Heres a great article from the guys at firstoffthebike.com. Coles Bay is on it, and we are heading there this weekend!!
Five iconic Australian triathlons to do before you die
While the lure of racing M-dot events can be very rewarding and memorable, there are plenty of races in Australia that will test and delight local triathletes. Here are five of our favourite iconic Australian triathlons to do before you hang up your racing wheels.
Date: April 19-21, 2013
Location: Julia Creek, QLD
This is as rural as rural gets for a triathlon. Athletes begin their day with a swim in Eastern Creek, which is rough 800-metres. After battling the current and mud in the freshwater swim, athletes jump on their bike for the longest 25-kilometre ride of their life on the Flinder’s Hwy; remember to watch out for the road trains going in the opposite direction. Then the highlight of the race, a five-kilometre run through the township of Julia Creek with big crowds in for the Dirt N Dust Festival cheering you on to the finish. The best part of this event is definitely what happens after the race. Included in the race entry are tickets to the horse races at the Turf club in the afternoon and the professional bull riding event at night. This is a seriously fun weekend away, with a brutally tough sprint triathlon thrown in. If you’re in North Queensland or looking for a unique race experience, check this event out.
Date: April 6, 2013
Distance: 1.5/60/12 or 0.5/20/4
Location: Karri Valley Resort, Pemberton, WA
This is Western Australia’s best-kept triathlon secret. The SunSmart Karri Valley Triathlon is set for its 10th edition in 2013, and is held over the retro distances of a 1.5-kilometre swim, 60-kilometre bike and 12-kilometre run. Athletes begin their day with a clean swim in the fresh waters of Lake Beedelup. Then it’s on to a very testing and undulating bike leg before finishing off the day with a picturesque run around the lake. What we really love about the Karri Valley Triathlon is the 10am race start. No ‘stupid o’clock’ wake ups required, athletes are able to wake at a reasonable hour, have breakfast, read the paper and then head on down to the race start – very civilized!
Date: February 16, 2013
Location: Coles Bay, Tasmania
Coles Bay can be found at the northern edge of the Freycinet National Park, which is approximately 218-kilometres north east of Hobart and 202-kilometres south east of Launceston. Formerly held over 2/80/18 distance, the race has been upgraded to a Half Ironman (1.9/90/21.1) in 2013. We’re big fans of the Coles Bay Half because it’s a Saturday race, which means athletes can enjoy themselves post-race and still make it home safely for dinner with the family on Sunday night. Coles Bay Half features a two-lap swim in the clear waters of Great Oyster Bay, two-lap bike with a couple of short, sharp hills, and then finish with a four-lap run down around the Coles Bay Foreshore, with sections on the hard, flat sand of Muirs Beach.
Date: May 11-12, 2013
Location: Byron Bay, NSW
Now in its 17th year, the Byron Bay Triathlon is one of the most-iconic races in New South Wales and annually attracts more than 1,000 competitors to the festival. Byron Bay is an Olympic-distance, non-drafting event and is traditionally one of the last on the Australian calendar before winter sets in. This year, the triathlon will take place Saturday May 11. The Byron Bay course is a very honest one, beginning with a surf swim in the ocean, athletes then complete an out-and-back bike leg, which dependent on conditions is normally just short of 40ks (last year was 36 due to safety concerns), before finishing off their day with an enjoyable four-lap, 10-kilometre run around town. What we really love about this race is it’s a Saturday race and is one few races in the world with an afternoon start time – pro wave goes off spot on midday. OK, the road surface is average and the swim can get rough, but this is a ripper location for a triathlon, and worth making a holiday out of the trip if you’re travelling from interstate.
Date: November 10, 2013
Distance: 2/80/20 or 1/40/10
Location: Barmera, South Australia
One of the most underrated and hard races for triathletes to test themselves each November. Based in Barmera, which is approximately 2.5 hours from Adelaide or 7.5 from Melbourne, if temperatures are high, Murray Man can be seriously tough. Athletes in the long course complete two one-kilometre loops in Lake Bonney, four 20-kilometre loops on the bike and four five-kilometre loops on the run. Heat and wind are the two biggest factors that make this race hard as nails. However, the ride around Lake Bonney is stunning, and the run through town is a lot of fun too. Murray Man has been designated the Triathlon Australia National Long Course Age Group Championship for 2013/14, and its early November date provides a good opportunity for those looking for a hit-out before Ironman Western Australia.