I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in.
When I was younger, triathlons used to have a reputation for being a sporting event that only a few people were strong enough to complete. We'd see the Nutri-Grain IronMan ads on the television and marvel at the incredible fitness involved in being able to swim, cycle and run long and strenuous courses, often in sweltering heat. It wasn't as if they made it look easy either- you could tell when some of the triathletes were struggling, and you really felt for them as they tried to push past the pain barrier and jam their running shoes onto wet feet for the last few stages of their event.
Since then, the sport has developed into a much more manageable activity for a wide range of ages and abilities. It is no longer a sport where the physical requirements involve washboard abs and tightly toned and tanned limbs (although that does help). There are plenty of kids' triathlons around to introduce a younger age set to the sport, and annual events such as the Geelong Multi Sport Festival have been introduced to encourage people of all abilities to have a go.
Advertisements all around Geelong are encouraging locals to participate in the event
Now in its third year, the Geelong Multi Sport Festival aims to deliver a fun and encouraging three days of sport and activities around the Geelong region, from February 8-10. All of the events are tailored to suit specific abilities, and competitors come from all around the country to participate. Sponsored by businesses from the local Geelong community, this annual event is the perfect introduction to a fitter lifestyle. With fun runs/walks, swims, triathlons and even a golfing event, there will be something to keep most people interested, and, as a further enticement, there are cash prizes for the winners of each event.
The Speed Golf event will be held at the East Geelong Golf Course
Besides the triathlon-themed individual and corporate events, there are also other activities on the Festival timetable, which means that everyone has the chance to participate. The Geelong Independent Superkidz Triathlon has been created especially for children aged seven to thirteen years, and features a short and achievable course. This event is based on participation and fun (rather than finishing times) and every participant gets a singlet, medallion, and goody bag for having a go. Similarly, there is a triathlon event specifically tailored for people with special needs- the Carter Group Special Triathlon features an achievable course, and participants are allowed to have a buddy complete the course with them if they so choose. Participants also get a finisher's medallion, t-shirt and goody bag, and there will be random prizes and awards for a few lucky people.
Picturesque Eastern Beach will be the site of most of the events, including the triathlons
For those interested in a less strenuous activity than competing in triathlons, there will be a Family Cycle Treasure Hunt held on the Friday. In this fun activity, families are encouraged to cycle around the Geelong waterfront and foreshore, following clues and collecting the answers to questions about Geelong's history and waterfront attractions, as well as about bike safety. There will be random prizes and awards given to participants of this activity, so everybody has the chance to win. Throughout the three days there will also be family fun and entertainment, as well as a sport and lifestyle expo, giving participants and their supporters the opportunity to wind down and relax.
Some events- such as the Fun Run and Family Cycle Treasure Hunt- begin here. Family entertainment and presentations will also be held at Steampacket Gardens
Even if you don't consider yourself to be much of an athlete, it can't hurt to register yourself to participate in the Geelong Multi Sport Festival. Not only will you be able to experience a different sport in a safe and encouraging environment, but you're very likely to have a fantastic time while doing it.