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Australias Toughest Triathlon


The small town of Julia Creek, population 350, swelled to more than 3,500 people recently as the town celebrated the 22nd annual Dirt n Dust Festival.

The highlight of the event, the South32 Cannington Triathlon, Australia’s toughest sprint triathlon, saw an impressive 370 participants including 12 representatives of Cannington Mine.

The event also included North West Queensland’s richest horse races and a PBR sanctioned bull ride that saw Australia’s top bull riders take on the state’s fiercest bulls.

Cannington Vice President Operations, Peter Sharpe, said the Festival spoke volumes for the community spirit that’s alive and well in the McKinlay Shire.

“More than 120 local volunteers put their heart and souls into making this the greatest spectacle in outback Queensland,” Peter said.

“Considering the harsh drought that continues to affect the region, that’s such an amazing effort and shows you how important events like these are to regional communities.”

Cannington had 12 participants in the triathlon, with Senior Geologist Tim O’Sullivan taking out the Men’s 40-44 year old category.

Fitter Sandii Rixon came fifth in the Women’s 30-34 year old category and Paul Carmichael came 14th in the Clydesdales category. Steve Hambrecht, Tracey Bauer and Glen Loveday took out second place in the corporate triathlon. Matt Mazalevskis, Nigel Kellie and Tanya Kramer came third and Graeme Nielsen, Grant Egginton and Peter Sharpe came a very close fourth.

Dirt n Dust Committee President Stephen Malone said feedback from Festival-goers was overwhelmingly positive.

“We had a lot of very happy faces across all events and the atmosphere was up there with the best we’ve ever had,” Steve said.

“As always a big thank you goes out to all of our sponsors, particularly South32 who play such a big role in our community.

“The mine had the biggest number of corporate representatives this year and we would love to see even more South32 employees in 2017.”

The weekend’s festivities represent a big economic boost to local businesses across Julia Creek and the North West.

“Our impact assessment tells us more than $800,000 would have been injected into McKinlay Shire over the weekend with our visitors spending big on accommodation, food, refreshments and fuel for their trip home,” Mr Malone said.

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Australias Toughest Triathlon

The small town of Julia Creek, population 350, swelled to more than 3,500 people recently as the town celebrated the 22nd annual Dirt n Dust Festival. The highlight of the event, the South32 Cannington Triathlon, Australia’s toughest sprint triathlon, saw an impressive 370 participants inc.....