Australia has gone from having a small handful of long course triathlon in recent times to now having more than enough to fill the seasons calendar following the announcement today by USM Events of the URBAN 2.80.20 triathlon to be held in Geelong in February 2012. The organisers also announced a prize pool of $12,000 which will attract a solid field of local pros. Regional cities are benefiting from these new events and maybe one day we could hope for the sort of community support that triathlon events receive in European cities.
However there is a catch. In what could be considered a failure to communicate or at least a
failure on the part of Triathlon Victoria/Triathlon Australia to look after the triathletes in the South of Australia Victoria
now has two long course triathlons on the same weekend. Falls Creek run by SuperSprint is being staged on Saturday 11 February 2012. 24 hours later, if you are quick and don’t mind a drive, you will be able to race another triathlon with Geelong hosting the new URBAN 2.80.20 long course triathlon. A week later there is another long course triathlon in the south of New South Wales.
The $12,000 prize money up for grabs at Geelong will certainly sway the pros.
It will be interesting to see if any of the pros choose Geelong and Falls Creek over the Huskisson Long Course triathlon run by Elite Energy. These two long course triathlons are a week apart and should both be on the calendar for Australian pros around at the time. In fact this may even get a few more fired up with the possibility of peaking for two races instead of one. Let’s face it if Aaron Farlow can race the Alpe D’Huez triathlon and back up four days later to win Ironman UK then these two should be easy bookends for a relaxed week for our top pros.
The great thing about these new long distance triathlons, including the new Ultimate Triathlons being run in NSW by Elite Energy and Challenge Cairns full and half, is that they will go a long way towards promoting the sport in Australia which is good for the sport.
The URBAN 2.80.20 will cater to the needs of the VIC, SA, TAS markets for the general age group population while the Jervis Bay Multisport Festival is an institution on the NSW calendar.
USM Events and the City of Greater Geelong have announced the URBAN Hotel Group as the naming rights partner for the inaugural URBAN 2.80.20 for the next three years.
The URBAN 2.80.20 will offer $12,000 prize money and will be Australia’s richest long course triathlon event. The 2km swim, 80km cycle and 20km triathlon takes place on Sunday 12 February, 2012 and will be part of the Geelong Multi Sport Festival.
To enter or further festival information visit www.geelongmultisport.com.au
The addition of a long course triathlon to the Geelong Multi Sport Festival has struck a positive chord with competitors and sponsors with entries well ahead of initial predictions.
Group General Manager of erdigroup, owning company of URBAN Hotel Group, Ricky Jeffs, said this event represented a unique opportunity for the Four Points by Sheraton hotel which is owned by Erdigroup.
â€œWe are excited to be a strategic partner with USM Events in the launch of the inaugural URBAN 2.80.20. This classic distance race has a long history in Geelong and we look forward to building this event into a major race on the Australian triathlon calendar. Having this race finish right outside our Four Points by Sheraton hotel will allow us to provide all festival participants with excellent facilities,â€ Mr Jeffs said.
USM Events CEO, Geoff Meyer welcomed the appointment of URBAN Hotel Group as the naming rights sponsor of this new event.
â€œWe look forward to working closely with the URBAN Hotel Group to establish this new event onto the calendar and creating a long course race of world class standard in Geelong.
â€œThe URBAN Hotel Group is an outstanding supporter of events in Geelong. They were the major accommodation partner of the UCI Road World Championships and are a key sponsor in this year’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour,â€ said Mr Meyer.
The Four Points by Sheraton will be used to accommodate event officials, elite athletes, media centre and the Festival’s VIP area. The hotel’s CafÃ© facilities, adjacent to the finish line, will be a favourite meeting spot for competitors and visitors.
The first to sign on for the inaugural URBAN 20.80.20 was Victoria’s Leon Griffin, who showed a return to good form in winning the Challenge Cairns Half on June 5th.
â€œIt’s great news to have another long course option down here and I’m jumping out my skin to be able to race at home.
â€œI’ve got a great relationship with URBAN Hotel Group and USM Events and I’m really excited to support this event and help it prosper.
â€œWe’ve had a distinct lack of long course events down here and I’ve missed not being able to race at home during summer. We like to stake our claim as â€˜kings’ of the distance, so having the long course return to its rightful place in Geelong is fantastic,â€ said Griffin.
The URBAN 2.80.20 is a welcomed addition to the Geelong Multisport Festival to be staged on February 10-12, 2012. The three-day multisport festival brings together some of the world’s best elite athletes and competitive age group triathletes while also catering for sporting enthusiasts, active life stylists and a host of community based events accessible to everyone.
The festival is a holistic approach to providing a mix of events, activities, free shows and demonstrations to a wide ranging demographic and importantly engaging the local community.
Triathletes are spoilt for choice with three distances offered for individuals or those keen to tackle it as a relay team with their mates. The other option, a mini triathlon targeted towards those new to the sport or weekend warriors looking for a challenge, and the Superkidz Tri aimed at participation and fun.
The festival also provides a 1000m swim, 5km and 10km fun run, skateboard and scooter clinics, youth activities, and a sport and lifestyle expo.
To enter or further festival information visit www.geelongmultisport.com.au.
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