Warrnambool Triathlon Club contingent heads north for ironman event

A RECORD Warrnambool Triathlon Club (WTC) contingent will contest the Ironman Shepparton 70.3 this weekend.

More than 30 competitors and a 100-strong support crew will head north for the arduous long-course triathlon.

The event features a 1.9-kilometre swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run. It is 113km all up, or 70.3 miles.

WTC president Dean Picken said the contenders had trained for Shepparton for the second half of 2012.

“Numbers-wise we’ll have over 30 participants from the tri club, individuals and teams,” he said.

“And we’ll have over 100 supporters. That’s what we’re planning. We’re travelling as a fairly big mob.

“We’ve got a mixed bag — those that are on debut and those that are doing their second or third half-ironman.

“One of the things that is really interesting is we’ve got quite a strong female contingent going up. 

“It’s welcome. It’s a good balance that we’ve got as much female participation as male.

“Those that are starting to put their toes in the water are doing events like this.”

Picken said a handful of Warrnambool athletes, including Ben Ontronen, were chances to win their age group classes.

But he said finishing the gruelling event would be an achievement in itself and the main aim for the starters.

“I think this will be the biggest field we’ve taken up and it could be closer to 40-plus,” he said.

“Everyone will know where the Warrnambool tri club is. There will be lots of support, lots of yelling and lots of encouragement from those that are watching.

“We’ve had guys that have been in training for 23 or 24 weeks. If you want to enjoy the day, you have to put the work in.”

The swim leg at Shepparton features 1.5 laps of Kialla Lake, in Shepparton’s south.

The bike leg will see competitors complete two laps of a 45km course.

The run follows a course towards Mooroopna and back.

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