TAKING THE SPLASH: Mantra Mooloolaba boss Ryan Newton will compete in his first triathlon this Sunday.
TAKING THE SPLASH: Mantra Mooloolaba boss Ryan Newton will compete in his first triathlon this Sunday. Warren Lynam

Swim, bike, ride, shop! Mooloolaba Tri to inject millions

THOUSANDS of visitors are expected to add millions of dollars to the Sunshine Coast economy this weekend.

Accommodation providers and retailers are relishing the chance to bring out the no vacancy signs again, with the start of the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival.

The annual event, which is in its 22nd year, injects an estimated $25 million in the Coast economy.

The Mooloolaba Triathlon is the centrepiece of the three-day Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival which is expected to attract 8000 people.

Mooloolaba Business and Tourism president Peter Foran said the tri was one of the most anticipated events of the year for operators who gladly host triathletes, spectators and crew.

"All of Mooloolaba is booked out for the three days and, while there have been a few cancellations, they were filled virtually straight away by late entries," Mr Foran said.

"This is just a fantastic event for Mooloolaba.

"There should be flow-ons to cafes and businesses, despite some restricted access during the tri."

One hotel operator is taking his support for the Mooloolaba Tri to the next level, competing in his first triathlon this weekend.

Mantra Mooloolaba general manager Ryan Newton said he took an "all-in" approach to his first full triathlon.

"I was seeking a huge personal fitness goal and decided that becoming part of this iconic Mooloolaba event would be the perfect challenge," Mr Newton said.

"The Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival is a key event on the Sunshine Coast and the Mooloolaba event calendar.

"Historically it stands as one of the strongest three-day periods of the year."

Sunshine Coast Destination Limited CEO Simon Ambrose said the festival presented a welcome injection in a traditionally quiet month.

The triathlon has evolved from humble beginnings in 1993 when it featured a mere 600 entries to the internationally recognised event it is today.

Like all major events, the Mooloolaba Tri causes inconvenient road closures.

Mooloolaba Esplanade will be closed from Brisbane Rd to Burnett St until Monday afternoon, as will the beachside car parks of the Esplanade.

Traffic controllers will direct traffic through to the carpark.

See the full list of road closures at ap.ironman.com



8000 participants

3800l of Endura (electrolyte)

1500kg of seedless watermelon

200kg of oranges

2880l of bottled water

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