Hundreds of athletes and their supporters will descend on the Batemans Bay region this weekend to swim, run and ride their way through a popular triathlon, bringing a boost to the tourism industry with them.
The fisiocrem Triathlon Batemans Bay will take place on Saturday (3 February), as will the second Bay to Bridge Running Festival.
This will be the 12th time the triathlon is held and about 600 competitors, plus their supporters, from as far afield as Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne are expected to visit the area.
In past years, Tomakin has played host to hundreds of athletes as they take on the Tomaga River, the fast George Bass Drive bike course and flat quiet road run.
This year they will be heading to the Tomakin Sports & Social Club, which will provide the grounds for ‘event central’, the finish line and the transition area.
“We get everybody, so not just those that are competing for their club. We get first timers, we get seasoned athletes,” Hew Colless of Elite Energy, which organises the festival, said.
He said it was what was called a boutique triathlon due to the unique way it used the Tomaga River. The swim for the triathlon goes down the river, while the swim legs in other triathlons often involve a loop from a beach.
“You don’t have to battle waves heading out from the beach,” Mr Colless said.
“That also makes it ideal for newbies.”
Part of the reason why the triathlon is held in the Batemans Bay area is to do with this swim. But also, as locals know, it is hard to resist such a beautiful part of the country.
“South Coast locations like Batemans Bay and Tomakin are a clear favourite on our event calendar. They’re both such beautiful places and entice those wanting to escape the city to race in a stunning and scenic location,” Mr Colless said.
“What we try and achieve is to bring the sport of triathlon to as many regional areas as we can.
“It also helps boost tourism in the area.”
Avid athletes have the option of five distances, which includes the aquabike race (1.9-km swim and 55-km bike only), which appeal to an array of ages, abilities and motivations.
This year’s triathlon distances – in the swim/bike/run format – range from the shorter Super Sprint (300 m/10 km/2 km) and Sprint (600 m/25 km/5 km), to the middle distance Standard (1.5 km/40 km/10 km) and Classic (1.9 km/55 km/15 km).
Last year saw the inaugural Bay to Bridge Running Festival take place on the scenic Batemans Bay foreshore.
The event offers a half marathon (21.1 km), 10 km, 5 km, and 2 km fun runs. The runs take in a scenic journey starting on the Batemans Bay waterfront, across the Clyde River Bridge and continuing along the foreshore to Corrigans Beach Reserve in Catalina and back through the finish arch once again on the Batemans Bay foreshore.
Motorists should be aware that there will be changes to traffic conditions in the area during the triathlon.
There will be controlled access on parts of George Bass Drive between 10 am and 3:30 pm, which means the road will not be completely closed to traffic.
But during that same period, George Bass Drive will be closed between Broulee Road and North Head Drive, while North Head Drive will be closed between George Bass Drive and the Princes Highway.
The roads will be closed to public access, but residential access will be maintained throughout the closures.
Original Article published by Albert McKnight on About Regional.