RECORD FIELD: Star triathlete Emma Jackson takes on water during Saturday’s race on Hamilton Island.
RECORD FIELD: Star triathlete Emma Jackson takes on water during Saturday’s race on Hamilton Island.

Atmosphere the key to Hamo Tri

THE Fujifilm Hamilton Island Triathlon is now more than just a mere race, it's a rounded event complete with atmosphere and hype.

Nearly 400 athletes took part in the triathlon on Saturday morning, making it the biggest field in Hamilton Island's history.

But it wasn't just the swim, ride and run that made the event tick, as the event's side dishes complemented the main course.

"We've tried to expand year on year and now we've reached the tipping point," organiser Steve Jackson said.

"We can't just have an hour and 10 minute race, we've got to make sure we're engrossed in different experiences, clinics, shops or trialling different products... we need to make it about the whole experience.

"It felt like a really pleasant environment."

Other than the overall growth of the event, Jackson said he was thrilled to produce a unique triathlon course that had even the best competitors fighting for air.

"We always talk about the course being engaging. You have to be able to corner, change gear, climb, defend. It's not a course you can switch off on," he said.

"Some people struggle with it because it's not flat and it suits people who can ride. This course tests traditional triathletes who have pace."

The Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim also boasted record numbers, with more than 340 swimmers hitting the waters on Sunday.

"It's great to attract people from outside the area and also within it too," Jackson said.

"It's great for everybody in the region and great to get them involved, which helps the community feel."


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