Mike Le Roux takes us through the Ironman Cairns experience
Ironman Cairns 2012: course preview
VIDEO PREVIEW: On Sunday 3 June, elite triathletes from around Australia and the world will be in Cairns for Ironman Cairns, the blue ribbon event of the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival.
This spectacular event starts at 7am on Sunday, June 3, with competitors entering the Coral Sea at Sailfish Quay for a 3.8km swim followed by a 180km cycle up the Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas and back, and a 42.2km run finishing back in the heart of Cairns.
By any measure an Ironman is an epic test of body and mind.
To help those tackling Ironman Cairns, event organisers USM and cairns.com.au asked Edge Hill Ultraman athlete Mike Le Roux, who finished last year’s race eighth overall in 9hrs 13mins to talk us through the event.
"Everyone’s pretty nervous at the start," Le Roux said. "The water won’t be too cold, but it’s definitely worth wearing a wetsuit.
‘‘Once the gun goes, people start the swim like it’s a 500m race, the first 10 minutes are like swimming in a washing machine, but after that you just settle down and concentrate on your race.’’
For many contestants, the bike is their favourite leg of the race.
"It’s not often you get to ride that stretch of road with no vehicles," Le Roux said.
"You get some great sea views. You never really know where you are, but you’re never really alone.
"Ironman’s all about how you can ride a marathon, and particularly the last 10km, so whilst the bike may be the strong leg, you need to be a big conservative – 42km is a long way to walk.
"You’re feeling pretty pumped at the final transition, you’re on fire. There are only a few at the pointy end who are actually racing each other.
‘‘For the rest of us it’s about finishing and doing your best possible time. It’s important to clear your mind.
"Looking at the whole race is intimidating, you just break it down into small bit size trunks and you should be all right."
"The true meaning of Ironman is doing it tough in the face of adversity. Pain is temporary, quitting is forever."
"That surge of adrenalin that you get on the last kilometre, it’s the strongest you’ll run in the whole race. It’s an amazing lift the crowd give you."
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Elite athlete: Ultra-marathon champion Mike Le Roux reviews the picturesque Ironman course on a video report.