Big numbers will compete in Sunday morning event

TRI TIME: The Byron Bay triathlon will be held for the 25th time on Sunday.
TRI TIME: The Byron Bay triathlon will be held for the 25th time on Sunday.

ABOUT 1500 competitors are expected to be part of the 25th Byron Bay triathlon this weekend.

There will be tempta, sprint and olympic distances with 100 juniors registered, many of will be competing in their first triathlon.

Traditionally an iconic Saturday afternoon event, the triathlon was this year moved to early Sunday morning in response to the increased day-time traffic since COVID-19, and to reduce the impact on local residents and businesses.

Since the pandemic began twelve months ago the visiting tourist levels have reached similar levels to the peak Christmas/Summer holiday period, both for weekends and many weekdays.

This trend has continued and is forecast to now directly impact the Byron Tri.

"We know that the Sunday morning event will encourage athletes to bring the family and stay in town for the weekend, while ensuring the legacy of this long standing event", race director Mike Crawley said.

"Byron Shire Council and the local Byron Bay Police have been working with us looking to overcome this traffic related problem caused by the increased number of vehicles in Byron Bay.

"This biggest problem is when we close the coastal road network for the cycle course from the Surf Club south to Suffolk Park locking in tourists, visitors and locals at lunch time.

"Council was willing to approve this year's lunch time race but made us aware that if the community and visitor backlash was significant it would be the last year of a triathlon in Byron Bay.

"It has also been made abundantly clear that we should expect considerable community and visitor backlash for a Saturday afternoon event.

"I must acknowledge the commitment of the Byron Shire Council staff and the Northern Rivers Highway Policing Unit and the local Byron Police in helping us every step of the way to continue this event's legacy well into the future.

"Collectively we hope this change is received positively by the residents and local businesses; as we cannot confirm a 26th triathlon until after this year's trial date change."

Event organisers announced Brad 'The Croc' Beven as the official event ambassador for this year.

His resume includes four International Triathlon Union World Championship wins over his many years in the sport which ranked him as World Number One for four years.

Additionally, his contribution to Triathlon has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal and a place in the esteemed ITU World Hall of Fame.

"I am excited to be part of the Byron Bay Triathlon for its 25th year," Bevan said.

"The Byron Bay Tri has been a much loved event on the triathlon calendar for some time now, a great end of season get together for many triathlon families."