WHEN Anna Blackie first started contesting Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club events four seasons ago she was one of the small number of females who tested themselves over the long course distance - things have certainly changed since.
Last season the club staged its inaugural women's only triathlon - a 200 metres swim, a 16 kilometres bike ride and a two and a half kilometre run.
It not only proved a huge success on the day with over 100 competitors taking part, but led to an explosion in the number of females who went on to compete alongside the men at Wallabies club races.
"It's crazy, it would have been a few years ago that I came third in a long course race and that is because there was only three of us - now it's like that's not going to happen again," Blackie laughed.
"I can even remember when they were publishing the results that they had first, second and third for every event but the women's long course.
"Now there are just so many women it's amazing. In fact the tri after our women's only tri last year was the first time we had more females in the short course than males, it was just phenomenal.
"It's been such a great thing for our club to get more women involved, it's driven our numbers across the board and it's just a lovely vibe happening because there are so many people."
Given that success, when the Wallabies stage their season launch this Saturday there will again be a focus on female participation.
Blackie is now the official Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club women's co-ordinator and revealed that another female only event is planned for the 2019-20 season.
READ MORE: Women's only even is a huge success
While the inaugural event was run with the support of the Women for Tri program, this season it will be run in conjunction with CityFit, which has developed a training program for those wishing to take part.
It will run for eight weeks commencing on October 7 and those interested can register now. Blackie hopes it will attract even more women, and in turn their children, this season.
"That was a big thing last year, women felt good if they had trained together and felt more confident coming into the event," Blackie said.
"The event was a really big success last year, we had over 100 women participate and for many of them, it was their first ever tri and then many came back and did more that season.
"As a result we had more kids come, mums bringing their kids down, and we had women come away with us to inter-club events, so it was a great thing for our club."
Wheelers Cycles will be represented at the season launch as they will run a training session in the lead up to the season, while Sally Taggart will be a special guest speaker.
Taggart has represented Australia and won both world championship and national medals.
"She comes from Sydney and does a lot of long course triathlons, She was first at the Australian Standard Distance Triathlon Championships this year," Blackie said.
"She will be talking about triathlon generally and nutrition as that is one of her key areas as well."
Blackie will also be on hand with other female members of the Bathurst Wallabies to offer advice.
"It's so liberating for the women who get involved and we want to get even more women this season, so at the launch we are going to have a bit of a panel of Wallabies women as well," Blackie said.
"People always ask what can they wear and are a bit worried about that sort of thing, but once you are there nobody is bothered. It's just so nice to be involved and the challenge is doing all those different disciplines.
"It doesn't matter what fitness level your are, the club just really wants to encourage involvement. We always cheer the last person home, it's just a really positive, welcoming vibe."
The season launch will be on Saturday at 4pm at the Bathurst RSL Club.