Ironman Cairns is set to take place on Sunday with a stellar field of professional athletes set to do battle on arguably the most picturesque Ironman race in the Asia Pacific Region. With the race being the Asia Pacific Championship, and the winner of the male and female race receiving automatic qualification to the Ironman world Championship, its easy to see why it is such a popular event for pro athletes.
Some of the Professional athletes spoke to the media today ahead of the race. Nine-time Ironman Champion and two-time Ironman Cairns Champion Luke Mc Kenzie said ‘It’s the most impressive field for years and it’s a spectacular course’. Luke believes if the weather conditions are right the elusive eight-hour barrier could be broken in Ironman Cairns. He also said ‘you never really know what to expect in Cairns, the race can be windy and change quickly’.
The eyes of the Ironman world will be on Two-time ITU World Champion Javier Gomez who is poised and ready to sample Ironman before heading to the World championship on the big island in October. He said ‘its an exciting year for me and I am excited to try something different. In terms of training Gomez spoke of how his training demands have changed with longer training sessions and running over 30km is something he wasn’t used to doing in the past. Ironman Cairns will be Javier Gomez’s only Ironman race before the World Championship in Kona he said ‘I want to learn a lot from Cairns, my nutrition and fitness before Kona’. Talking of a return to ITU racing Gomez said he’s happy to focus on Ironman racing for now and wouldn’t rule out a return to ITU.
Three-time Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae will be on the start line in Palm Cove for Ironman Cairns. She’s excited to be back in Cairns and back home in Queensland. Cafrae’s goal on Sunday will be to get through Ironman Cairns with a good result and unscathed, however her main focus remains the Ironman World Championship in Kona ever since her first race back in 2009. Mirinda Carfrae’s husband Tim O’ Donnell will also be racing In Cairns. He commented on how it is possibly the best Ironman pro start list outside of the World Championships. He also explained that he expects that with such a large field tactics will definitely come into play.
New Zealand Pro triathlete Terenzo Bozzone will be keen to add the Ironman Cairns Asia Pacific Championship to his resume after having a fantastic start to his triathlon season so far with a win at Ironman Western Australia in December. Terenzo is happy to be in Cairns and he enjoys the crowd support and the picturesque Ironman Cairns course.
Asa Lundstrom is looking forward to the race on Sunday. She has raced in Australia seven times and loves returning to race in Australia. Asked how she feels for Ironman Cairns she said she has had to focus on her studying to become a doctor full time, so it has meant he training volume has decreased and she hasn’t raced since February. She is keen to see what result she gets on Sunday.
With an impressive professional male of 30 athletes and female professional field of 13 , and with over 2000 age group athletes racing for 80 Kona slots available the Ironman Cairns Asia Pacific Championship will definitely be a great race to watch.