Tourist town taken over as coast hosts two-day triathlon
BIKES, sneakers and togs will be all the rage on the coast this weekend as 160 competitors gear up to tackle the Rainbow Beach Triathlon.
Organiser Phil Hungerford said more than 500 people were in town for the event, with entrant numbers up more than 30per cent.
"We're bringing the sport to parts of Queensland that don't often see it,” Mr Hungerford said.
The event itself is unique in that it is split over two days.
Competitors must tackle a track which includes a 750m swim outside the surf club, a 20km bike ride to Inskip Point and back, and a 5km run around the town.
Doing it twice equals an Olympic-length triathlon.
"The bike ride is quite comfortable, but the run has a few hills in it,” Mr Hungerford said.
"It's something different at the beginning of the (triathlon) season.”
People haven't simply come from a kilometre or two down the road to compete, either.
Mr Hungerford said entrants had rolled in from Toowoomba, Townsville, Victoria and, in one instance, even from Canada.
And what brought the event to Rainbow Beach for the first time all those years ago?
"One of our friends was here for a few weeks and said what a great training area it was.
"He said we should put an event on,” Mr Hungerford said.
And as the organisers have embraced the town, the community has welcomed them back.
"We've got good support from the locals,” he said.
The location was also a selling point.
"People can have a nice relaxing time in a town that's quiet and unassuming.”
He also praised Gympie Regional Council and local police for their help in staging the event.
The two-day event also has events for children and first-timers, which start from 2pm today.
The first leg of the main race fires off at 3.30pm and resumes at 7.30am tomorrow.
Distances are reduced for competitors aged younger than 18years.