Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca-Moama Triathlon Club gearing up for event

Three-time world champion Peter Robertson is one of more than 300 competitors registered for this year's Echuca-Moama triathlon.

ZACH HUBBER January 18, 2013 4:22am

Echuca-Moama Triathlon competitors Steve Gray (left) and Andrew MacKenzie are ready for the big event tomorrow.

Perfect conditions are set to greet about 300 competitors at the 15th annual Echuca-Moama Triathlon tomorrow.

Echuca-Moama Triathlon Club president Andrew Mackenzie said numbers were looking good for the event, which has lured three-time world champion Peter Robertson.

‘‘We’ve got around 200 (competitors) so far, which is pretty good considering we end up getting over half in the last week,’’ he said on Wednesday.

‘‘We’re ahead of where we were last year and the weather’s going to be fantastic, so it should be gangbusters for the spectators.’’

The triathlon will start at the Moama bridge at 6pm with a 700m downstream swim along the Murray River.

Competitors will then saddle up on their bikes and complete three laps of the 7km course around Echuca, followed by a 5km bush run before hitting the finish line at Hopwood Gardens.

The bike course, which heads down Warren St, along Murray Valley Hwy, across the Campaspe River, down McKenzie and Eyre streets and up High St, is set to be the most enthralling stage.

The twilight event has been pushed back to 6pm, an addition Mackenzie said would not only enhance the spectacle, but also support port-side traders.

Three-man teams are also able to compete for the first time this year, with each competitor to complete one leg of the triathlon.

Mackenzie said no leg by itself was insurmountable, saying the 700m swim downstream felt like 400m in a swimming pool.

‘‘If you’re unsure about doing the whole thing then crack a team in,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve also had really good feedback from a lot of the footy and sporting clubs.’’

Competitors have a chance to win a slice of the $2000 prize money, as well as racing against a world champion.

Reigning champion Anthony Rule is doubtful to defend his title now that he lives in Queensland, meaning a new winner is set to be unveiled.

Whether Robertson can claim the title will be answered tomorrow night, but a recent altitude training camp could boost his chances.

It is also unknown if Bendigo’s Sophie Hawken will defend her crown in the women’s event.

Online registration for the triathlon closes tonight, but anyone who has not registered can do so at Hopwood Gardens, Echuca, from 3pm tomorrow.

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