ATHLETES have smashed a series of long-standing records as part of the prestigious Albury-Wodonga sprint triathlon.
A record field of 110 starters took to the Allans Flat course set up for a 500-metre swim, 20-kilometre ride and five-kilometre run on Sunday.
Five records were set, among them international athlete Jesse Featonby’s 52 minutes and 36 seconds, which took almost two minutes off the previous best set in 2005 by Tim Burkill.
Featonby was chased home by outstanding junior prospect Caleb Noble.
The 18-year-old’s time was more than 30 seconds better than the club’s previous best for the 17 to 19 age group, a record which stood since 2000.
Browns Plains’ Kirsty Deacon, another of the rising stars of the sport, also broke her own 14 to 16 age group record for the distance in being the first woman home in the event.
In the 50 to 59 age group, Barry Bodsworth and Paddianne Archdale both set new marks for the sprint triathlon.
Bodsworth, who finished eighth overall, took more than a minute off the previous best set by Tony Zerbst in 2003.
Albury Wodonga Triathlon Club’s David Gill said it was a further feather in the cap of the sport on the Border.
“For the past couple of years we have had about 70 to 80 starters in this race, so to get more than 100 is outstanding,” he said.
“This year the race is also part of a wider series that takes in five different races in rural Victoria — certainly there were some competitors drawn to our event because of that.
“But the club is also growing on the back of the performance and growing reputation of some of our younger athletes.
“To have Jesse come back and compete on a regular basis is a great bonus.
“But as the results showed on Sunday there are others that are also entering the elite level — between them we have inspired a new generation of triathletes and also given a boost to those that have been around the sport for some time.”