Ipswich fights against 'fat' reputation
WITH almost 1000 people getting down and dirty at the first Outback Obstacles Ipswich on the weekend, it seems residents aren't afraid of getting physical.
The course is just one of the growing number of obstacle-style events now setting up in Ipswich.
Water-based course ObstaSplash will host its first event in Ipswich next year while fitness challenges like Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race continue to be hosted in the region.
Outback Obstacles organiser Daniel Gold said challenges like his were often a kick-starter for many people's foray into fitness.
"I wanted to offer something for regional areas," he said.
"Why wouldn't you (set up in Ipswich) when you get to use such wonderful facilities and get so much support.
"I have never had such a wide variety of people at any of my events. We'll definitely be back next year."
Outback Obstacles was held on Saturday at the Ipswich Turf Club.
It featured 37 obstacles over a 6.91km course catering to men, women and children.
The Heart Foundation's 2015 statistics showed almost 40% of Ipswich residents were classed as obese and almost 70% were "insufficiently active".
Former PE teacher and Ipswich councillor David Morrison said the city was working hard to change those statistics and shed the perception that the city was unhealthy.
He said more fitness challenges and sporting events would be popping up in the region.
"Over the years we've purchased around 6000 hectares of land for environmental conservation," he said.
"We are always looking at how we can use our parks and reserves for outdoor education and activities.
"Blackstone Hill will host a big mountain biking event in February, you've got Spartan and Tough Mudder at Ivory's Rock, Grandchester had the Cycle and Trail Run Epic, we have Adventure Racing at Kholo Gardens, the Colour Run at Robelle Domain and the Dingo Duo trail run at Hiddenvale - there are a lot of events coming to the city."
He said aside from encouraging fitness, the events meant more dollars in the city's back pocket.
"A lot of people come to Ipswich for the first time (for an event) and then come back with their families. All of those visits offer economic benefits," he said.