Paddlers, mountain bikers and trail runners came from as far as Brisbane to take part in On a Mission Adventure race this weekend – one of the few events on the planet where competitors travel through two World Heritage-Listed areas.
With calm conditions it was a fast paddle leg from South Mission Beach to Dunk Island (4km to the island for the short course and about 8km for the long course). From there paddlers could either run or send their team runner to tackle the challenging 7km/11km climb up and over Mt Kootaloo.
Returning to South Mission (battling the big outgoing tide and increasing winds), from there it was a mountain bike (23km short and 27km long) along the beach to Castaways, then a road climb past Fernby Gap and a sharp left turn onto the picturesque Musgravia rainforest track. The biking leg wasn’t technically difficult and could be completed on a hybrid, but a few of the hills had a nice bite.
The last leg for the short course was a 4km beach run south, while long coursers kept going onto the new boardwalk on the Kennedy Walking Track for a total of 10km – a welcome addition compared to past years where it was a straight beach run north in the heat.
Townsville’s Michael Richardson, 31, placed second in the men’s Long Course event and says he’s “stoked” with the result. Discovering multisport adventure racing two years ago at Magnetic Island Adventurethon, Michael is no stranger to the podium claiming two second and a third place in the Adventurethon Enduro races.
“Since finding multisport in Townsville a couple of years ago, I met a guy called Sam Stedman and have been building up my toys ever since – most weekends I’m paddling to an island and running around it and it’s always fun,” Michael says, a skipper and engineer with Sealink ferries. “The paddle and run on Dunk [Island] was beautiful – I loved going through the forest and the climb wasn’t a problem. Jimmy [Hilton, the winner] and I rode most of the mountain bike section together, but he’s a really good runner so he took off and did his thing [in the last leg]. Everything held up for me and I felt good – a little sore today, but nothing a massage won’t fix! I’ll definitely be back next year.”
Cassowary Coast Multisport Club (CCMC) president Jeff Coward was pleased with the turnout, which doubled from about 50 registrations at the start of the week to 110 by the Friday night deadline.
“We’ve had some really good feedback and I think the course changes went well,” Jeff says. “The great thing about this event is we have some really fit athletes, but then people just getting into multisport can really challenge themselves on the recreational course and go as hard as they like…. we had a few first-timers this year.”
- Jimmy Hilton, 35 – 3:59:59 (Mossman)
- Michael Richardson, 31 – 4:04:37 (Townsville)
- Laurie Green, 50 – 4:25:37 (Port Douglas)
Long course female
- Julie Sager, 43 (Cairns) + Sarah Warren, 34 (Cairns) – tie result on 5:15:33
- Laura Dunstan, 32 – 5:41:10 (Townsville)
Short course male
- Jason Edwards, 44 – 2:35:38 (Cairns) – later disqualified due to course error
- Jake Taylor, 37 – 2:54:29 (Mackay)
- David Nahrung, 44 – 2:59:10 (Townsville)
Short course female
- Julie Lightfoot, 41 – 3:02:58 (Mission Beach)
- Julie Ferick, 41 – 3:35:38 (Cairns)
- Cathy White, 41 – 3:36:55 (Mission Beach)