THE warm weather and the promise of some healthy competition enticed around 400 competitors to Lake Canobolas on Saturday to take part in the second Elite Energy Triathlon.
While around half of those registered were locals, others travelled from as far away as Wagga, Canberra and Sydney to compete.
For Sue Jones, a former Orange resident who now lives on the Central Coast, participating in this year’s Enticer event, designed to initiate beginners into the sport, sparked some healthy rivalry with her husband Richard.
“Bragging rights were on offer,” Mrs Jones said.
Having already competed in a triathlon last year, Mrs Jones was more experienced than her novice husband.
“Really it’s about participation,” she said.
“For us to finish is the real achievement.”
In the lead-up to the race Mr Jones admitted he wasn’t as confident as his wife.
“It’s my first one, let’s just see how we go,” he said.
The pair had been training for the event by swimming, cycling and running.
“We’ve been training but we’ve never done all three on the same day before,” Mrs Jones said.
For 12-year-old Rebecca Twomey competing in a junior Enticer event proved a great way to socialise while having fun.
She’s already competed in 10 triathlons and has no plans to stop.
“Swimming, running and riding are my favourite things to do anyway,” she said.
“And I’ve met some good friends doing it.”
Elite Energy Triathlon managing director Mark Stewart said it was hard to compare this year’s event to last year when competitors faced chilly conditions with temperatures not rising above eight degrees.
“We were told last year’s weather was a one-in-a-100-year event, let’s hope for the next 98 years we have days like this,” he said.
Mr Stewart said Elite hosted eight triathlons around NSW every year and Orange was proving a favourite with competitors.
“Orange really has so much to offer with the wineries, the restaurants and the country hospitality, it’s great,” he said.
“There are also so many accommodation options from caravans to top-of-the-line accommodation.”
Mr Stewart said Lake Canobolas had also proved the perfect location to host the event.
“The [Orange City] council has done a great job with the area and so have the park staff,” he said.
“We’ve also had great help from the local triathlon club and volunteers.”
Ray Dally was one of around 50 volunteers who helped ensure the event ran smoothly and said he had “an awesome day”.
“It’s very well organised and they look after their volunteers very well,” he said.
“The athletes were also very courteous.”
As a member of Orange Cycle Club, Mr Dally’s participation earned a $50 donation for his club from Elite.