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October « 2011 « Aaron Farlow's Blog

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Archive for October, 2011

Changing of seasons.

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

As our calendar year and the European races draw to an end the Australian/Oceania triathlon season is just beginning.
This year as long course athletes we have more to look forward to and a reason to race in our own country thanks to a few changes from WTC (World triathlon Corperation that own and run “Ironman” branded races) and the establishment of “Challenge” races both in Australia and New Zealand.
Previously the Australian long course season has been made up of a handful of Half Ironman races and two full Ironman events in Busselton and Port Macquarie.
This year the branding of all half Ironman events has been changed to 70.3. Essentially its exactly the same race but now these races earn us points towards qualifying for Hawaii (KPR),the prizemoney has been more than doubled in most cases and there is drug testing at all events.
On the full distance side we now have three Ironman races. Melbourne being added as the regional championships with maximum points towards KPR and $100000 in prize money. Challenge Cairns will again take place next year after its successful launch earlier this year and over the ditch there is Ironman New Zealand and Challenge Wanaka.
All these races are great news, giving us plenty of races to choose from and I think will bring guys out of the woodwork that we wouldnt usually see race in Australia as financially it just didnt make sense.
Guys that normally live in Australia during summer for training then racing in either Europe or Americia now have a reason to race, sure its not going to attract alot of overseas competitors like the former Tooheys Blue or Accenture series as foreign athletes have to pay nearly 50% in tax but its going to bring back Australian athletes to race in Australia and create more interest in our sport helping it grow.
I dont agree with alot of things that WTC do and have done in such a greedy money hungry way but this is a step in the right direction.
Can we see Australia establish a series similar to what we had on the short-course side of things 10-15 years ago?
Probably not as there is many things that have to change for that to happen, but as an athlete I’m happy to see triathlon expanding and our sport becoming more popular.

Aaron.