Orange to be overrun by triathletes

ALMOST 500 triathletes will flock to Orange on Saturday to take part in the sixth round of the New South Wales tri-series, the Elite Energy Triathlon.

The triathlon is returning to Orange for a second consecutive year, with the goal of making the event a permanent fixture in the sporting calendar.

After the success of 2013’s competition, Elite Energy general manager Mark Stewart said it was an easy decision to return to Orange in 2014.

“It would be easy to take this event to a larger centre and get more people competing,” he said.

“But we are serious about developing the event and the sport in rural areas. It does help that Orange is such a great area, with so much to do outside of triathlon.

“There is certainly the thought it could become a permanent fixture, we get plenty of support from the local sponsors and triathletes.”

The Elite Energy Triathlon boasts six events, catered to a range of abilities and focusing on drawing new competitors.

Once again the MiniMan event, for ages seven-11, is one of the main attractions and focuses on participation and encouraging a healthy active and fun lifestyle from an early age.

The Enticer is a shorter event for beginners, or those focused on fun and is comprised of a 300 metre swim, 10 kilometre bike ride and 2km run.

The Sprint is the next step up, for more serious triathletes, and is made up of a 750m swim, 20km ride and 5km run.

The Olympic is the elite level triathlon, a 1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run.

There are also two NSW Junior divisions.

The 12-15 years will use the Enticer course, while the 16-19 years competitors will test themselves over the Sprint distance.

Stewart said he expected the field to be strong again.

“I haven’t had a close look at the field, but I’m sure we’ll have some pretty good athletes,” he said.

“Orange is a handy drive from Sydney, and we’re hoping it is more of a weekend than just the triathlon.

“And the weather is set to be pretty good so I think we’ll get quite a few entries on the day.”

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