ABOUT 300 of Australia’s fittest athletes are expected to push their bodies through endurance barriers in the inaugural Sufferfest Triathlon in Warrnambool in March.
Organisers estimate at least $200,000 will be injected into the local economy.
Aptly named to reflect gruelling challenges, the world-class program comprises two triathlons running simultaneously over Olympic distance and long-course routes.
The route includes the Lady Bay promenade, Hopkins River estuary, Hopkins Point Road and Allansford.
Warrnambool City councillors on Monday night gave their official starting nod to the event which has been organised by the council’s events and promotions branch along with Warrnambool Triathlon Club.
“The concept of Sufferfest was built around the timing and unique location that Warrnambool has to offer a new event within the triathlon industry,” city community development director Vicky Mason said.
“Sufferfest will not only appeal to local triathlon participants, but also provide a platform for athletes around Australia to gain crucial race-condition training prior to the Melbourne Ironman event.
“Interest has already been shown from triathletes across Australia who have been canvassed at other major events,” she said.
“It will create a true legacy event for Warrnambool and cement Victoria’s leadership in triathlons.”
Ms Mason said competitors would pay a $120 fee and the event was expected to become self-sufficient within two to three years.
She said community notification would start by January so residents were aware of traffic disruptions.
“We’ll also be working with police and other emergency services to make sure everyone knows what’s going on,” she said.
Cr Rob Askew said one Melbourne coach had indicated he would enter 20 competitors.
“This has potential to grow into something really big,” he said.
“The swim section will be in the Hopkins which will suit those who don’t like competing in the sea.”
The long-course category has a two-kilometre swim, 80km bike ride and 20km run, while the Olympic category has a 1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run.