing it a go and hav­ing a fun time with team mates and we re­ally con­cen­trate on race packs and shirts and post race ac­tiv­i­ties.

“It is not about how fast you go and hope­fully if peo­ple en­joy sport there are oth­ers races in the club they can pur­sue.”

Any­one look­ing to have a go at any can choose to join a team to make any sport­ing events a lit­tle eas­ier for begin­ners.

While Cy­clone Deb­bie hit the Whit­sun­day re­gion hard five months ago, Mr Jack­son said there had been al­most no im­pact on the triathlon which would help unite the com­mu­nity be­hind fit­ness fun.

“Hope­fully the triathlon will gal­vanise the com­mu­nity to cel­e­brate what an amaz­ing place we live in by go­ing outdoors be­ing ac­tive and get­ting in­volved,” he said.

There will be meals avail­able from the food trucks and a range of ser­vices in­clud­ing mas­sages.

PHOTO: INGE HANSEN

ATH­LETES: Triathlon cham­pi­ons Max Neu­mann and Sam Bet­ten com­peted in the Color­bond Air­lie Beach Triathlon last year.

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