LONDON Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham will take a step into the wild side of triathlons at Creswick later this month.
Densham will contest the Victorian Cross Triathlon Championships, which will be run in conjunction with the Dirt Fest Championships near the Creswick Forest Resort on March 23-24.
She knows exactly what she will have to contend with too, having already had a glimpse of the course.
“I’m looking forward to racing over the course,” Densham said.
The state title on the Saturday is a Triathlon Australia-sanctioned event, comprising a 500-metre swim, a 23-kilometre cross country mountain bike ride, and 8km trail run.
Organised by In2Adventure in conjunction with the Novotel Forest Resort, this will be Densham’s first race for the year.
Densham, 27, hit the big time as the 2006 world under-23 triathlon champion in Switzerland.
She competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics before taking her career to a new high last year.
As well as her podium finish in the London Olympic Games, Denham won the Sydney leg of the world championship series and finished second in San Diego.
She also took out the Mooloolaba World Cup.
Densham, who is a strong mountain bike rider and no stranger to cross country triathlon, is using Creswick as the first step towards the world championships in London in September.
In the meantime she will compete in the ITU world championships series.
The accompanying Dirt Fest Championships at Creswick will have activities for competitors of all ages – 4km and 8km fun runs, a “mud rat” dirt bike race for children, short and teaser triathlon courses, and children’s duathlon.
A special feature will be the Victorian “Dirt Master” and “Dirt Mistress” Championships.
One male and one female competitor will take home the title as Victorian Dirt Master or Dirt Mistress Champion after being tested over long course events over the two days.
Ballarat Regional Tourism chief executive officer George Sossi said the event was another example of Ballarat’s emerging reputation as regional Victoria’s sporting event hub.
“The event dovetails nicely into BRT’s long-term sporting event strategy for Ballarat and our surrounding region.