Alexandra Barnes grabs her bike during the Byron Bay Triathlon at Main Beach in Byron Bay.
Alexandra Barnes grabs her bike during the Byron Bay Triathlon at Main Beach in Byron Bay. Marc Stapelberg

Going the distance at Byron triathlon

A NEW course for the bike leg will be trialled at the 22nd annual Byron Bay Triathlon on Saturday.

There will also be a kids triathlon with about 1000 competitors expected to compete across individual and team competitions.

"We'll be doing laps closer to town and not going as far on the road as Lennox Head,” race director Mike Crawley said.

"We've done our best to prepare for it and we want it to be as convenient as possible for everyone involved.

"Our numbers have been a bit down this year but they've started flowing in this week.

"It is a pretty iconic event in the triathlon community and one that Byron Bay can continue to be proud of.”

The race comprises a 1.5km ocean swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run and is the last of the New South Wales and Queensland triathlon season.

Local triathletes Clayton Fettell and Sam Appleton have won the open men's event in recent years.

Other winners have included Lennox Head professional Joe Lampe, Pete Jacobs, Bryce McMaster and Leon Griffith.

Former Olympian Michael Klim and Robbie McEwen have previously competed in the teams section.

Crawley made special mention of Justin Wall, who is competing for the first time since a double lung transplant six months ago.

Wall was born with cystic fibrosis which caused deterioration in his lungs and he hopes to raise awareness of organ donation at the event.

"I've spoken to his brother and he goes like a demon in the water by all reports,” Crawley said.

"I think it's great that we can be part of something like that and I look forward to seeing how he goes.”

Organisers have also formalised a partnership with the community fundraiser Byron Lighthouse Run.

Resources and funds raised are being used to support the fun run in October.

The first wave of competitors hit the water at 11.30am, with the open divisions at 1pm.

Entries can still be made at www.byrontri.com.au



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