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lucky7

Cairns 70.3 - any good?

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It's very good race, probably the best IM in Australia at the moment.

 

This year with the last minute swim changes I've booked one night in Palm Cove and kept the remaining of my stays in Cairns.

 

If I do go back next year I'll do the opposite and book my stay at Palm Cove and then Sunday night in Cairns so it's not a mission to get home after the race.

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Excellent race. The change in course makes it an easier race, the run is now along the water, so there is wind and crowd support. The old run was a point to point through the cane fields which was hot and lonely.

 

The bike course is unreal, stunning views. The area is great for a holiday for a week or so. Head up to Cape tribulation, out to the reef and up to the Atherton tablelands. It's really nice.

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Sounds like I'm going then. Am I reading the website correctly that the swim start is at Palm Cove and the race finishes at Cairns? Presumably there is a shuttle bus up and back - for competitors and spectators?

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Lucky the shuttle bus system worked well for the athletes. i drove up from Clownsville but made the decission to leave my car back at the Hotel. It would be too far to ride (this year in the rain!) after the race :sleepy::sleepy::sleepy:

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Shuttle bus works well, but the split transitions and different start / finish locations is my one complaint. It made for a major hassle for me last year, cause I flew in on Friday night, flew out on Monday. It felt like I spent the whole time outside of the actual race rushing around. No quality down time with my wife or friends :(

 

How I wish they had the start / Finish in Cairns ...

Edited by Andrew #1

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The shuttle bus up to Palm cove on race morning wasn't too bad. On Saturday I dropped off my bike and gear bags in cairns then in Sunday my bike and gear were magically at transition when I got off the bus. It was pretty good.

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Jetstar has cheap flights until 8pm tonight - $49 each way, as long as you fly mid-week and come home by 17 June (the Wednesday after the race). Very tempted!

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I'm down for this race this year. Anything I need to know? What's the bike course like, road surface, wind etc And the run's flat? So pretty quick? How about the swim? Is it significantly slower than Busselton?

Edited by zed

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1 hour ago, zed said:

How about the swim? Is it significantly slower than Busselton?

Much slower - you actually have to swim 1.9k at Cairns (crocs permitting)

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Both times I've done it (IM and 70.3) - the water was rough. Make sure you don't swallow any -- few were on the side of the road vomiting - after they got on their bike.

Both times I've done it - I was in a storm and got drenched. Part of the IM course is exposed to the elements - so had a bad crosswind for short part of it..

Saw a croc basking in the sun - when I was riding over a bridge  (he was on creek bed) 

But that's the tropics - weather can be anywhere. Just be prepared for that 

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41 minutes ago, Youngy2 said:

Both times I've done it (IM and 70.3) - the water was rough. Make sure you don't swallow any -- few were on the side of the road vomiting - after they got on their bike.

Both times I've done it - I was in a storm and got drenched. Part of the IM course is exposed to the elements - so had a bad crosswind for short part of it..

Saw a croc basking in the sun - when I was riding over a bridge  (he was on creek bed) 

But that's the tropics - weather can be anywhere. Just be prepared for that 

That croc - would that be the creek just before you get to Port Douglas- I’ve always been on the lookout there but have yet to sight the croc.

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Zed its an awesome course. The bike is stunning and is quite undulating with some short sharp climbs. That being said the down hills are pretty fast. The road surface is good. The only problem  can be the wind, it is usually a south easterly which means it is in your face all the way back to Cairns and it can howl. I haven't done the new run but pretty sure it is around the town board walk where there are loads of people hanging about which is fun. Completely flat.  I have done the IM twice once in 2011 when the weather was just perfect and then in 2013 when it rained and the wind howled, not so much fun. But it is a great place to holiday. As its only a few weeks after Busso there are heaps of people to train with. I like Palm Cove better than Cairns but the roads are pretty congested on the race day so getting back is a slow process.

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Firstly, if you stay in a cheap motel...it will be dodgy but okay.

Swim and bike no good for spectators....tell em to stay in Cairns and see you on the run.

So the swim...crocodiles (not those nancy gators but real man eating bastards) and sharks, bloody big ones. So swim fast but not too fast that you are out there alone.

Murky water, chop and don’t hit any of the Japanese you are lapping on the second lap..they are your best bet to avoid the sharks.

Don’t swim too slow....refer the buffalo theory.

The bike...while your spectators who didn’t take my advice and are stuck waiting on a bus for 2.5 hours doing a normal 40 min trip...you’ll be doing the first turnaround to Port Douglas (that’s where the rich wankers park their boats)...most likely you’ll be getting some tropical showers.

You will head back south and do the turnaround and head back to Port Douglas...some second rate announcer will call your name as you do the turnaround again.

Head back south and over something called knobbies hill, as usual during the back end of an IM ride, it is only a bump but feels like Everest.

The one joy will be passing some third rate pro who has called it quits and is on the side of the road.

The last 40 k’s will be into a head wind and will do your head in. Care of the rain, the debri on the road will cause a flat tyre (over here it ain’t a tire son but a tyre)...you will waste the first co2 container but get it done with the second, then shit yourself for the rest of the ride knowing you ain’t got another one.

Into Cairns for the run where despite the 3 lap run, there will be northern points where you can get away with walking in front of not too many.

Someone will say you are looking good when you know that is a lie.

Digesting about 600 milligrams of caffeine you will feel alive enough to get over the line...to have your name mispronounced but declared you are an Ironman.

Running the last few kilometers (not miles, are you listening!) the wankers sitting in the cafes may wonder why you are running now and not earlier. Just remember those tossers are 70.3 posers and have no balls to do twice that distance.

Over the line to find out that the after race food and drink is pretty poor in reality.

Don’t waste your time in that compound, nothing there for you really.

Get out to your family who have had a far better time enjoying the Cairns beach side pool (there cause with those sharks and crocs no one swims in the sea) than watching you for 30 seconds each run lap.

They will still think you are a legend despite your war stories of flat tyres, head winds, choppy swims and getting passed by the winner of the 50-55 women’s age group.

Seriously...a great race.

Limp home and avoid the cane toads...evil things.

Stole it from slowtwix 

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Great race mate, swim wont get cancelled because you cant see the sharks and crocs due to the murky water, not even helicopters and drones will help there.

The ride is awesome, I think in 2016 there was a big dead pig on the side of the road about 20 km into the ride.  Like is said above, probably a stiff SE on the way back to town and likely a bit of rain at some stage.   Enjoy it, it's where i grew up and is fantastic.  The run support is great but will get a bit quiet up the top end around the sports fields.

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