Sunday, January 26, 1986: Triathlon was still a relatively new sport in Australia when the first Taree Triathlon was conducted in 1986.
This was included in the Manning River Aquatic Festival program. The race started and finished in Fotheringham Park, with triathletes negotiating a 1.3km swim followed by a 48km bike to Wingham then Tinonee and return before a 12km run from the park to Taree West and back. A field of 150 faced the starter with international triathlete Mark Pringle winning in 2 hours 11 minutes 37 seconds. Louise McKinley-Bonham was the first woman home in 2.43.12.
Organising committee chairman Garry Gates was ecstatic after the event.
“Every competitor who spoke at the presentation highly praised the organisation, the manner of the official and the traffic control,’’ he told Times representative Ken McDonald.
“I’m very proud of the committee and the organisations which got behind this inaugural event. As a result of their efforts the triathlon is only going to get bigger.’’
Triathletes Association of NSW president, Dr Bill Roney echoed these thoughts, saying the Taree event was one of the best run he’d seen in the world.