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Kayakers leaving to Dunk

Mission complete.

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.

Dunk Island paddleReturning 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.

Mountain bikers leave transitionThe 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.

Beach running at MissionTownsville’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.

Jimmy & Michael_WEB“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.”

Mission Beach rideCassowary 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.”

Joel Savage running up the beachNext year mountain bike riders can look forward to the addition of some single track should the proposed Mission Beach mountain bike skills park secure state government funding. Fingers crossed!



Michael Richardson & Laura DunstanLong course male

  1. Jimmy Hilton, 35 – 3:59:59 (Mossman)
  2. Michael Richardson, 31 – 4:04:37 (Townsville)
  3. Laurie Green, 50 – 4:25:37 (Port Douglas)

Long course female

  1. Julie Sager, 43 (Cairns) + Sarah Warren, 34 (Cairns) – tie result on 5:15:33
  2. Laura Dunstan, 32 – 5:41:10 (Townsville)

Short course male

  1. Jason Edwards, 44 – 2:35:38 (Cairns) – later disqualified due to course error
  2. Jake Taylor, 37 – 2:54:29 (Mackay)
  3. David Nahrung, 44 – 2:59:10 (Townsville)

Short course female

  1. Julie Lightfoot, 41 – 3:02:58 (Mission Beach)
  2. Julie Ferick, 41 – 3:35:38 (Cairns)
  3. Cathy White, 41 – 3:36:55 (Mission Beach)

Full results here.

Dunk Island2_WEB

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Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz is combining two of her great loves — writing and getting active. Previously working as a journalist, sub-editor, and editor in newspapers and magazines; she is editor and co-founder of TheGo Townsville. She stays active with the staples of road cycling and yoga, but has recently discovered triathlon. And become addicted (apart from the swimming part). She also has a Cert III in Fitness and is passionate about improving mental health through physical activity.

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