Splashing and Dashing in Wollongong
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Splashing and Dashing in Wollongong

I really like Wollongong. I have lots of friends down that way, and I think it is a beautiful city with so much to offer. And they are certainly into their fitness. A very strong triathlon club, several surf clubs, and an active running community combined with attractive beaches and a harbour, make it an ideal place to run events.

So it was I found myself there on the weekend of 28/29 March for the Activate Events Splash’n’Dash Festival. The 2-day festival sees ocean swims of various lengths run on the Saturday, and aquathlons and fun runs going back-to-back-to-back on Sunday. A distance and event for athletes of all ages and abilities.

It was also a huge challenge to time all the various races and be involved in the registration process, due to the geographically widespread nature of the events.

To take advantage of the area’s natural beauty and features, two of the ocean swims started and finished in the Harbour, while the 2km swim left the safety of the Basin and progressed up the coast to North Beach. With limited parking and a very active population out and about on a beautiful day, it was a puzzle for me to set up two different timing points, but with the help of the organisers and some willing volunteers, I made it to North Beach in time to capture the finishers there, after seeing the shorter swims finish at the Basin.

Sunday was even more hectic, with the aquathlons starting in the Basin and finishing on Lighthouse Hill, and the fun runs starting near the Surf Club and also making their way to the Lighthouse. The other challenge I had was the fun runs starting so close to the aquathlons’ completion, and a large amount of late entries which were delivered to me at the top of the Hill, but couldn’t be entered until the aquathlons were all over.

It all got done in time, though, and apart from a few registration glitches which were sorted out later, the job went quite smoothly. It was a full-on experience though, and I slept very well on both nights – especially after my 5-hour drive home on Sunday.

Looking forward to my next visit to the Illawarra now …

Full results here.

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