THE Warrnambool Tri Club (WTC) season started off in familiar fashion — with a Kris McCartney triumph.
The Warrnambool triathlete took the honours in a five-leg duathlon which kicked off the season at Albert Park on Saturday.
He finished the event — which included three 1.5-kilometre run legs and two 6.6-kilometre rides — in 42 minutes and one second.
Mount Gambier triathlete Travis Hickman was second in 42.11 while Hamilton teenager Matt Champness was a creditable third in 46.51.
Natasha Cross was the first female, placing 14th overall in 54.47. She led home Alison Kenna, 57.28, and Katrina Lamb, 1.01.16.
WTC president Claire Farrer said 37 people contested the duathlon, a figure which augured well for the rest of the season.
Farrer said the move to a five-leg event — run, ride, run, ride, run — was popular among competitors.
“What we decided to do this year was to shorten the distances a little bit but add those extra two legs to try something different,” she said.
“It was pretty well received. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was fairly gusty on the bike, it wasn’t perfect conditions.
“But it’s a good course around Albert Park and it’s nice and safe as well.”
Farrer said the club was confident of a bumper season.
“We’re certainly looking to increase our membership numbers this year. It seems to be a growing sport at the moment,” she said. “There seems to be a lot of people and from all different types of backgrounds — football, netball and a lot of other sports.
“All of a sudden they’ll start running and say I’ll try some cycling and then triathlon is the next progression.”
Farrer said the children’s duathlon was also a hit. The club ran races for four different age groups.
“They all had a bit of a dip yesterday. They love it, the kids, they’re really enthusiastic.”
The WTC season continues with the Killarney Triathlon on November 2 and 3. About 12 club members are also training for the Shepparton Half-Ironman, on November 17.