Isaac and Petra are planning an adventurous triathlon with a focus on the natural beauty of bushy Jervis Bay in NSW. It’s going to be a HOOT.


On Saturday the 1st of April, join us for the first edition of the Huskisson Olympic Offroad Triathlon – The HOOT!


Petra runs the HOOT course

Why are we creating an off road triathlon?

After a day of cycling under the hot Cuban sun, the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean were a reprieve from a steamy afternoon.

We were three weeks into a long bikepacking trip through Latin America and, having covered every topic of conversation within the realms of reality, we veered to the fanciful. One idea appeared like a hazy mirage over the water: the off road triathlon.

Swimming in the ocean = fun. Riding bikes on dirt = heaps of fun. Running… well, I wasn’t convinced, but Petra seemed to be certain that trail running, too, was fun.

Splashing back onto the rocks and remounting our trusty bicycles, we agreed then and there that we would keep our fitness up after the bikepacking trip.

The idea seemed less fanciful the more we considered it. With my background as an event organiser and Petra’s intimate knowledge of the stunning Jervis Bay area, as well as her experience in two olympic distance triathlons already, we thought we were the right people to do it.


A section of the trail run!


Jervis Bay, where Petra grew up, is a bit of a mecca for triathlon these days thanks to the wealth of postcard beaches and amicable parklands.

We decided to limit the first edition to 40 people, to make it friendly, easy and fun for ourselves as well as the rest of the athletes. I’ve never done a triathlon before, so this would be my first.

The HOOT Route

Months later, after a well-intentioned training plan that has been occasionally followed, The HOOT looms in the near future now. The first of April.

We’ve figured out the precise route, meticulously mapped to make the magic numbers: a 1.5km swim through the ocean, finishing right where you left your bike, a 40km ride mostly through the bush with a reprieve on smooth asphalt halfway through, and a 10km run along the beach, 50/50 between sand and pavement.

We’ve ridden a few bikes through the route to get a feel for what kind of setup works best, and the short story is, you don’t need a fancy bike for this, but leave the roadie at home.


You don’t need anything fancy to participate in the HOOT


You’ll be fine on any gravel bike. I rode the track on my steel singlespeed, fitted with salvaged 25mm wide tyres. While it was doable, I found I lacked confidence on the downhills and couldn’t gather much speed across the rocky sections.

A short section of soft but shallow sand slowed me right down, while Petra sailed over it on her 2.1 inch tyres. However, I did make up some time on the asphalt.

The course has diverse surfaces, so while versatility counts for more than aerodynamics – you won’t be setting a land speed record. An enduro mountain bike would be overkill but enjoyable, there’s no single track that requires suspension.

The swim seems to be the one that’s scared off most of our mates. If you have concerns, just know that it’s never particularly far from shore, the surface of the sea is nearly always as flat as a mirror, and that absolutely nobody will be going fast on this course!

Float around on your back for a bit then get back to it. The water’s lovely.


Three Delicious NSW Road Trips for Taste Chasers, photo provided by DNSW, Green Patch, Jervis Bay, snorkelling, beach

Photo thanks to DNSW

I’ve never been a particularly competitive person, but I love overcoming some kind of physical challenge in a beautiful part of the great outdoors.

With The HOOT, we’re trying to establish a new way of doing triathlons, one that is more about exploring the surrounds than queueing up for a bib, and having a good time rather than shaving off seconds.

A few of our mates are great DJs, so we’ve also lined up a bit of a party at the finish line, with sunsoaked disco and plenty of shade to flop down on.

True endurance athletes will find the afterparty at a nearby bar, if their legs can hack it. I can recommend the Huskisson Beach Resort as a place to set up camp if you’re on a budget, it’s a hop and a skip from the starting line.

If you’re up for it, here’s the link to get a ticket, there’s a few left at the time of writing. If you’re not quite ready this time around, we’ll be back on the weekend before Easter next year with another route.

What are you waiting for? Grab your tickets for Australia’s newest off-road triathlon