WARRNAMBOOL Tri Club president Dean Picken expects Sufferfest to become an important date on the triathlon calendar.
Picken said entrants’ positive reaction to the inaugural event was overwhelming.
More than 250 people entered Sufferfest and its break-out competition Olyfest on Sunday.
Picken praised the 107 volunteers who ensured the competition’s success.
“We have set a very high benchmark which is typical of the Warrnambool Tri Club,” he said. “I think we do things well and will have to come back bigger and better next year.”
Picken said it was important to make a good impression.
“You only have one chance,” he said.
“If it’s good everyone talks about it and if you do it badly it’s goodbye.
“These people talk with their feet.
“We really looked after athletes before, during and after the event.
“We pampered them and the community of Warrnambool looked after them.
“The thing that worked in our favour was that is was well run, very inclusive and friendly.”
Portland export Luke Bell won Sufferfest, which consisted of a two-kilometre swim, 80km cycle and 20km run centred around the Warrnambool foreshore.
“Luke Bell referred to the course as the most scenic course in the world and he has travelled the world,” Picken said.
“The overall result was it was honest and hard but beautiful at the same time.
“Everyone we spoke to said they’d be back next year and would bring more people.”
Picken said Warrnambool competitors performed well.
In Olyfest, which consisted of a 1.5-kilometre swim, 40km ride and 10km run, Rohan Creed was third overall and Lisa Worrall won her 35-44 age group.
“Young gun Tobin Varley had only just turned 16 and he finished fourth in the under 24 section in Olyfest,” Picken said. “He has a bright future ahead of him.”
Sufferfest competitors Jade Frankel and Travis Greening were 13th and 14th overall and Sandy McDonald was third in the female 45-54 age group.
“Kris McCartney coming fourth overall in his first attempt at long course was fantastic,” Picken said.
“He was in third place halfway through the run but didn’t have the legs.”