Are we mad for ob­sta­cles?

Mixed on­line feed­back a hard knock for event

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE Whit­sun­days’ first ob­sta­cle-based event Ob­sta­cles Gone Mad! is now done and dusted yet the re­ac­tions are mixed.

Air­lie Beach’s Mark Bennett was the first lo­cal to cross the fin­ish line on Satur­day, shortly af­ter a Townsville man.

There were five and 10km tracks avail­able, plus a chil­dren’s course.

Groups were dressed as su­per­heroes, rob­bers, crazed bal­leri­nas, min­ions and “gold dig­gers”, and there was plenty of flu­oro and war paint too.

By the end of the day, about 650 peo­ple had par­tic­i­pated.

Many com­plained on so­cial me­dia the event was “poorly or­gan­ised” and had too few wa­ter sta­tions.

But event or­gan­iser Shane Elis­ara said most of the feed­back was pos­i­tive.

“Our sin­gle fo­cus was to give ev­ery­one a good time. We did ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to get it [the event] up here and make it hap­pen,” he said.

A woman was in­jured at­tempt­ing an ob­sta­cle and was taken to Proser­pine Hos­pi­tal.

Some par­tak­ers ac­cused the team of hav­ing no med­i­cal staff on­site but Mr Elis­ara as­sured a para­medic was there, say­ing “ac­ci­dents hap­pen”.

Some par­tic­i­pants were dis­ap­pointed they didn’t re­ceive the t-shirt and wa­ter they be­lieved were in­cluded in the ticket price.

“The truth be­hind the whole thing was that we had to make ex­ec­u­tive de­ci­sions to make the event hap­pen,” Mr Elis­ara said.

“We were at the stage of de­cid­ing where we could fi­nance the event, but we got it over the line by key de­ci­sions. One of them was giv­ing out medals over t-shirts. We thought the gen­eral public would pre­fer a medal.”

Mr Elis­ara said the track met health and safety reg­u­la­tions but he had taken on­board feed­back about the lack of wa­ter sta­tions.

“You can never have too many wa­ter sta­tions,” he said.

“We do our best. Some peo­ple drink more than oth­ers. We ac­tu­ally added an ex­tra wa­ter sta­tion on the day.

“I will look into rec­om­mend­ing hy­dra­tion packs at fu­ture events. ”

Mr Elis­ara was thank­ful for the “over­whelm­ing sup­port” the event re­ceived from the coun­cil, Whit­sun­days Mar­ket­ing and Devel­op­ment and lo­cal busi­nesses.

He said he would love to bring the event back to the re­gion and hoped the com­mu­nity wel­comed it back.

“The truth be­hind the whole thing was that we had to make ex­ec­u­tive de­ci­sions to make the event hap­pen” – Shane Elis­ara

TRUE GRIT: Mark Bennett went back for round two at Ob­sta­cles Gone Mad! Whit­sun­days on Satur­day morn­ing.

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