Athletes still hoping to book a flight to France are set to use next month’s Stockton Oceania Para Triathlon to qualify for the 2024 Paralympics.
With the international extravaganza taking place in Paris, from 28 August to 8 September, the Hunter event is one of the last chances for individuals to gain points for selection in the Australian Paralympic team.
And, as a result, organisers expect big numbers to converge on the City of Newcastle Island Triathlon Festival, presented by Red Energy, at Stockton from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February.
“We’re hoping the 2024 edition will continue to build on the hugely-successful 2023 event,” Paul Humphreys said.
“Last year, entries doubled following a COVID and flood-hampered 2022.
“With Stockton now the home of the Oceania Para Triathlon, this annual festival will be the culmination of a long training regime for Australia and New Zealand-based competitors.”
Leading the local charge will be Novocastrian Lauren Parker in the wheelchair category.
The current world champion para triathlete and Red Energy Ambassador is keen to claim her seventh consecutive Oceania title.
Parker has spent much of 2023 racing globally but is determined to improve on her silver medal from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
“There will also be no shortage of NSW-based triathletes heading to Stockton for the state-standard distance triathlon overall and age championships on offer,” Humphreys said.
“With a seemingly insatiable appetite for multisport events, the Hunter sports community is in for a treat on the weekend, with Friday twilight running races, Saturday’s aquathlon (swim/run) and Sunday’s standard sprint triathlon and aquabike and Oceania Para Triathlon.
“The event will be conducted from the eastern side of Griffith Park on the Stockton Foreshore, next to Stockton Ferry Wharf.
“So, it’s just a five-minute trip from Newcastle.
“All events are open to anyone who is up to the challenge.
“Although, there’s been particular interest being shown in the twilight half marathon on Friday (2 February).”
Humphreys said the City of Newcastle Island Triathlon offered a great spectacle.
“We have a harbour swim, a flat cycle and run course and a sports-mad residential community at Stockton ready to support an event in their backyard,” he added.
“After working with the Stockton Surf Life Saving Club and local groups, we feel the classic beachside township’s character and personality has been one of the main reasons it’s grown in popularity.
“We’ll also see the six Hunter-based triathlon clubs of Tomaree, Maitland, Singleton, Scone and Lake Macquarie racing near home, along with Newcastle.
“Stakeholders in the event will be stepping up to make sure that both elite and novice able bodied triathletes and visiting para triathletes are catered for.”
Some traffic changes and closures are in place in Stockton on the loop of Hunter Street, Fullerton Street, Stone Street, Mitchell Street, Clyde Street, Pitt Street and Wharf Crescent from 6.30am- 10.30am on Sunday for the cycle leg of the triathlon and para triathlon.
For more race information, go to www.hevents.com.au/islandtriathlon or contact Paul Humphreys on [email protected] or 0409 684 246.
Stockton Oceania Para Triathlon schedule
Friday 2 February
- 6pm: Stockton Sunset – 21km, 10.5km and 5km runs
Saturday 3 February
- 9am: Aquathlon – 750m swim and 5km run
Sunday 4 February – four events
- 6.30am: Olympic Triathlon
- 7.45am: Sprint Triathlon
- 8.15am: Short Course Triathlon
- 9am: Para Triathlon
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