First time and regular Aquathoners are being encouraged to get their entries in now for the MMJAustralia Day Aquathon and Warrigal Walk on January 26.
Organiser Rob Battocchio said 2018 is the 19th edition of the annual community event for all ages.
“Come and Try-Aqua. We call it the people’s event for the Illawarra. We are encouraging people whether they want to walk as part of the community walk or take on the swim and or run.”
Mr Battocchio said there were two weeks to go which means there is still time to sign up to come and try the Aquathon.
“There are distances for kids, novices, short course and long course as well as the community walk. The event does support local charities and it is about Wollongong. It is really about embracing the community spirit on Australia Day and harnessing that.”
People can also tag team so one competitor swims and the other runs.
Among the participants at Wollongong Harbour this year is Bill Lovegrove, 73, and three generations of his family.
Mr Lovegrove, a former UOW professor and now head of the Nan Tien Institute, has always been into health and fitness and participated in his first Australia Day Aquathon a decade ago for that very reason.
“I just exercise all the time but this is an especially good community event. There is always a very good feel about it.”.
Last year Ben Bradley represented the next generation of the family for the first time which prompted some of Mr Lovegrove’s grandchildren to join him. They had so much fun this year nine members of the Lovegrove family are taking part supported by a cheer squad of relatives among the thousands of people lining the foreshore.
Mr Bradley said Mr Lovegrove encouraged him to do it for several years. Then after doing taking part in 2017 it did not take too much convincing for him to line up again. “As a parent you want your kids to be fit and healthy. I thought I was letting myself go and not being a really good example. Bill kept badgering me and I always came up with some sort of reason why I couldn’t do it”. But when he did agree the idea sparked the interest of a third generation of the Lovegrove family.