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22 July, 2021

Ona Mission: An adventure in tropical paradise

Beaches, rainforest trails and a tropical island – that’s the racetrack for competitors in North Queensland’s oldest multisport adventure race.

Solo competitor, event director and team paddler: (L-R) Kathy White, Richard Blanchette and Charlotte Sharpe gear up for Mission Beach’s Ona Mission Multisport Adventure Race.

Registrations have opened for ‘Ona Mission’ and organisers say the picture-postcard setting at Mission Beach and Dunk Island is a major drawcard for the event.

 “The Ona Mission Adventure Race showcases some of the best things about tropical Far North Queensland – from bike riding and running through world-heritage rainforests to paddling to a tropical island and running long flat beaches lined by coconut trees,’’ event director Richard Blanchette said. 

“We’re asking: ‘Are you ready for an adventure in tropical paradise?’”

 He said the tourist town was preparing for an influx of runners, bike riders and paddlers on the weekend of Sunday 19 September, and many locals were also in training.

“We have solo and team entries and two course distances because this event has always been about getting out there and giving it a go, as well as competitive racing,’’ he said. 

“Every year we’re seeing more locals and we’re expecting record numbers this year with a new Paradise Runs group and the growth of the outrigger canoe club in Mission Beach. It’s always a great incentive to get out there and start training.

 “We have a strong following in Cairns and Townsville too, and further afield.” 

Ona Mission includes paddle legs to and from Dunk Island and runs and rides through rainforest trails and along coconut tree-lined beaches. A highlight is the run to Dunk Island’s Kootaloo lookout. 

Mission Beach’s Kathy White has been competing or volunteering in the event for years. 

“I love being part of this race every year. With the rainforest, beach and island courses, Ona Mission perfectly showcases the beautiful area that we live in,’’ she said. 

“There’s nothing like racing in your own backyard when it’s a backyard like this one.’’ 

To find out more about the Ona Mission Adventure Race and to register for the event or become a volunteer, visit the Cassowary Coast Multisport Club website at

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