This Sunday the Southport Broadwater Parkland will play host to 2,500 triathletes at the Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial which also doubles as the grand final of the Gatorade Queensland Tri Series.
After seven races from October 2009 to April 2010 the series has seen 12,700 competitors take part across the summer. The Gold Coast accounts for nearly 7,000 of these competitors with three of the series events held there, two at Robina and the grand final at Southport this weekend.
Gatorade Queensland Tri Series Project Manager, Melissa Stephens said the event and its official website promotes the Gold Coast as a stunning destination and world class sporting events host.
“The Gold Coast venues are ideal and can cater for the demand as triathlon is becoming increasingly popular. The venues pose minimal disruption to the local community while the destination is an attractive weekend away for the drive market,” she said.
Following on from the success of the 2009 World Triathlon Championships in September at the re-vamped Southport Broadwater Parklands where over 6,000 national and international triathletes took part this dedicated events parkland is an outstanding venue and one of reasons this event has attracted the biggest field of the season.
Returning the sport after taking time out to concentrate on her family and raising her two children former golden girl Loretta Harrop will join the massive turnout.
Not content to race in her age group the Olympic silver medallist will join the elite ranks in this race that honours her brother Luke each year following his death in 2002 from a hit and run accident while on a training ride. Also joining her former world number one and Luke’s best friend Chris Hill will make a return to elite racing.
Neither Harrop nor Hill is making any bold predictions except to say it will be good to get out amongst it again.
The event kicks off on Saturday with athlete registration, Gatorade Tri Clinics and Expo to explore.
Racing gets underway from 6.45am with the elite men starting at 7.28am and elite women 7.29am.
Race 7 Distances:
QTS Triathlon 750m swim / 20km cycle / 5km run
NAB Enticer 300m swim / 10km cycle / 2.5km run
The Courier-Mail Kool Kids Tri 100m swim / 2km cycle / 400m run
photos Janos Schmidt