Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

March 25th 2013
Magnetic Islanders of all ages in Adventurethon

Maeve, Frances and Billy made an Island team for the Adventurthon Picture this: at 7am you paddle a kayak from Picnic Bay to West Point and back, into a stiff breeze. It’s about 17kms. Then, on yer bike, it’s off to Horseshoe via the Mandalay saddle; down a steep bush bash to Swensen street; down to Horseshoe beach - the far end - then down to Horseshoe Bay road then back up the hill, down to Radical Bay and back up the hill and over the Alma and back to Picnic. About 29kms. Warmed up? Well then you just leg it from Picnic to Nelly Bay, down Mandalay then up over the National Park trail, then around to Alma Bay then back to Picnic, about 16kms. Oh, and then there’s a little jog up to Hawkings Point lookout and back to Picnic. About 2.4kms. That is called an Ultra Adventurethon and it was the big event of this weekend on Magnetic Island.

With visiting iron persons like Jarad Kohlar to fire it up the Adventurethon has, it appears, been a great success. Of course the Ultra is just the hardest event and with other, slightly less excruciating contests such as the Dirty Endurance Duathalon, Enduro Adventurethon, Taste of Adventure and the Junior Adventurethon, the chance to sweat your way to glory was open to all.

Visiting contestant Dave Whitney

One of the visiting stars, Ultra participant, Dave Whitney, from the Gold Coast, was getting back into the sport after work commitments had kept him away. He didn’t know where he was placed so far but it seemed more like the training and re-immersion in the event was his aim. Dave, who “loves it up here,” normally races between 10 and 15 time per year, described the course as “hard” but he will be back to give it a go again.

Magnetic Islanders jumped into the action right across the ages as seen in the team with sixty something Billy Murray a former, solo outrigger, over 50s world champ, his partner and Director of Nursing at the MI Clinic, Frances Quane, an Aussie champ for her age-group in triathlon and her 16 year old daughter Maeve. They weren’t sure where they’d come overall when we spoke but all had had a huge day’s fun and were still upright to tell the story.

Frances was the cyclist for the team. “There was more pushing than riding,” she said. The toughest part for her was negotiating the steep and slippery slope down from the water tank (on the Nelly to Arcadia trail) down into Horseshoe Bay (Swensen Street). “For me, as a triathlete, the off-road, mountain bike was completely different.”

Maeve,with the long legs of a distance runner, found herself running alone without other contestants in sight. “There was nothing else to focus on but the run. It was peaceful,” she said. Maeve spends plenty of “peaceful” time out training too. For events like this she will run two 10 kms sessions on one day of the week and mix it up with two other days with a 5 and a 10km session. “Then some days it’s just cycling and swimming but it changes a lot,” she said.

Billy Murray, with loads of experience in the water has been paddling as a surf lifesaver for forty years. He had nothing but praise for his team members. “Frances and Maeve were excellent to compete with,” he said, adding that as far as he was concerned Francis was a very professional. “Anyone who can get into the National Titles is a pro,” he said.

And while the contestants we spoke to were full of praise for the event Frances Quane believed that given the tropical heat there should have been more water stops along the way. Dave Whitney found himself over-heating and when Frances put ice in his pockets and on his head and down his back he was so hot he didn’t realise it was there. “I got a bit dehydrated for sure. There could have been more water stops. There were lots of guys out there struggling” he said.

Maeve was unused to the sweet hydration fluids taken prior to the event and thinks the event might be better held later in the year or over a shorter course. Frances, who acknowledged that the event requires contestants to be self-sufficient, nonetheless felt that, “This time of year is OK - as long as there is lots of ice to lower the body heat”

And while the organisers might reflect on the 30C temperature and humidity of this time of year, Frances was very positive about the event overall which she believes brings lots of visitors to Magnetic and provides a big shot to the Island’s economy.

“The food was fantastic and the RnR Bar looked after the contestants really well,” she said.

“I think Magnetic Island is ideal for the Adventurethon. There are lots of gorgeous beaches, the terrain is challenging and we are surrounded by water for paddling.”

Magnetic Times also understands that another Islander has done particularly well this year. he is 19 year old, second year medical student, Julian Picot who came second in the Duathalon. While unable to speak with Julian we learned that, as he and another student competitor found themselves accompanying each other along the way, and with the first place taker clearly in front and the fourth contestant clearly back from them, decided to cross the line together.

Reegan Koelman with his medals

More up and coming Magnetic stars in these multi-disciplinary events are 13 year old Islander Reegan Koelman and Joanne Stein of Nelly Bay. The pair were part of the winning junior team in the Adventurethon along with Myar Jones from Townsville. Reegan, also a triathlete, thinks it may have been the toughest event he’s been in. He rode a borrowed bike for the event which saw him cycle from Picnic Bay to the upper reaches of Gustav Creek in Nelly Bay then back to Picnic. While mostly noted for his swimming, Reegan told Magnetic Times that he owed his fitness to coach Lisa Nugent and the Arcadia Surf Lifesavers with whom he trains.

Magnetic Times is yet to verify all of the Islanders who contested the events this weekend and would be keen to hear of any other participants (please use our comments section below).

The Adventurethon is clearly building as a must-do for the top names but while competition is what attracts many the demonstrations of camaraderie by the likes of Julian Picot and the support for all contestants by volunteers and locals was also a feature showing Magnetic to be a place where all are welcome and simple participation is also highly prized.

And for the record, the first three place getters in the Ultra on Saturday were: Jarad Kohlar, Sam Steadman and Guy Andrews.

Magnetic Islanders of all ages in Adventurethon
Alan Patterson
March 25th 2013
Henriette Pikoulas, is a remarkable, lovely lady who completed the Kayak leg of the shorter event on Sunday. Henriette is a young 75 years! She joined her son and daughter as part of this team! She even rounded up other competitors. She has been in training since January and mows her neighbours yard in the summer heat for conditioning.
April 1st 2013
Great to be back on the island for this brilliant event and catching up with friends. The Dirty Duo was a tough challenge that took us down some of the island's best trails.

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