A record number of Australia’s finest young triathletes will roll up to the Gold Coast for Triathlon Australia’s three-day Super Sprint Race Weekend at Runaway Bay on 13-15 December.
The event this weekend is open to athletes between the ages of 13 and 19. This comprises 13-15 (ITU Youth) athletes and 16-19 (ITU Junior) some who have already represented Australia at the ITU World Championships and have their sights set on next year’s World’s in Edmonton.
The event organisers – Triathlon Australia in conjunction with Triathlon Queensland – have been buoyed with the record 200 entries of young athletes, covering every state in Australia for the 2013 Super Sprint Race Weekend at the Sports Super Centre.
The annual Super Sprint Race Weekend will incorporate the first round of the 2014 Scody Australian Junior Triathlon Series, which will also take in rounds in Penrith (NSW), Brighton (VIC) and Devonport (TAS).
The unique three-day event will start to unfold tomorrow from Friday 13 December at 10:00 local time with a swim meet over 50, 100 and 200m and will continue through Saturday and Sunday with a six and four km bike criterium, athletic track events over 1000m and 800m, a Super Sprint Triathlon, an Ultra Sprint Triathlon and the Super Sprint Triathlon Grand Final.
Since its inception in 2006 the likes of 2012 Olympian Emma Jackson (2008) and former ITU World Junior Champion Ashleigh Gentle (2006, 2007 and 2009) and Jake Birtwhistle (2012) have graduated through the Super Sprint weekend.
The total number of 200 athletes is made up of 125 ITU Juniors (87 males & 38 females) and 75 ITU Youth (34 Males & 41 Females).
Triathlon Australia’s National Manager for Athlete Development Craig Redman admitted the record entries was a good problem to have.
“We are over the moon with the response – it’s an event that continues to grow and grow across our Junior and Youth age groups but with such a popular weekend we have been forced to drop one of our events – The Aquathlon – to fit everything in,” said Redman.
“The length of competition days for officials, volunteers, athletes and coaches is significant with 12-14 hours each day for the event organisers alone.
“In the end the decision was taken to allow for an additional race wave for the ITU Junior Men & ITU Youth Women category to allow for their increase in field size and to remove the Aquathlon event completely from the schedule.
“We will re-visit this format and program for next year’s event and look at all options to ensure we can cater for the growth and excitement the Super Sprint Race Weekend generates.”
Redman, who is a driving force behind Australia’s triathlon future, knows just how important the Scody Race Weekend is and the ensuing National Development Camp the following week.
“It’s all about learning how to execute the processes under pressure, skill development and skill acquisition,” said Redman.
“It’s how the young athletes go about the business of constructing their weekend’s activities and their ability to warm up, cool down and prepare for their races; how they look after themselves when it comes to things like nutrition and hydration.”