While the Splash and Dash Festival in Wollongong this weekend will feature elite triathletes like North Wollongong’s Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack, people of all ages are being encouraged to take part in a show of summer fitness and fun.
And festival director Rob Battocchio said it’s not too late to enter.
Allen and Slack are partners and reigning Xterra ironman and ironwomen series champions.
Allen is taking a third place in the Huskisson triathlon last weekend into the Splash and Dash.
‘‘People like Jacqui and Ben are going to do both the aquathon and the fun run but the average person can just take a walk,’’ Battocchio said.
‘‘There is something for everyone. We will be supporting Ovarian Cancer Australia.’’
Both Allen and Slack are delighted to be able to participate in the festival before heading to the Philippines next week for the start of the 2013 Pro Xterra triathlon series.
‘‘I finished third at Husky last week,’’ Allen said yesterday.
‘‘I put in a good performance there and was able to capitalise on all the hard work I’ve put over the past couple of months.
‘‘We’re looking forward to the Splash and Dash Festival.
‘‘Rob puts on a really good event, coming from the Australia Day Aquathon, which is phenomenal and it’s growing and growing every year. For Jacqui and I to participate this weekend is a really good hit-out. In saying that, it’s a great hit-out for people in general, to get out there and take part in what Wollongong has to offer.
‘‘It’s all about getting out there, having fun, no matter what the weather [is]. I’m sure everyone’s going to have a great time.
‘‘The atmosphere at all the events here in Wollongong is phenomenal. That’s why Jacqui and I try and participate as much as we can, get the local Wollongong support.
‘‘And I just like to showcase my skills in my home town in front of my family and friends.’’
Among the other elite sportsmen taking part in the festival will be Ireland triathlete Bryan Keane and Wollongong runner Russell Dessaix-Chin.
The Splash and Dash Festival takes place over two days – today and tomorrow – and incorporates seven events.
It includes two summer runs, three swims and two aquathons.
The 2.5-kilometre run is ideal for children under 14, as are the 350-metre participation harbour swim and the mini swim-run aquathon.
‘‘Let’s have fun and get fit,’’ said Battocchio.
Late entries will be accepted on both days at Wollongong City Surf Club from 6.30am to 9.45am.
All information is on www.aquathon.com.au.