Rainbow Beach – a training Mecca

multisport mar 14 (Medium)by Michelle Gilmore

We’ve got hills, flat roads, awesome beach, pool, bush and a perfect blend of accommodation, eateries and tour options for an active getaway.

It’s a growing market – just last weekend twenty muscled individuals paid good money to work up a sweat. They (wait for it) CYCLED to Rainbow Beach from the Sunshine Coast – all 170km, enjoyed dinner at the pub, and suckers for punishment – took on a 6am run and 8am swim. Not just a ten minute dawdle but a ninety minute trail run on the Cooloola Great Walk, with the added bonus of a two kilometre ocean swim. Then they cycled 170km home.

Administration Manager Lisa Crowther from Atlas Multisports organised the event. It’s called a “Multisport Camp”.

Lisa said, “We decided to visit Rainbow Beach as it was a challenging distance for our group to ride from Mooloolaba. It has great trail running and open water swimming and excellent accommodation facilities for our Athlete’s.”

“The pub is a fantastic spot to have dinner and refreshments on the Saturday night. Also Tony Shadforth, the owner of the pub trains with us.”

Now horses for courses, besides the Pub for dinner, I know this doesn’t sound like a pleasant weekend out for many of you.

Me either.

Yet, if we look at some of our tourism trends, more and more people are buying into it.

Over the January school break, a big group of racewalkers pounded the beach in their distinctive style a couple of times daily, for at least ten days. Amongst them were international players, and Aussie representatives. They stayed in a couple of holiday houses and spent good tourist dollars whilst they were here.

Look at the huge influx of athletes to town for the annual Rainbow Beach Double Tri and Rainbow Beach Trail Runs. Numbers grow every year.

Other locations are cashing in – with the popular Tough Mudder at Caloundra, Mudrunners in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland – even Papua New Guinea is making a buck out of it!

It is good business, so what are local proprietors doing to secure this trade?

We know we have excellent fitness trainers, massage therapists and a broad range of accommodation options from budget backpackers and B and B’s to luxury apartments and holiday homes.

Tourist operators already offer active tourism options – like surfing, kayaking, gliding and diving – we even have a multi-day Great Walk.

But it is our position, on the unspoilt “Nature Coast” that will secure the market share here.

We need to exploit this opportunity and trend. I guess this is another discussion point for our defunct Rainbow Beach Commerce and Tourism Association.

Multisport campers agreed that the 170km ride to Rainbow Beach was a challenge, but scenic!