Local Knowledge

Sunday 24th October 2010

Having recently been beaten by a local Pentictonite in Ultraman Canada, it got me thinking about local knowledge, local training specificity and local home grown advantage, and how much this plays a part in a race result.

I was still pondering this thought when I rode the Triple R a few weekends ago. Okay so we were all local in that race, but still. Riding the Triple R reminded me how much I love mountain biking and also how unique and incredible the trails around Cairns are for off road adventure racing. Cairns seriously has some of the best trails in the country.

Then during the prize giving they announced the lucky draw prize winner for the Croc Trophy – free entry for 2011, and I realized that I was holding my breath, until my name wasn't called out – at which point I had a wave of disappointment wash over me. I realized I really, really want to the Croc Trophy. So I decided there and then that I would enter in 2011 and that would be my local race!

So just when I thought I'd conquered my quest for a local event, it was announced on Tuesday 19th October that Cairns was going to get its own Ironman distance triathlon.

The second richest triathlon in the world is going to be called The Challenge Cairns Great Barrier Reef Triathlon, and will be held on Sunday 5th June 2011 (entries open 1st Nov).

Organised through Queensland Events and run by respected sports management company USM Events, Challenge Cairns will feature a course memorable for the 3.8km swim in the warm crystal clear waters off Yorkey's Knob, the 180km bike leg that travels up arguably the most scenic coastal roads in Australia towards Port Douglas and a 42.2km run that includes the Cairns boardwalk before finishing in the heart of the city of Cairns.

I personally believe that this is the break Cairns needed in terms of hosting a world-class event. Not only will this put Cairns on the map through the sports tourism initiatives, it will also encourage local infrastructure upgrades, but most importantly, I believe that it will engender a culture of sport, activity, healthy living and local participation.

With an anticipated field of 1000 athletes, there is bound to be in the region of approximately 2500 people in Cairns for the festival. Athletes, partners, logistical crew and event organizers will create a huge traveling circus. Pretty hard not to be a part of if you live here!

I have not done an Ironman since 2006; so will be looking forward to entering a different dimension of training next year in the build up to the race in June and then to put the road bike aside and pick up the mountain bike for 2 weeks of mud and dust in October.

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