Test of endurance coming to Crusoe

January 11, 2022 BY

Race on: Publicity officer at Bendigo Triathlon Club, Gavin Fiedler, gears up for last month’s event. Photo: JONATHON MAGRATH

LONG distance and competitive swims, followed by a ride and topped off with a run are back in town, with the Bendigo Triathlon Club hosting its first race of the 2021-22 calendar last month, and a special aquathon at Crusoe Reservoir scheduled for Friday, 28 January.

The first three of the seven-race Villawood Summer Series were cancelled, however participants were finally able to swim, cycle and run at the Peter Krenz Leisure Centre and surrounds on Sunday, 5 December.

Publicity officer at Bendigo Triathlon Club, Gavin Fiedler, said while the Eaglehawk course is quite accessible with the 50-metre indoor pool, the swimming in open water presents different challenges.

The club has previously held events on the Loddon River at Bridgewater and Lake Eppalock, and Mr Fiedler said competitors will need to make sure they’re ready to tackle Crusoe.

“You need to make sure you’re very confident about doing the distance,” he said. “And also, you really need to practice in open water.

“Crusoe is likely to have weeds, likely to have a ripple and you’ve got to be able to navigate because there’s no black line.”

An aquathon is essentially triathlon without cycling and instead competitors swim first, run second and finish with a swim.

“In open swims you can be swimming along quite merrily and look up and say, ‘gee where am I’, so you need to have a few open water swims to practice,” Mr Fiedler said.

The Bendigo Triathlon Club was founded in 1988 and Mr Fiedler said moving to the YMCA-operated Peter Krenz Leisure Centre in the early 2000s saw a boost in membership.

“The biggest issue usually is the swim,” he said.

“At Eppalock you had to be able to swim, it could get very rough, it’s the same with the rivers, once people can’t see the bottom even the best swimmers can freak out.

“It made a huge difference coming into the pool, especially at Peter Krenz because basically you can touch the bottom the whole way.

“We try to make it accessible; we try to be very helpful. We want everybody of all abilities to have a go… you’ve got to be six years old to compete, and with the kids we’d really like them to be able to swim that 50 metres.”

With a long course, short course, an enticer and a range of kids’ events, the Bendigo Triathlon Club encourages new and former competitors to test their fitness.