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West Wyalong to host triathlon

Bland Shire Mayor, Neil Pokoney, believes the upcoming inaugural West Wyalong Gold triathlon has the potential to become a marquee annual regional event.

Bland Shire Council will host the West Wyalong Gold Triathlon at Holland Park on Sunday 3 April and Mayor Pokoney believes West Wyalong’s close proximity to major towns and regional centres in both the Riverina and Central West provides a golden opportunity for the event to create a long term sports tourism bonanza for the Shire.

Backed by generous financial start up support from Evolution Mining, the West Wyalong Gold triathlon has been tailored to cater for all ages and abilities from those nervously contemplating their first triathlon to seasoned competitors from the Riverina and Central West circuits and beyond.

The triathlon is split into three events – a juniors race for competitors 12 years and under, an enticer triathlon targeted at newcomers to the sport and the marquee sprint race.

“The initial interest in the triathlon has been incredible,” Mayor Pokoney said.

“Council has already received enquiries from throughout New South Wales and parts of the Australian Capital Territory from people interested in competing.

“It is hoped that many of our visiting competitors will choose to stay a night or two in West Wyalong before or after the event.”

The triathlon has also attracted enormous local interest.

“The event aligns strongly with Council’s commitment to community health and well being by encouraging people to be healthy and active,” Mayor Pokoney said.

“The reduced distances and physical demands of the enticer event encourages people contemplating trying a triathlon to have a go and there are plenty of outstanding facilities across the Bland Shire for people to train and prepare.”

The Evolution Sprint will commence with a three kilometre run before transitioning into a 20 kilometre bike ride. Competitors will then plunge into the Bland Shire’s showpiece Holland Park Pool for a 400 metres swim, zig zagging through the eight lanes, before racing for home over a final three kilometre run leg.

The first male and female over the line will each collect $250 cash.

There is also a team event over the sprint and enticer distances with each team member to complete one of the three legs.

The CB Engineering Enticer will see competitors run 1.5 kilometres, ride 10 kilometres and swim for a manageable 200 metres before finishing off with a 1.5 kilometre run with the first male and female athletes across the line to each pocket $75 cash.

The L&R Group juniors event has been split into two separate 700 metre runs, a five kilometre ride and a 100 metre swim with the first male and female across the alone collecting $50 each.

Prizes are also on offer in age categories across all three individual events.

Registration is now available online through Bland Shire Council’s website at www.blandshire.nsw.gov.au with early bird discounts available for entries received on or before Friday 25 March. The first 150 registered participants will also receive a free event cap.

Meanwhile, the L& R Group will conduct a free swim clinic at Holland Park Pool for competitors the day before the triathlon (Saturday 2 April). Bookings are essential by phoning the pool on 6972 2135.

For further enquiries regarding the triathlon people can phone Bland Shire Council Community Development Officer, Rebecca McDonell on 02 6972 2266.