Sports stars race across Tasmania for Mark Webber Challenge

Aussie triathletes Emma Snowsill and Courtney Atkinson among big names contesting five-day race


A motley crew of triathletes, surfers and stuntmen will be lining up for the Mark Webber Challenge in Tasmania tomorrow (27 November), involving five days of kayaking, mountain biking and trekking over 341km of terrain best described as “challenging”. 


The stars in this year’s event include some very well-known Australian sports stars such as triathletes Emma Snowsill and Courtney Atkinson, sprint canoer Kenny Wallace, seven-time surf champ Layne Beachley, and Mad Max stuntman and former Ironman champion Guy Andrews.

Atkinson has partnered up with Kenny Wallace for the event. “We are long-time friends living on the Gold Coast, been to a couple of Olympics together, now both have kids,” said Atkinson. 

“We’ve got completely different strengths, which is why it’s the perfect combination to do the Webber Challenge.” 

Race founder Mark Webber will not be taking part this year due to team commitments with Red Bull Racing (Mark retired from F1 racing last weekend), but will be sending his motor racing protégé Mitch Evans, who is currently climbing the ladder to F1. 

This year’s event will see 34 teams compete in three categories: elite pairs, enthusiast pairs and enthusiast teams. The elite pairs winners will take home AU$20k in prize money.

The course will take in all five national parks of Tasmania, and involve 196km of mountain biking, 87.5km of trail running and 57.5km of kayaking – plus some added “surprise” disciplines.

This year’s event will raise funds for the Whitelion youth charity, which recently set up a Mark Webber Scholarship programme for young offenders in Tasmania, and the Save the Tassie Devil Appeal.


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