An influx of visitors for yesterday's Ironman 70.3 Shepparton meant the victors weren't the event's only winners, with local businesses sharing in the spoils.FIONA BROOM November 19, 2012 4:50am
Keat makes it another Shepparton victory November 19, 2012
Those who crossed the finish line at yesterday’s Ironman 70.3 Shepparton and snagged a spot at the world championships weren’t the only winners from the event — the influx of visitors meant the town and its businesses also came out on top.
About 1400 competitors from across Australia, with families, support crews and friends, made the trek to what has become Shepparton’s premier sporting event.
Thousands of cars filled Kialla Lakes and families sprawled on grassy patches around the lake as the iron men and women took on the gruelling event.
Among the visitors was the Coomealla Triathlon Club, from the NSW side of the Murray River near Mildura.
Competitor Lars Kogge estimated he spent about $700 on accommodation, meals, petrol, entry and other expenses during his four-day stay in Shepparton.
‘‘We went to the GV Hotel for dinner last night and there’s a party there tonight. We couldn’t even get a park in our hotel after dinner,’’ he said.
‘‘We had a very nice breakfast at Stefanos this morning. It must be good for the economy.’’
Coomealla club president Peter Gray agreed the income for Shepparton must be ‘‘astonishing’’.
Mr Kogge said he signed up competitors from the club one minute after entries opened and booked accommodation immediately to avoid missing out — though those lucky people who got late entries had some trouble.
‘‘I have a friend who slept on a mate’s couch in his room because otherwise she’d be sleeping in the back of the ute,’’ he said.
The seasoned triathletes praised the volunteers who helped run the triathlon, while Shepparton’s weather also got the nod.
They said the well-organised event also shone a spotlight on fitness and staying active.
‘‘It’s impeccable, brilliant — there’s nothing else you can say,’’ Mr Gray said.
As bow-legged competitors stretched out cramped muscles, volunteer Matt Tracy continued handing out drinks to those finishing their three laps of the lake.
He said the mostly local volunteers had watched the event grow year on year.
‘‘Last year really upped the ante,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a pretty positive thing for the town. I can imagine it would bring a lot of people to the town and it highlights Shepparton in a positive way.’’
The Ironman 70.3 Shepparton is also attracting future triathletes.
Mr Tracy said his seven-year-old daughter watched Saturday’s kids’ triathlon with a view to getting involved next year — when she’s a bit steadier on her bike.
A single-storey weatherboard house in Doyles Rd, Shepparton was gutted by fire on Saturday.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
Success at the regional schools soccer competition has earned the Echuca Primary School (208) girls side a spot at state games on Wednesday.
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram school students take their books to the streets, dressing up for Community Reading Day.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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