One of the biggest events on the local sporting calendar, Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney, is back in Penrith this Sunday.
Featuring the best triathletes from Australia and around the world, Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney will take place at various locations across Penrith.
Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney’s fast and scenic course uses the iconic Penrith Lakes at the International Regatta Centre for the swim and offers athletes a bike course that provides amazing views of the Blue Mountains.
The super quick, flat, picturesque run course, which debuted in 2016, takes in the Nepean River along the Great River Walk, before runners return to the Regatta Centre to celebrate with family and friends.
One competitor no stranger to the course is local racer Sam Appleton.
This is Appleton’s hometown event and he is keen to put his local advantage to good use when he takes on Ironman New Zealand champion Terenzo Bozzone, former Ironman 70.3 world champion Tim Reed and Ironman champion Tim van Berkel.
“I grew up in the Blue Mountains, about 20 minutes from Penrith, but spent a lot of my time cutting my teeth with the lads out of Penrith Panthers Tri Club, so it definitely feels like a home race to me,” Appleton said.
“I’ve raced at the Regatta Centre more times than I’ve had hot dinners. I know the course well as growing up in the Blue Mountains, I used to train on these roads on a daily basis.”
One of the most consistent performers on the global Ironman 70.3 circuit, Appleton kicked off the year with a win at Ironman 70.3 Geelong and he can think of nothing better than book ending 2018 by picking up the 70.3 title this Sunday, where his triathlon career started.
“The start list looks great, with a lot of Aussie talent assembled and with Terenzo Bozzone returning to racing,” Appleton said.
“I’ve raced everyone on the start list quite a few times, and particularly raced the likes of Tim Reed, Tim van Berkel and Craig Alexander a lot.
“It is kind of fun because we are all good friends off the course, but love nothing more than to beat each other out there. It is good for bragging rights.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.