Out & About at Lake Awoonga - hire canoes are popular.
Out & About at Lake Awoonga - hire canoes are popular.

ADVENTURE TIME: New event will mix fun, fitness and community

THE Gladstone region will play host to a new community event later this month with the launch of the Benaraby Progress Association’s Lake Awoonga Adventure Race and Picnic in the Park.

Offering a creative twist on the more common triathlon, the family-friendly Lake Awoonga Adventure Race will feature three legs — a trail bike ride, trail run and kayaking.

The October 26 event will include both novice and competitive categories, with registration taking place from 6am.

Those who aren’t feeling competitive can soak up the event’s atmosphere and the picturesque surrounds of Lake Awoonga at the Picnic in the Park, which will take place from 11am-3pm and feature lawn games, live music, and food and drink vendors.

With the event more than a year in the making, Benaraby Progress Association vice-president and event co-ordinator Andrea Ruppik said BPA was “looking outside the square” in order to raise the profile of the Bruce Highway township.

“It’s about creating a name for Benaraby and providing a tourism event for the Lake and town,” Ms Ruppik said.

“We’ll start small this year but hope to grow into a bigger event.”

Lake Awoonga
Lake Awoonga

Gladstone Area Water Board is major sponsor of the event and chief executive Darren Barlow says the organisation is proud to support the new event.

“Lake Awoonga is the ideal backdrop for what I’m sure will be a very exciting and challenging event,” Mr Barlow said.

“Do it for the thrill, do it for the fitness or just do it for the fun, but don’t miss your chance to ride, kayak and run through the beautiful surrounds of Lake Awoonga.

“We’re very proud to partner with the Benaraby Progress Association and help them deliver an event that is the first of its kind for the Gladstone ­region.”

Ms Ruppik was excited to welcome GAWB on board as an event partner.

“With the Gladstone Area Water Board’s partnership we have been able to turn our concept into reality and bring a unique and exciting event to our region,” Ms Ruppik said.

“Community interest has been strong since launching the event, with more than 40 competitors already registered.

“We cannot wait to showcase Lake Awoonga and our community through this new annual event.”

Lake Awoonga from the air.
Lake Awoonga from the air.

A host of small businesses and Gladstone Regional Council are also getting on board for the inaugural event.

Mayor Matt Burnett said it was a fantastic inivitive by the BPA.

“They’ve got a great group of people who have obviously put a lot of thought into what would make for a great event to attract people to their area,” Cr Burnett said.

“It’s also great for the locals who live there who don’t need to go into Gladstone for an event – they’ll have a homegrown event.”

Registrations are limited and will close October 19. For further details, visit laar.com.au or the Lake Awoonga Adventure Race Facebook page.