Red Dog

Fes­ti­val and race a huge suc­cess

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Louise Alling­ham

Com­peti­tors lin­ing up at the start for this year’s Red Dog Re­lay knew they had a chal­leng­ing two days ahead of them.

The crowd counted down and cheered as the run­ners took off on their 6km run start­ing the Red Dog Re­lay on an unusu­ally grey and rainy day.

Each leg of the re­lay was split be­tween two to four team mem­bers.

As the teams jogged around the 18km track, the sun started to peek through the clouds and the rain stopped in time for the pad­dle leg, which started at Hamp­ton Har­bour Beach.

Com­peti­tors were glad to give their bodies a rest as they made their way to the new Kar­ratha Quar­ter for start the four-wheeldrive leg of the race.

As par­tic­i­pants made their way to Chich­ester Na­tional Park near Python Pool for the be­gin­ning for the 48km moun­tain bike sec­tion, the heav­ens opened as the riders started the sec­ond gru­elling leg of the day.

The course had to be di­verted be­cause of flood­ing and some riders could not com­plete the course.

But as the sun set on the first day of the re­lay, the fi­nal moun­tain bike riders crossed the fin­ish line at the Mill­stream Homestead.

Crew and com­peti­tors set up camp for a wet night.

At the Mill­stream Homestead, pop-up din­ing group Fer­vor cre­ated a de­gus­ta­tion din­ner for spon­sors and con­trib­u­tors of this year’s re­lay. At­ten­dees were treated to 10 cour­ses with in­gre­di­ents sourced from the land and heard a speech from Ngur­rangga Tours op­er­a­tor Clin­ton Walker.

Mr Walker spoke of his con­nec­tion to the land.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to show peo­ple how beau­ti­ful my peo­ple’s coun­try is, es­pe­cially this Mill­stream part of it,” he said.

“Be­cause both of my grand­moth­ers come from here, I’ve got a strong con­nec­tion to this place.”

Mr Walker said he was happy to see the or­gan­is­ers chose Mill­stream as the venue for the re­lay.

“One of the things I try to do is say that (Mill­stream is) one of the most beau­ti­ful places in the world,” he said.

“Not just in the Pil­bara, be­cause we al­ways get called the poor cousin to Kar­i­jini, but I reckon

we’re far bet­ter than Kar­i­jini.”

Campers woke up to a stun­ning sun­rise and a ba­con and egg break­fast from Cher­ratta Lodge to kick off day two of the re­lay, start­ing with a 9km walk.

The sun was out for the whole walk and the 1km swim.

The rain started again as the road bikes cy­cled their way back to Kar­ratha, but ev­ery­one made it to the fin­ish line.

Ex­hausted and ready for a shower, crew and com­peti­tors re­mained up­beat for the cel­e­bra­tions at the Kar­ratha Quar­ter.

Event or­gan­iser Peter Kay an­nounced the fi­nal stand­ings, with the boys from Cher­ratta Lodge com­ing in first.

The event’s first su­per team — com­pris­ing cham­pion ath­letes Nathan Jones, Ari Hus­ton, Jules Johns and Mike Boundy — com­pleted each leg in­de­pen­dently and came in fifth.

Cel­e­bra­tions con­tin­ued into the evening at the Quar­ter with food, drinks, live music, and en­ter­tain­ment.

Mr Kay said the event was a “sen­sa­tional ex­pe­ri­ence”.

“This event is unique to the Pil­bara and makes the most of the spec­tac­u­lar re­gion at a time when the Pil­bara re­ally comes alive with di­ver­sity,” he said.

“The chang­ing weather pat­terns pro­vided some added chal­lenges for the teams this year, but it also came with a lot of red dirt fun.”

Pil­bara MP Bren­don Grylls was also among those com­pet­ing and said the event was great for the re­gion.

“It re­ally show­cases the land­scape and puts peo­ple among the spec­tac­u­lar scenery — even lo­cals are sur­prised by what they have at their doorsteps,” he said.

Cass Fos­ter and Kate Wood­ward set off on the 9km hike.

Pic­tures: Louise Alling­ham

Three hun­dred com­peti­tors and crew cel­e­brated at the Quar­ter after the two-day re­lay.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.