Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Triathlon returns to Shepparton

A partnership of Shepparton groups will bring a new triathlon - and its lucrative benefits - to the city.

MATTHEW GALEA March 22, 2014 4:44am

Triathlon supporters: Committee for Greater Shepparton chief executive Matt Nelson, Challenge Australia chief executive Marcus Altmann, City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan and McPherson Media Group’s Kelvin Maude at the Challenge Shepparton triathlon announcement yesterday.

A new era in Shepparton triathlon has arrived, with the announcement of a major long-course event to be staged in the city.

Challenge Shepparton will replace the Ironman 70.3 Shepparton event lost to the city after Shepparton Triathlon Club decided it was unable to stage an event this year.

The Challenge Shepparton event will be run along a new course on November 16 this year, with Victoria Park Lake as the focal point.

‘‘This is a truly exciting day for the city in being able to announce the tradition of hosting a long-course triathlon will continue,’’ City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan said.

‘‘It was with a heavy heart that Shepparton Triathlon Club made the difficult decision to discontinue the Ironman 70.3 Shepparton and the response to the potential loss of such an iconic event was overwhelming.’’

The announcement follows a newly formed partnership between McPherson Media Group, Challenge Australia, SuperSprint and Greater Shepparton City Council.

Challenge Australia chief executive Marcus Altmann said the organisation was delighted to commit to Shepparton.

‘‘I think it’s important for the triathlon community that we keep Shepparton as a destination for a long-course event,’’ Mr Altmann said.

Mr Altmann said the support from the council was pivotal in securing the event.

‘‘The support from council and McPherson Media Group, two local identities that want to keep the revenue and the athletes coming back to Shepparton, which is a historic place for long-course racing, gives us an opportunity to create our own history,’’ Mr Altmann said.

McPherson Media Group chief executive Damian Trezise said he was happy to help secure the race.

‘‘When we heard the Shepparton Triathlon Club was unable to stage the event this year, we at the Shepparton News knew we had to do what we could to help secure the 2014 event,’’ Mr Trezise said.

The council’s arts, tourism and events manager Carrie Donaldson was delighted to see Shepparton secure the event.

She said the council would initially be conservative in estimating the economic value of the event.

‘‘In terms of the new event, we’ve only just made the announcement, so it’ll depend on how registrations go, but we’re being relatively conservative for the first year,’’ Ms Donaldson said.

The Ironman 70.3 Shepparton event had an estimated worth of $3.5million to the local economy each year.

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