Perfect weather greeted visitors in Mooloolaba as the Queensland town hosted a huge weekend of action at the Subaru Mooloolaba Multi Sport Festival, including the opening round of the 2014 ITU World Cup season.
The festival is the biggest event of its kind in Australia, and provided something for every level, with fun runs, ocean swims, as well as triathlon events for everyone from kids to the Pros.
The festival kicked off with the Asics Mooloolaba 5km Twilight Run. Nearly 700 runners lined up for 2 laps of the fast course. Subaru Ambassador and London Olympian Emma Jackson showed why she is one of the world’s best triathletes, taking out the women’s race. Brisbane runner Jackson Elliot showed his talent with a classy victory.
The action continued with the Superkidz and Special Triathlon taking place in Charles Clarke Park, before heading out to the beach for the Mooloolaba Ocean Swim.
Then came the professional triathlete’s turn. The Subaru ITU World Cup race lived up to its reputation, with fierce competition amongst the world’s fastest triathletes as they commenced the first of nine international rounds that make up the World Cup series.
Pre-race favourite, Gwen Jorgensen, claimed the women’s title as the only athlete to finish inside one hour. She finished 15 seconds clear of American compatriot Katie Hursey, with Japan’s Ai Ueda taking third. Australia’s Emma Moffatt and Subaru Ambassador Ashleigh Gentle both claimed top-10s, as they finished sixth and tenth, respectively.
Men’s winner, Spaniard Mario Mola also came into the race as a hot favourite, but brushed aside any pressure to finish well clear of South African Richard Murray and Swiss Sven Riederer. Australia’s Ryan Fisher finished three seconds ahead of Brendan Sexton, as the duo recorded eighth and ninth place finishes.
The men’s World Cup race had preceded by the inaugural Subaru Australian Open Criterium. Three-man teams from Australia’s top cycling teams delivered a high-speed introduction for the peloton in Mooloolaba. After a flurry of early attacks, reigning Melbourne to Warrnambool Champion Jack Anderson (Team Drapac) was joined by Jessie Kerrison (Budget Forklifts), Jack Beckinsale (Avanti Racing) and the 18 year old Mooloolaba local Ryan Cavanagh (QAS). Anderson showed his race-winning experience to outfox his rivals and claim the title.
Over 2,500 competitors lined up to take on the challenge of the Subaru Mooloolaba Triathlon. The Olympic Distance event saw competitors of all ages tackle the 1500m swim, 40km ride and 10km run, many reveling in the post-race afterglow of personal best performances.
The Multi Sport festival also saw the brand new Subaru WRX on display since its launched in early March. Subaru Ambassadors Ashleigh Gentle, Emma Jackson and sports photographer Delly Carr were on hand at the ever-popular Subaru stand to meet fans throughout the weekend.