Home > Racing

It’s on. The build up to the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in words and pictures

We capture the lead up to Ironman's best race of 2022 ... and get some insight as to why it is so popular!

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

With over 2,500 athletes set to compete at tomorrow’s Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship, things are hopping here in Cairns. Considered one of the gateways to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a tropical destination paradise, but that will all be forgotten tomorrow as, for the 12th time, the community plays host to arguably the biggest event in Ironman’s Asia-Pacific region. Last year Ironman athletes from around the world voted this event the “most satisfying Ironman race.” It’s not hard to see why, even before the race has happened.

Things got started here on Thursday morning, and Triathlon Magazine was on hand to enjoy some of the pre-race activities.

On Thursday morning the race-week activities began with the Green Island swim. There were both 1.5 and 3 km races that took the swimmers over the spectacular reef. Lots of the athletes saw reef sharks, manta rays and a turtle … somehow I managed to miss all of those, but did see lots of other fish! Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
The swim takes place on Green Island, which is about a 45-min ferry ride from Cairns. It is a 15 hectare national park set in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
Peter Murray is the lead announcer here in Cairns. On Thursday night he hosted a fundraiser (raising money for the 4 ASD Kids charity) that included a number of celebrities and pro athletes. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
Included in Thursday night’s guest list was influencer Noel Mulkey, who recreated the dance he posted to his 1.5 million TikTok followers with Ironman Australia champ Steve McKenna. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Also on hand were Jill and Dougin Walker, who are four races into their 6 Ironmans on 6 Continents in 6 Weeks journey around the world.

Florida couple takes on the challenge of 6 Ironmans on 6 Continents in Six Weeks

Jill Walker. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
Dougin Walker. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
Friday’s press conference introduced many of the top pros on hand in the hunt for the $150,000 prize purse for the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship. From left: Radka Kahlefeldt, Tim Van Berkel, Steve McKenna, Braden Currie and Kylie Simpson. We’ll have more on the pro race later today. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
Kylie Simpson and Braden Currie are two of the pre-race favourites. She is fresh off a win at Ironman Australia, while Currie looks to beat his Kiwi countryman Mike Phillips and the strong Aussie contingent for his third Cairns title.
Ironfan Miguel takes in the pro presser. Originally from Venezuela, he now lives in Brisbane. Like so many of the competitors here, he has done the race multiple times. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
While Friday’s morning activity was a 5 km run, Saturday was for the kids with a huge contingent diving into the man-made lagoon for the IronKids race.

A good time was had by all!