Going the distance

LATROBE Valley triathletes will go the Olympic distance to support victims of the recent Gippsland bushfires next month.

The club has been approved to run its fourth and final Summer Series round as a full Olympic distance event, following a strong showing at this month’s third round, with all proceeds to be donated to the community bushfire appeal fund.

Latrobe Valley Triathlon Club secretary Andrew Crozier said he hoped to attract athletes from across Victoria to rally behind the cause.

“We’re going to try and make it Gippsland wide; drag people from East and South Gippsland and hopefully Melbourne to support the bushfire appeal,” he said.

The 3 March tri will be a big step up from the series’ penultimate third round held last weekend, a sprint event comprised of a 500 metre swim, 24 kilometre bike ride and 5km run.

Crozier emerged victorious in a personal best time to maintain his series lead, with newcomer Sam Beveridge in second and Traralgon adventure racer Rob Preston third.

Narelle Harrison was the best of the women in the event, which doubled as a warm up race for the Geelong half-ironman held yesterday for many in the 50-strong field.

Crozier will now turn his attention to the Melbourne Ironman in just over one month’s time, his first foray into full-length ironman competition.

“(I have) no expectations; I just want to finish it and have a good day,” he said.

Crozier and Harrison will contest the prestigious Las Vegas 70.3 Ironman World Championships later this year.