When the triathlon season abruptly ended in March this year, many crestfallen triathletes turned their attention to the 2020/2021 season, with tentative new race dates and revised goals pencilled into their calendars.
With the recommencement of community triathlon under the current NSW government guidelines, the new season has kicked off earlier than anticipated and club races will begin this weekend, giving the race-hungry triathletes of NSW an outlet for their hours of winter training in isolation.
The first race on the cards is the Panthers Tri Club Duathlon, to be held at Penrith International Regatta Centre tomorrow, July 4th. With an estimated 55 competitors, it will be a modest start to the racing calendar, but nonetheless gratefully welcomed by the 200-strong members of one of Western Sydney’s most established clubs.
In a similar fashion, BRATS of Bondi will be hosting their first duathlon of the season at Heffron Park, Maroubra, on Sunday July 5th, and will be expecting approximately 50 members to compete across both the sprint and enticer distances.
BRATS Race Director Chris Choi welcomes the relaxing of guidelines in NSW that have allowed for the club to quickly establish a revised race calendar: "We're adapting to the 'new normal' with a few lower key duathlons, and will build momentum to an exciting season of racing as restrictions continue to ease.
These times reiterate the importance of grassroots racing that brings us together as a club and as a local community."
The ‘new normal’ for club racing will, of course, include a number of COVID-19 safety measures, including no aid stations on course, greater space in transition, limited spectators and plenty of hand sanitiser available for volunteers and competitors alike. It’s a small price to pay for the reintroduction of club racing, a much-loved feature of being part of a Triathlon NSW club.
While a number of clubs will be hosting duathlons over the winter, it will still be some time before commercial races will get underway, to allow for race directors to organise their COVID-safe protocols and prepare for the season ahead.
Remember that your Triathlon NSW membership covers your insurance for racing and training for triathlon events. To join or renew, click here.