Local and Catfish Athlete Natasha Barlow has given us the rundown on the top tips when visiting and racing at Cairns IM
What to expect
- Cairns is a unique race with split transitions. You will get to see many areas of this beautiful city. Make sure you have transport sorted for your bag/bike drops and on the morning as city --> Palm Cove is about 20-25minutes drive.
- Expect amazing views throughout the cycle and run!
- There is always a great atmosphere around Palm Cove and all over Cairns City.
- Usually an unpredictable swim. Every year the swim seems to change. It can look calm on Friday/Saturday and end up choppy on race day, or vice versa!
- Headwind once you turn around near Port Douglas and head back to Cairns is almost guaranteed.
Best food spots
- Rustys markets (Friday to Sunday) and Annes Vietnamese coffee
- Bury me standing (plant based bagels and treats)
- Muddys - good for families and great food options too
- Hemingways and Salthouse for great drinks and atmosphere
- Bellocale, La Pizza and Piccolo Cucina for Italian (carb loading!)
Palm Cove food:
- Espresso and Co
- Il Forno pizza
- Copperlode = hills!!
- From the city, cycle south to Second Beach (near Gordonvale) or cycle inland to crystal cascades
- Running along the esplande to become familiar with the course and feel the Ironman buzz starting!
- Post race walks allow our local trails (red/yellow/blue arrows) have some great views and a chance to see more of the landscape here
- Beach yoga at palm cove or port douglas is a great way to relax
Oher places to visit if staying for a few days:
- Waterfalls: Crystal Cascades, Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls, Waterfall circuit in Atherton Tablelands
- Visit the Great Barrier Reef
- Visit the Daintree Rainforest (north of Port Douglas)
- Adrenalin junkies = AJ Hackett bungy jump, sky diving, white water rafting