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Port Set For Suite Of Sports Classics

October 16, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email
Businesses, athletes and sports fans are gearing up for a suite of classic sporting treats that will centre on Port Douglas over the coming weeks.

The world-famous Crocodile Trophy, a UCI international mountain bike stage race, marks its 20th anniversary this year by moving its finish line to the seaside town.
Professionals, elites, amateurs and recreational racers begin the challenge in Cairns on October 18 before setting out to traverse a range of rainforested Tableland tracks and remote outback trails and culminating at Port on October 26.
Cyclists will take to the highway for the annual Whitelion Jungle Ride from Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation (and return for the hardy) on October 25. The charity fundraiser aims to encourage and inspire people to challenge themselves while raising funds for young people in need.
Crews, game fishing boats and anglers from throughout Australia and overseas will also soon arrive in the region for the blue ribbon Port Douglas Marlin Challenge, to be held from November 5 to 9.
The final event for 2014 is the CANEGROWERS Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival on November 9, which will see locals out in force to test themselves alongside elite athletes lured by the 74km Ultra-Marathon.
The festival is also a fundraiser for the Run for the Great Barrier Reef Fund, a partnership between the festival, James Cook University and Bendigo Bank.
While not a competitive event, the Whitelion Jungle Ride is popular among athletes wanting to
test their endurance skills over a longer distance, according to event organiser Lesley Stephens.
“Participants can choose to ride the 90km one way trip from Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation and return by bus, or complete the return ride of 180km,” she said.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett said the Whitelion Jungle Ride provided a good warm-up for one of the region’s largest events – the 2014 CANEGROWERS Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival.
The festival caters for all levels of runners, including a 2.5km Coles Fun Run for kids, the 5km Bendigo Bank 5000, the Newsport Daily 10km and the Half-Marathon.
The pinnacle events are the JCU 74km Ultra-Marathon, and the Steve Moneghetti Marathon, where entrants can run alongside the Olympic great.
Ms Bennett said events of this calibre were a fantastic way to drive visitation to the area. “Port Douglas’ and the entire region’s appeal as a sporting destination continues to grow, bolstered by these world class events right on our door step.
“The Croc Trophy will be broadcast to millions of people in Europe and the global publicity exposure from this will be unprecedented.
“The ripple effect from the sporting events is also felt throughout the community. Research has shown that when athletes come, so to do their families and friends.
“Many stay on afterwards and go on to visit other key attractions and when they do that, they spend in the region, which is great for local businesses and the town.”
Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu said events likes these were a win for everyone, from the athletes taking part, to the spectators who enjoy getting out there to cheer them on and the local businesses that benefit from the influx of visitors.
“Sports tourism is a growing market and this is recognised in Council’s investment in such events as well as our five-year events strategy,” she said.

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