The Australia Day Aquathon is set to shatter entry records with more than 2000 to gather at Wollongong Harbour for the 14th year of the event.
Children, families and seniors will join more than 10 elite athletes, including back-to-back winner and world under-23 champion Aaron Royle, for the race around the Wollongong foreshore and Blue Mile.
The event promotes fitness and fun, and includes more than $18,000 in prizes but also raises money for charity partner Anglicare.
More than $160,000 has been raised for charities in the 13 years of the event.
"In 2013, The Smile Team Australia Day Aquathon is excited to introduce the new Walk for Anglicare, a three-kilometre walk, open to all ages and abilities that will head around the harbour, all in the aim of raising vital funds for Anglicare," event director Rob Battocchio said.
"Also new in 2013 is the Illawarra Retirement Trust sponsored over-50s category. Age is just a number and we really want to encourage all ages to get out, get active and just have a good time."
This year the aquathon will have four categories - a Kids Aquafun (200-metre swim and two-kilometre run); Short Aqua (a 400-metre swim and three-kilometre run) and the Long Aqua, consisting of a 900-metre swim and seven-kilometre run, plus the three-kilometre Walk for Anglicare.
Experienced volunteers, including lifesavers and first-aid officers, will be on hand to ensure safety.
Online entries are accepted at aquathon.com.au until January 24. Entries will be accepted on the day at Wollongong Harbour, from 6am to 10amz