ONE of Australia’s most challenging triathlons is just around the corner and entries will close this Friday for Goondiwindi’s Hell of the West.
The Hell of the West is a highly important part of the Goondiwindi calendar and in December secured a naming rights sponsor for the 2014 event.
President of the Goondiwindi Triathlon Club Pippa Bagshaw is looking forward to the February 2 event with great anticipation across the community.
“For three straight years we have had above-average rainfall and flooding, which forced last minute changes to the course,” she said.
“We have all our fingers crossed that athletes will once again be able to complete the traditional course in the upcoming event.
“The HOTW has a reputation as being on of the tougher events in Queensland, with a fantastic atmosphere that you can’t find in any of the larger, corporate events.”
“People come back year after year to enjoy the event, including the large amount of local participants and volunteers that keep returning every year.”
The triathlon is “not for the faint-hearted” and involves a two-kilometre swim, 80-kilometre bike ride before finishing with a 20-kilometre run in the searing heat of the Goondiwindi summer.
The swim consists of one kilometre upstream before turning around and swimming back downstream in the Macintyre River.
The cycle leg extends 40 kilometres west (and return) on the Barwon Highway towards St George with short sections requiring special care and attention, not to mention the occasional cross-wind.
The run leg loops its way out of town with aid stations placed at every kilometre junction with over $10,000 of prize money up for grabs amongst the different sections.
“We’ve had very strong interest so far, but we need to cut the nominations off at 650 and we’ve got over 600 nominated so far. We’ve still got some places left but time is running out,” Bagshaw said.