The Asics Victor Harbor Triathlon returns this weekend in its 27th iteration, and is pushing on ahead despite the added challenges of COVID-19 restrictions.
The town will be abuzz on Sunday, March 7, when hundreds of competitors prepare to test their mettle in a variety of amateur and professional events being run on the day.
The event regularly draws large crowds to Victor Harbor, providing an annual boost to the economy and despite the added challenges of COVID-19 event restrictions, organisers are still expecting about 800 competitors.
With many support crews, onlookers and family members also expected, the event will add to the festive atmosphere of the March long weekend.
Each year the event brings about 2500 people to town, leaving accommodation providers booked out across the region.
Race director Sid James said it had been a difficult year of planning and he thought many times about giving the event away.
The best part of the event for me, is seeing the kids enjoy themselvesRace director, Sid James
"COVID put a lot of pressure on me and everyone working on the event, so this year we have simplified things a bit and a number of race marshals have taken control of the race which has been great," he said.
"We now have all our 'COVIDSafe' plans in place to go ahead, but without the help of the senior race marshals it would have been hard to push forward.
"I have had a lot of support around me and without others stepping in to do the hard yards we wouldn't be looking forward to this year's race."
Sid said it was remarkable that so many people had still entered the event, given the COVID-19 situation.
"Entries have been open right up until March 3 and it would be amazing if we broke the 1000 mark," he said.
The event features triathlons of Short Course, Standard and Mini distances, as well as five and 10 kilometre fun runs and will operate on the same circuit as last year's event.
Races begin at 7am and road closures will be in place between 6am and 3pm.
Reflecting on the event, Sid said the best part was seeing the enjoyment people get out of it.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the kids enjoying themselves, it's the best part of the event for me, seeing their smiles," he said.
"The event has developed so much since its inception and if we can continue pushing and get to 30 years, I think I'll be a very happy man.
"I am very fortunate to have the support of the Fleurieu community, the City of Victor Harbor and the residents of Encounter Lakes and its surrounds.
"A lot of people have asked me what I'm going to do when I stop running the triathlon but I will continue to go ahead with the event with the support of my marshals and those who work with me to run this great event.
"I'm excited for this weekend and hope still to do at least another triathlon next year, I think 30 would be the maximum."
For more information on the Asics Victor Harbor Triathlon, an event timetable, race guides, entry forms and road closure advice visit: victorharbortriathlons.org.au