Recently crowned world paratriathlon champion Lauren Parker will lead a hot field in Sunday's Maitland Triathlon at Morpeth.
Parker will take on the swim and cycle leg of the Long Distance event - a 2000m swim, 60km ride and 15km run - with only the gravel surface stopping her from completing the whole race.
"It is a pity that Lauren can't do the whole event, as the gravel road is just not suitable for her specially designed racing chair," race organiser Paul Humphreys said.
"But it's a real honour to have her race at Morpeth, given she is fresh from Paratriathlon world champs and also has been training on the World Ironman course is Kona, Hawaii, where she hopes to race in coming years.
"We're hoping her presence will inspire many of the local and interstate able bodied athletes."
This year's field is certainly a strong one.
Manly based athlete Laurent Doyen will defend his longer distance (2000m swim, 60km ride and 15km run) title, with Olympic Distance female winner from 2018, Holly Khan of Lake Macquarie, stepping up to the longer course.
She will have her work cut out with former World Duathlon age group champion Nicky Western of Singleton and pro triathlete Krystle Hockley of Cooranbong offering stiff competition.
"It's beautiful scenery, the most classic country triathlon you'll ever find," Mr Humphreys said.
The ride will be a looped course, down Swan Street, into Edwards Street, past the common and the cricket field, and out into Duckenfield. With luck the magpies will be on best behaviour.
The swim will be in the river, starting at the boat ramp and heading east, up one side of the river and down the other.
The Maitland Triathlon has attracted 200 starters to date, although organiser Paul Humphreys is hopeful the field will grow to about 250 competitors across the three race distances.
The event, which is sponsored by Quarry Mining, includes:
* 6.45am start - Long Distance with 2000m swim, 60km ride and 15km run;
* 7.05am - Olympic Distance with 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run;
* 7.25am - Sprint Distance with 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.
There will also be a summer run starting at 8am which is a 10km looped course (4 x 2.5km) as an individual or team.
The triathlon has had a resurgence after a five-year hiatus (2012-2017) with Triathlon NSW now recognising the local Triathlon Club and community as one of the strongest in Australia.