THE T:ZERO BLOG
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There’s no such thing as an easy Ironman. Whether it’s a flat course like Busso (IMWA), or a cool weather course like Taupo (IMNZ), they all come with their perks and ways of chipping away at taking your soul. A flat, fast course like Busso has a good reputation for athletes overcooking the bike, ending up with a fatigued lower back, and then seeing athletes run home like they may as well be using a zimmer frame. Whereas, NZ has street credit in the uphill, into the wind, final leg of the bike, and a rolling run course to completely drive the nail in.
Ironman Cairns has a bit of everything. An often choppy ocean swim, a stiff headwind for 70k (at the end) of the 180k bike course, and a balmy winter 26 degrees to run it home on the flat course. Add to this, you need to come into Ironman Cairns with a masters degree in logistics to figure out when and where things need to be dropped, registered, what bus to get on (sheesh, did I book that ticket!?) to get to the race start etc. An Ironman event is nerve crunching enough without all the logistical fun thrown in.
Despite the logistical fun, Cairns IM is probably my favourite course, and one that if you get a good day (whatever that means), you can still land some solid PBs and have a great experience. It’s got the trump card on being the most beautiful, rolling bike course, and I think the run course is epic with the Cairns esplanade crowds of support. We won’t mention the swim course (I’m sure it’s nice out there occasionally), but it doesn’t take the cake over NZ, Port Mac or Busso on the swim front. Anyhoo, I like a rough swim, so it still wins.
Looking back on Cairns, ahhh the beauty of hindsight and attempting to remove all emotion and land at some helpful objective feedback, let’s see what I can pull from my foggy brain with the highlights and things to think about for next year:
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