Cairns parkrun | Cairns Ironman Expo

Who gets up at 5am to run a parkrun when they are on holidays in the tropics? The Unsporty Woman does, that’s who! Oh and her Husband, the wonderful Pauly.

23°C before 6am? Cairns parkrun starts at 7am and we had to drive an hour to get there.

I was a bit concerned, nope, that’s mega concerned about the heat and humidity. The goal was to run all the way and finish.

Talk about a magic spot for a parkrun. Palm trees, beach, friendly parkrunners – Cairns parkrun is now pushing it for the friendliest parkrun I’ve visited so far. They were welcoming and encouraging. Two poor little Tasmanians withering in the warmth? I guess we looked like we needed friends.


I was drenched in sweat almost as soon as I started running. Choosing to go from the back (my happy starting place) I sent off tentatively. We said hello to a parkrunner who we met at Claisebrook Cove parkrun in WA – it was lovely to see her again at her home parkrun.

It was such a gorgeous course. Running by the beach in the tropics with a light sea breeze? A runner’s paradise. That was the first 2.5kms. Then that lovely breeze stopped and we wound our way through some leafy areas – the air was heavy, hot, humid. It felt quite suffocating. I ran on.


According to my watch I ran 5.09kms and my time was 28:11. Average pace was 5:33kms per minute. My 1km lap times were:

  1. 5:44
  2. 5:30
  3. 5:35
  4. 5:28
  5. 5:28

I’m pretty happy with that! Not too shabby for an Unsporty Woman not acclimatised to the heat and humidity.

Pauly post-run
Pauly post-run
Me post-run
Me post-run

I was given a trophy! When my barcode was scanned I was asked if I was a visitor and when I said I was from Tasmania, the scanner asked me how I found the heat. TOUGH, very tough! I responded with a smile – a smile because the run was done. He promptly got me out a trophy for finishing Cairns parkrun. SWEET! My first running trophy!


We had a lovely breakfast afterwards. All parkruns have an after-run breakfast, it’s a great way to get to know other runners. That’s how we found out about The Running Group at home. At the breakfast today I met a fellow parkrunner who thanked me. Thanked me? I remember passing him at the 2.5km mark and apparently he decided he would keep up with the runner in the skirt which he did AND he did a PB! That’s so cool, I paced someone and I didn’t even know it. I’m glad I picked up the speed a little for those last two kms.

After the breakfast we visited the Cairns Ironman Expo. This event is tomorrow and the cycling leg comes all the way from Cairns up to Port Douglas AND right by our resort. And guess who has a second floor balcony with full view of the race? We do! Quite by accident, but how cool is that?

The roads are closed all day so there will be nothing to do but kick back and watch the Ironman. I so admire those athletes. Running is tough enough but these guys are doing cycling and swimming as well. There is an Ironman and an Ironman 70.3. The Ironman involves a 3.86km swim, a 180.25km cycle and a 42.2km run. The Ironman 70.3 is half all that. I totally applaud anyone who can do all this! All of this in this heat!

All these things are not out of anyone’s reach. From 0 to 5kms, from 5kms, to 10 to half marathon. I’ve done all that in four amazing years. If I can do this anyone can. I write this often and that’s because it’s true. I’ve done it and I’ve seen other beautiful running friends do it too. Pauly has ideas of Ironmans in the future. Why not? It’s not about speed, it’s about participating and doing things that previously were only in dreams.

If you can dream it, you can achieve it!

It’s been an awesome day here in paradise. I hope you’re having a great one too.

Happy running 🙂

PS the Unsporty Woman will be delighted to take up the role of Number One Fan and Support Crew for Pauly should he take up the Ironman challenge. I simply do not have the coordination to take off a wetsuit, get into bike gear, unhinge a bike from the rack…oh dear me, just not coordinated enough. I would still be struggling with my shoe laces by the time everyone else was finished. I shall stick to running, that’s enough challenge for me.

A few happy snaps of the Expo





14 thoughts on “Cairns parkrun | Cairns Ironman Expo

  1. You look fantastic Annie and what a great run! Never say never…you may be the triathlon girl one day. With your attitude and fitness anything is possible.

  2. Laying on bed reading about your pr before I get up to do mine and am so impressed with your splits considering the heat. Very warm here at mo 14 degrees c and it’s only 7, this is warm for us and us very humid but I will not fair as well as you.
    I love that sunflower top!

  3. The parkrun crew sounds great! Especially the whole trophy thing – that’s so nice of them. Runners really are an amazing bunch.

    It’s so nice to catch up on what you’ve been up to recently (and good to be back!). 😀

  4. OMG you look so fit and strong! Maybe it’s just the humidity, but your shoulders are glistening in those photos 💚💜💙💛

    1. Thanks Melee 🙂 it was the sweat! I was dripping at the end and very red faced – the photo doesn’t show how red I was. It was a great Saturday run, tough but really good to have been able to finish.

  5. Love your sunflower outfit! What an awesome vacation you are having. The trophy they gave you is so cool- you’re right, very welcoming!

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