With record entries and two world qualifying events the Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival was declared a great success by the organizing committee, officials and athletes.
The festival attracted more than 1000 competitors across the weekend with many of them from interstate and a sprinkle of overseas athletes.
Many of the athletes tackled the unique cross border triathlon course for the first time and promised to be back again next year.
Despite the some windy conditions late in the afternoon the triathlon events proceeded on the Saturday afternoon from the Mulwala Waterski Club. The swim component of the triathlon was held in the protected waters in front of the club’s holiday park, the bike leg reached 10km out on Spring Drive while the run course crossed the bridge and meandered along the Yarrawonga foreshore.
The Sunday fun runs resumed their normal format on Sunday morning on the Yarrawonga Foreshore in more favourable conditions.
The Sunday fun runs also featured a corporate challenge raising funds for the local hospital as part of the Yarrawonga Health’s new Helping Hands initiative.
New organising committee, the local Sacred Heart’s Splash n Dash team, were praised by Triathlon Victoria General Manager Grant Cosgriff.
“The event would not be possible without the leadership of the Yarrawonga Mulwala Splash & Dash committee who again showed this year they can run a successful event.”
Mr Cosgriff said competitors were again impressed with the course and the ski club location for the event village.
One such competitor was Peter Smith from Adelaide who has competed in more than 700 triathlons all over the world.
“I was unsure where Yarrawonga Mulwala was but when I arrived I was pleasantly surprised,” Peter said.
“In my opinion this event is one of the best events I have competed in. I have been all over the world participating in events and this is up there with the best.
“It takes three things to make a great event. Great organization, a great course and a great venue and this event has it all,” he said.
No-one was happier with the weekend than Japanese competitor Nuru Sami who won the ITU Sprint Draft Legal World Qualifier in an impressive 56 minutes with a 9 minute and 30 second 750m swim, a 34 minute 20km bike ride and s 19.30 minute 10km run. Melbournian Jo Ritsun won the women’s sprint in a sizzling 1 hour and 7 minutes.
In the Olympic (standard) distance it was Mitchell Kibby from Mentone who won in 1 hour and 51 minutes with a 19,13 1,500m swim, a 57 minute 40km bike ride and a 33 minute 10km run. Renee Kiley won the women’s in 2 hours and 16 minutes.
Committee member Jared Loughnan said the event will attract more than 2,000 people including athletes, support crews and volunteers from all over Australia injecting more than $2 million into the local economy.
“Our partnership with Triathlon Victoria has seen the event become more sustainable, attractive and rewarding for competitors, local businesses, residents and sponsors,” he said.
“With the support of Helen and Noel Wright and Yarrawonga Mulwala Tourism and the Mulwala Water Ski Club we have been able to make it more of a community festival and retain the Sunday fun runs from our original Splash and Dash event.
“To stage two world qualifying events in second year is simply remarkable and our main organising committee consisting of Lynda White, Tim Roadley, Cathrina Shaw, Andrew McPherson, Darren Forrester, Sonia Bourke, Greg Bye and Jillian Mulally were incredible. There were many others who assisted along the way also and all our volunteers were just amazing. Without this support we simply could not have run this important community event.
“On behalf of the committee I would also like to thank these volunteers, residents and businesses of Yarrawonga Mulwala for being patient with the road closures and altered traffic conditions.
Sunday Fun Run Day
On Sunday more than 350 runners took on the 10km, 5km, 3km and 1km fun run events from the Yarrawonga foreshore.
Crossing the line first in the 10km was Justin Perkins in a time of 36 minutes and 54 seconds. The fastest female in the 10km was Stacey Barrot with a time of 37 minutes and 26 seconds.
In the 5km run Jasper Danielson was first male over the line in a sizzling 18 minutes and 33 seconds with Lucinda Bourke taking out the fastest female in 20 minutes and 51 seconds.
There were five businesses who took on the Corporate Challenge to help raise funds for Yarrawonga Health’s Helping Hands initiative. Helping Hands was launched this year to assist Yarrawonga Health in engaging with the local community to enhance community support for much needed replacement equipment and furnishings which are required to provide the highest quality health services for Yarrawonga/Mulwala and the surrounding communities.
By the numbers
Saturday Triathlons numbers
Standard Olympic Triathlon Distance - 290 competitors
Sprint Triathlon Distance plus SSV - 349
Mini Triathlon - 41
Saturday Total: 680
Sunday Foreshore Fun Runs
10km Fun Run - 47
5km Fun Run -133
Kids 1km and 3km Fun Runs - 170
Sunday Total 350
Weekend competitor total - 1030
Helping Hands Corporate Challenge
Terry White Chemmart
Sandra Heany Optometrist
Yarrawonga Mulwala Real Estate
Volunteers and officials required – 250
Estimated visitors to the towns associated with the event – 2,000
Estimated economic benefit - $2 million
A BIG Thanks
A big thank you to our major sponsors Yarrawonga Mulwala Tourism and the Mulwala Waterski Club and our other many valued sponsors. Thanks to all our volunteers and all Yarrawonga Mulwala residents who were affected by the altered traffic conditions. The economic benefit to the towns is extremely important and your contributions, patience and understanding is what separates us from other communities. Thank you again from the Sacred Heart Splash & Dash Committee.