Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Former Minister for Health; Tourism

    Marathon crowds expected for South-West race

    5/12/2015 7:00 AM
     
    • Up to 2,000 athletes to compete in SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia triathlon in Busselton tomorrow
    • Award-winning event attracts high proportion of interstate and overseas participants

    More than 220 kilometres of South-West scenery will provide a spectacular backdrop on Sunday when thousands of local and visiting triathletes descend on Busselton for the SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia, supported by the State Government through Tourism WA.

     

    Tourism Minister Kim Hames said about 70 per cent of the 1,700 competitors were from interstate or overseas, bringing visitors and widespread media attention to WA.

     

    "The SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia continues to attract some of the top triathletes in the country and across the world, who often achieve personal-best times on this course," Dr Hames said.

     

    "It's a real competitor's course that covers a 3.8km swim around Busselton's famous jetty, a flat and fast 180km bike ride near Tuart Forest National Park and a picturesque 40.2km run along Geographe Bay.

     

    "Now in its 11th year, the triathlon's course and its viewing platforms are a magnificent way for participants and spectators to experience this extraordinary region.

     

    "We anticipate that athletes and other visitors will spend time exploring the South-West and other parts of the State."

     

    One of only three Australian fixtures on the global IRONMAN calendar, the Busselton race is a qualifying event for the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii.  Trophies are awarded in each age group category and professional athletes have the chance to compete for well over $60,000 in prize money.

     

    The Minister said competitors from 38 countries were expected at the event which kicks off from iconic Busselton Jetty at 5.30am tomorrow (December 6).

     

    "Local, national and international media coverage also showcases Western Australia's attractions and experiences to potential visitors in key markets.  More than 45,000 viewers followed live coverage of the event last year," he said.

     

    Dr Hames said tourism was crucial to the State's economy, generating $8.7 billion in visitor spend in the 2014-15 financial year, and the strategy was to increase that value to $12 billion by 2020.

     

    Fact File

    Minister's office - 6552 5300