JO Pilgrim has been involved with the Port Macquarie Triathlon Club for the last 16 years and for 12 of those she has found herself in the vice-president position.
So she was thrilled to see women turn out in droves on Sunday for the club’s women’s-only triathlon.
The key to it all was a focus on fun and steering away from the Ironman Australia concept on an elite level.
“Ironman can be a bit of a daunting event,” Pilgrim said.
“So we thought we’d introduce the sport of triathlon in a more comfortable environment because once you take the men out of it, it’s really calm.”
While it was a race format, there were no times recorded or winning prizes handed out for those who finished first across the line.
The rules were relaxed which allowed competitors to compete in all three disciplines or choose which ones they wanted to complete.
“We had people racing in flippers because we know the ocean swim is the most daunting part of the triathlon,” Pilgrim said.
“Some of them didn’t do all three sections and we were fine with that because we wanted to show it’s a really friendly sport at club level.”
By the end of the day Pilgrim was confident club numbers would increase after receiving positive feedback.
“We had about 45 race and about 60 percent of them were new to the club,” she said.
Pilgrim admitted the club may not see some of those who competed on Sunday for another 12 months and “that was okay.”
“The biggest feedback we got from everyone was how welcoming everyone was; it was a good way to introduce the sport,” she said.
“Overall we’d say it was a success and we did what we wanted; a few people asked how they could join the club.”
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