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Demand is expected to be high tomorrow (Friday) when entries for the 3:5:3 Solo and 3:5:3 Teams races at the Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final go live and former Olympic gold medallist Hamish Carter aims to beat the rush and be amongst the first to enter in a race that for him is all about fun and nothing more.
The races have been billed as ‘curtain raisers’ to the Grand Final in the ITU World Triathlon Championship events which take place on the Saturday and Sunday, with the 3:5:3 Solo preceding the elite women on the Saturday and the 3:5:3 Teams race before the elite men on the Sunday.
Both events are open to anyone over the age of 13, regardless of ability, giving triathletes of all backgrounds from all around the world the chance to race on the same course as the best in the world.
Added incentive is the chance to line up on the same start line as triathlon royalty with Athens gold medallist Hamish Carter confirming his entry in the ‘fun’ event.
“I raced in the standard distance event at last year’s World Cup race and got such a buzz out of racing in front of huge crowds. But the reality is like many people with a family and a busy job I can’t afford the time to train so I can race comfortably over that distance.
“The 3:5:3 will be ideal though, I can be a part of the event without stressing myself too much physically and be out there amongst the triathlon community in what is shaping as a huge week not only for the sport but for the city of Auckland as we are showcased to the watching world.
“I won’t be ‘Hamish Carter, gold medallist’, I will just be another starter out to enjoy the camaraderie that only triathlon can bring. It is one of the special aspects in our sport, that people of all backgrounds and all abilities can share the same race course and the same start line. I’ll be chatting away to people around me, offering some encouragement and enjoying the event at a leisurely pace, I can’t wait.”
Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final CEO Dave Beeche says there will be some fun to be had for everyone who takes part.
“This is a chance for the weekend warrior, the first time triathletes and yet also those who take the sport seriously to be a part of this amazing week of triathlon. The emphasis in these two races is fun, if you want to race the clock and aim for the podium, great. But equally we will be catering for those whose aim is simply to take part and make the finish line with a smile on their face.
“The beauty of course is participants will be swimming, cycling and running on some of the same course as the Andrea Hewitt’s, Helen Jenkins, Bevan Docherty’s and Brownlee’s of this world, in and around the waterfront of Auckland City. So maybe everyone can have their moment to themselves and dream they are racing alongside the best in the world – and of course you never know, you might look across and see Hamish Carter jogging alongside you.”
Timing of the events is such that participants will have plenty of time to enjoy their event, freshen up and get something to eat and drink at the venue before settling in to watch the best in the world chase world championship titles.
The format is a short and sharp '3:5:3' distance, a 300m swim, 5km bike and a 3km run, with racing as fast or friendly as you want to make it. You can either race Solo and claim all the glory for yourself, or race with your mates (where each team member completes a 300m swim, 5km cycle and 3km run then tags the next team-mate) in a 'see who can do the best time' tag-team format.
And for those teams looking for the extra edge, Team Gold Packages are also available, including your own elite triathlete as a coach such as Cameron Brown or Jo Lawn!
Beeche has no doubt that the addition of these ‘participation’ races will prove hugely popular.
“The 2012 Triathlon World Champs are going to be the biggest 3 days of Triathlon racing New Zealand has ever seen, and the buzz you'll get from racing through downtown Auckland in front of huge local crowds makes this 'bucket-list' event something to experience first-hand, not just from the sidelines! All you’ll need is a bike and some runners and maybe a few friends to come along for moral support or to also take up the challenge and enter in the Teams Tri.”
Entry is open to anyone over the age of 13 but spots are limited, so click here for more info on the 3:5:3 Solo Tri and 3:5:3 Teams Tri
For more information on the event, visit http://auckland.triathlon.org/