Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Triathlon has a whole new look

The Challenge Shepparton triathlon is set to be an exciting event with the race taking place at Victoria Park Lake with a brand new course.

MATTHEW GALEA September 5, 2014 3:05am

Shepparton’s premier triathlon event does not just have a new name this year, it’s got an entirely new course too.

The inaugural Challenge Shepparton triathlon will take place on November 16 on a brand new course.

Centred around the picturesque Victoria Park Lake, competitors will swim 1.9km in the lake, ride 90km on the bike, from Victoria Park Lake to Toolamba and back, before a 21.1km run that will start and finish at the lake.

Local triathlete Jason Shields believes the new course will showcase all that is great about Shepparton, even if he doubts he will be able to compete after his exertions at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

“I think I’ll still be floored, but the new course is looking great. It’s really exciting,” Shields said.

‘‘The lake swim will be awesome compared to Kialla.

‘‘I did my first swim in (Victoria Park) lake last week and it was fantastic. It’s a lot better than the muddy, dirty water in Kialla.

‘‘I just think the whole thing will be better for the athlete with it be being in the middle of town.’’

Shields said while he probably would not do the whole course, he wanted to at least do one leg as part of a team and said he loved the look of the bike course.

‘‘The causeway will be great. There are plenty of good, fast surfaces,’’ Shields said.

‘‘I think the only negative to all the changes is that the (Shepparton Tri) club is not running it, but on the plus side, you’ll probably have five to 10 more local athletes in it because they’re not actually working their butts off to get it all ready.’’

Event director Kelvin Maude said one of the logistical issues in planning the new course was working out a way to run the event from the lake without shutting down Wyndham St.

Sending riders through Mooroopna and out to Toolamba solved that issue, while also providing a great experience for all competitors.

‘‘I think the fantastic thing is that all legs are quite visible standing in the one location,” Maude said.

‘‘You can see the swim start and finish, the transition to the bikes and then the run all from the lake, as well as the finish.

‘‘Athletes like to get that feedback from supporters and the course will be maybe the most spectator friendly yet.’’

Challenge Australia chief executive Marcus Altmann said he was proud of the course Challenge had been able to deliver after taking the event over following the loss of the Ironman event after last year’s event.

‘‘A big part of us taking it on was changing the course and we see the new swim and the new location as a big plus,’’ Altmann said.

‘‘We’re happy with the way registrations have gone and as a brand we’re on target, but we can still grow.’’

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