Tri and match them
IT is one thing being talented in a single sporting discipline but this weekend Byron Bay will be home to more than 1000 athletes who are handy at three.
The 15th Byron Bay Triathlon be held on Saturday, as athletes swim, cycle and run their way to glory over an Olympic-length course.
The triathlon will start with a 1500m swim, followed by a taxing 40km bike ride and a tough 10km run to finish off.
The course will include Main Beach, the Coast Road between Byron Bay and Lennox Head, and the footpaths of Byron’s CBD.
Byron Bay residents and visitors are advised to spend a couple days at the gym prior to the weekend, save being racked with insecurity as triathletes descend on the town.
Pre-race favourites in the professional division include locals Clayton Fettell of Alstonville and Joey Lampe of Lennox Head.
Port Macquarie triathlete Adam Holborow is also tipped to put in a strong showing.
In the women’s professional division, Queensland’s Carrie Lester is expected to be among the front-runners.
The race field filled up within a week of entries opening, with about 650 males and 480 females to take part.
About 120 teams have also registered, with teams of two or three.
The pros are expected to do the 1500m open water swim in 17 minutes, do an average 40km/h on the bike, and still clock three-minute kilometres on the 10km run.
“I’m blown away by how quick they go,” triathlon race director Mick Smith said.
“The times are phenomenal. It is very exciting to watch.”
Smith said with the Australian triathlon season coming to an end, the Byron Bay triathlon would be one of the last opportunities for the pros to find some race form before possibly heading overseas for the Northern Hemisphere season.
The action will begin at noon, with professionals setting the pace before age divisions of five-year increments from 16 to 70 hit the water at Main Beach.
While the professionals are expected to finish the 51.5km course in a little more than an hour-and-a-half, growing numbers of amateur athletes have also embraced the sport in recent years, reflected in the popularity of the Byron event.
The best spot to see the triathlon addicts on Saturday is probably the transition area where the athletes will change from one leg to another.
It will be set up at the beach front.