Annabel Bowles

Tropic Now journalist

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Athletes ready and raring to go for Cairns Ironman

Whether you’re an aspiring athlete or a seasoned sportsperson, or just simply enjoy the Tropical North’s stunning scenery, you’re in for an exciting weekend. 

The Cairns Airport Ironman is ready and raring to go this Sunday the 27th, welcoming runners, cyclists, swimmers and spectators from all over. 

With both the Asia-Pacific Championship and Ironman 70.3 contesting on the same day, the event is one of the biggest in the region, usually attracting a huge international crowd.

The swim course will set off from Palm Cove before competitors cycle up the Captain Cook Highway – in our opinion, the most spectacular bike course in the world – and eventually finishing in Cairns after a last leg on the Esplanade. 

Originally scheduled for June this year but delayed due to COVID-19 concerns, this weekend’s race will follow an approved COVID Safe Event Plan.

Sarah Crowley, who won the Cairns Airport Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in 2017, said she’s looking forward to her ninth year competing in the world-class triathlon. 

“We’re incredibly lucky with Iron Man Cairns having the swim venue in Palm Cove. It’s pretty rare to get a race that's in such a beautiful place,” she said.  

“We also get to ride the entire coast road up to Port Douglas – I don’t think there’s any other time of the year you would get that opportunity.

“And then when you get back into Cairns it’s amazing with the multi-loop course, where you can have your fans and everyone on-course supporting you the whole way.”  

The Asia-Pacific Championship will have 75 qualifying slots for the 2021 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Ironman 70.3 Cairns will provide for 80 qualifying slots and 25 Women For Tri qualifying slots to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Taupo, New Zealand, scheduled for early next year.



  • The Esplanade will be closed to all traffic between Spence and Upward Streets from 5am Sunday 27th through until 1.30pm Monday 28th
  • Sunday 7am - 7pm: 
    • The Esplanade between Upward Street and Lily Street – Northbound traffic allowed only
    • Lily Street between the The Esplanade and Lake Street – Westbound traffic allowed only
    • Lake Street between Lily Street and Airport Avenue – Northbound traffic allowed only
  • Wharf Street between Spence and Lake Streets will be partially closed between 7am on Sunday and 12.30am on Monday, with Northbound traffic allowed only


  • The Captain Cook Highway will be closed to all traffic between Trezise Road at Mowbray and Veivers Road Palm Cove between 5.30am and 5.30pm
  • The town of Port Douglas will operate under normal traffic conditions this year due the shortened course


  • Williams Esplanade will be closed to all traffic between 4am and 2pm
  • Cedar Road and Warren Street will be closed to all traffic between 4am and midday
  • Warren Street will be closed to all traffic between 4am and midday
  • The Captain Cook Highway (Veivers Road to Trezise Road) will be closed to all traffic between 5.30am and 3.30pm


  • Cheviot Street will be closed to all traffic between 4am and 7.30pm

A course map and further information regarding road closures can be found here