If you are active and keen to do a community event but are overwhelmed by the thought of taking on anything too big then the Sparke Helmore Newcastle City Triathlon could be for you.
The beauty of triathlon events, I have found, is that you do not have to be a super athlete to take part. The 27th Sparke Helmore Newcastle City Triathlon will be on February 23 and caters to a range of ages and abilities.
If you can swim, run and cycle at a casual pace then the enticer course could be an option. It comprises a 300-metre swim, 14-kilometre cycle and 5km run. All of the events can also be done in a two or three-person relay, which is a great way to both get a taste for triathlon racing as well as be part of a team.
Triathlon is a good way to mix up a fitness program as well. Whether it be an event or for training it is a chance to work different muscles and have a change of pace.
Event director Paul Humphreys said numbers were looking strong for this year's instalment, which starts and finishes in the Queens Wharf area.
The sprint distance course is a 750m swim, 22km cycle and 5km run and the Olympic is a 1.5km swim, 37km cycle and 10km run.
"We have heaps of novices entered and teams are proving popular again," Mr Humphreys said. "Last year we had about 150 teams take part and we look like we'll beat that this year. It is a good team-building day and it's also a good event for spectators, who can see the run, swim and cycle all within 100 metres of each other."
Keep on running
For those needing a bit more time to prepare, NewRun, which this year has the support of Mine Super, is on April 5.
That gives you eight weeks to prepare for one of the distances on offer. The event started as the Newcastle Herald Hill2Harbour 10km and now also includes a 5km, 21.1km, 42.2km and a kids' 2km.
The 10km and 21.1km would have to be considered among some of the most challenging around. The former starts with a 1km ascent up Memorial Drive before a scenic descent through King Edward Park while the latter has two challenging climbs.
The marathon (42.2km) was added to the event last year and is flat. It can also be done in a three-person relay.
The first-ever Saturday program for Kick-On for Women begins Saturday at Empire Park. More than 400 women across Northern NSW have been introduced to the game of football thanks to introductory, social program Kick-On for Women which started last October.
The Saturday program will run from 7.30am until 8.15am. Cost is $50 for an eight-week program. You can find out more through www.kickonforwomen.com.au.
In case you missed it last week, a new social tennis program has launched in the region. Open Court Sessions is a flexible and commitment-free alternative to catching up with friends. You can find out more and search locations in your area through play.tennis.com.au.
Upcoming Fitness Events
Maximum Adventure Race Series Lake Macquarie, Cams Wharf, February 15: Suited to a range of fitness levels, this event involves mountain biking, trail running and kyaking in teams of two.
Coastal Ascent, Dixon Park, February 16: A trail running event that has 5km, 11km or 25km courses.
Sparke Helmore Newcastle City Triathlon, Newcastle Foreshore, February 23: For the novice to the experienced there are three courses of varying distances to choose from.
NewRun, Newcastle Foreshore, April 5: Distances on offer include 5km, 10km, 21.1km and 42.km as well as a kids' 2km.
Summer Sessions Week #11
Don't let your fitness program be derailed by the wet. There are plenty of ways to still get a sweat up without even leaving the house. Complete each set for nine minutes with a one-minute rest before moving on to the next set. Add a warm-up and a cool-down.
Set 1: 20 squats with alternating single-arm shoulder press, 10 push-ups, 5 burpees or 10 step-ups. Set 2: 10 dead lifts with rows, 20 plyo lunges or stationary lunges, 30-second wall sit. Set 3: 20 mountain climbers or 20sec running on the spot, 20 ab rotation with weight, 20sec hover or opposing arm and leg extension.
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Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three.