This Sunday’s 38th running of the famous Nepean Triathlon is a wide open race after several top triathletes pulled out due to Olympic qualifying commitments.
Last year’s male and female winners, Aaron Royle and Ashleigh Gentle, will not be defending their 2018 titles because they’ll be in Japan chasing important 2020 Olympic Games qualifying points.
With the champion duo a long way from Penrith this weekend, two new winners will be crowned at Australia’s oldest triathlon.
Nepean Triathlon Race Director Chris Joseph said while it’s disappointing the likes of Royle and Gentle won’t be featuring in this year’s race, he is looking forward to seeing some new faces on the podium.
“Unfortunately being an Olympic year some of the bigger hitters have had to chase some points for the Olympics at a World Cup meeting in Japan,” he said.
“We still have more than 20 male pros entered and it’s a really hot young field. Some of these youngsters are going to have a strong chance of getting their name on that trophy.
“That trophy has the who’s who of the Australian Hall of Fame on there.”
The Nepean Triathlon sees around 900 athletes gather at the Regatta Centre each October to swim 1km, cycle 30km and run 10km. It’s open to athletes 14 years and over.
This year’s Nepean Triathlon festivities will begin on Saturday with the Nepean Enticer (13 years and over), Tweens Enticer (10 to 12 years) and Kids Enticer (7 to 9 years) events.
With beautiful weather forecast this weekend, Joseph said he’s looking forward to seeing everything come together.
“We are ready to rock and roll for the 38th running of the Nepean Triathlon,” he said.
“Our venue and course is the same for the third year in a row and we expect this Saturday’s three events to be sold out.
“Numbers for our Nepean Triathlon on Sunday are steady on last year. We were just shy of 900 competitors in 2018 and we’ll go very close to that again on Sunday.”
Destination NSW and Atmosphere Health and Fitness Club are back as major sponsors, while Panthers Group are on board through their Community Grants Program.
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.