Start Training for Some Exciting Events in 2021
Originally written by: Michael Gosman 2020
Can you swim without floaties? Do you own a bike that isn’t covered in cobwebs? Were your running shoes made this century? If you answered yes to at least one of those questions, then join in some of the most sole-crushing, tyre-popping, heart-racing events you can find anywhere in the world. From IRONMAN Oceania events to marathons and multi-day cycling challenges, these are some of the best Queensland endurance events.
Start cooking a batch of carbs and get your training plan in order, pronto.
Brisbane Cycling Festival
When: March – April 2021
Where: Anna Meares Velodrome and the streets of Brisbane
The Challenge: The Brisbane Cycling Festival has a range of events, so you can pick the challenge that suits you. The highlight is the Tour de Brisbane’s 110km Gran Fondo (part of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series) on completely closed roads throughout the city. 110km sound a bit tough? Maybe the 60km Medio, 30km Piccolo or 8km Community Ride is more your style.
What you need: Quads of steel are recommended; but a bike, gels and steel-like determination are the only mandatories.
How to reward yourself: Bikes, beers and beats at the final of the internationally-renowned Six Day Series at the Anna Meares Velodrome. Watch the world’s best track cyclists compete across madison, time trials, derny racing, team eliminations, scratch races and points races.
When: March 2021
Where: Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast
The Challenge: The main event of the Mooloolaba Triathlon is Sunday’s Olympic-distance triathlon: 1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run, but the real challenge is prying yourself away from Mooloolaba Beach to start the cycle leg.
The day before isn’t just foam-rolling and smoothies on the beach. Head track-side to watch the pros tackle a sprint distance triathlon in the Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup.
What you need: First time triathletes don’t need to own gear like the professionals you’ll watch on Saturday. A bike, swim suit (a tri-suit or two piece that can be worn for all events is ideal), goggles, swim cap and running shoes are all you need for your first go.
How to reward yourself: Dining in Mooloolaba is continuing an upward spiral, driven by local seafood and access to the nearby food-bowl of the Hinterland. Check out 11 of our top picks from the Sunshine Coast, with special mention to Pier 33 and Rice Boi in the heart of Mooloolaba.
The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships (The Aussies)
When: 16-24 April 2021
Where: Alexandra Headlands, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast
The Challenge: Australia’s 314 Surf Clubs come together to compete in more than 400 beach and ocean events spanning beach sprints, Ironman events, board races and everything in between at The Aussies – this is Australia’s finest Surf Life Savers at their peak.
What you need: For the competitors, years of practice and dedication. For everyone else, a loud cheer and a firm clap to encourage the athletes to the finish.
Runaway Noosa Marathon
When: May 2021
The Challenge: As one of Australia’s newest marathons, the Runaway Noosa Marathon is a flat and fast course that meanders alongside the picturesque Noosa River.
If you’re not ready for a full marathon just yet, there’s also the option of a 31.6km, half marathon, 10km, 5km and even ocean swims.
What you need: Enough energy left to boogie your way through the seven live music stations, you’ll encounter on each of the four laps of the marathon course.
How to reward yourself: After slogging through 42.2km treat yourself to Noosa’s best food and wine options.
Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championships and IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns
When: 27 September 2020
Where: Cairns, Tropical North Queensland
The Challenge: There is a difference between IRONMAN 70.3 and true IRONMAN. Both are difficult, both are exciting and bring the best talent in the world… but the true IRONMAN is a whole new beast.
Think 3.8km swim, 180km bike and then a full 42.2km marathon. All in one day. All in under 10 hours for some Captain America-looking people. Not to mention the whole race is stunning.
If you don’t feel like pushing six months worth of exercise into 10 hours, there are loads of other events, including a 70.3 option, Quicksilver Reef Swim – Green Island, The Cairns Post Bright Night Run and McDonalds IRONKIDS Cairns.
What you need: Years and years of practice, zero body hair, webbed toes and fingers and of course… a bike. If you’re not a competitor, it’s worth coming to watch the spectacle yourself from the sidelines, sans-sweat.
How to reward yourself: Not only will you be able to tell everyone you meet about how you conquered IRONMAN in Cairns that one time, you’ll also have the superhuman ability to swim to most of these island resorts. Well maybe not, but pretty darn close.
Gold Coast Marathon
When: July 2021
Where: Gold Coast
The Challenge: The Gold Coast Marathon brings in more than 26,000 participants of all ages and abilities to compete across multiple formats. The marathon is the premier event, but you can’t go past the wheelchair marathon for sheer excitement and inspiration.
These men and women are true champions as they travel 42.195km with their arms faster than most of us could do on a motorcycle. The other events include 2km and 4km Junior Dashes, a 5.7km challenge, a 10km run, and a 15km wheelchair race.
What you need: The ability to pace yourself and not go too hard when the gun fires, the ability to grab cups of water on the run, the ability to pretty much sprint the 42.195km if you want to win!
How to reward yourself: Thrills. That’s right. Head up to Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet’n’Wild to rest the legs and enjoy an exciting ride of a different kind. If cuddling cute koalas is more your thing, grab your selfie stick and follow these tips to make the most out of a day at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Tour of the Tropics
When: August 2021
Where: Tropical North Queensland
The Challenge: The Tour of the Tropics is back in 2020, pedalling its way through the Atherton Tablelands and the Wet Tropics Rainforests over three days of cycling action.
What you need: The ability to focus on the road in front of you while riding across lush rolling hills and the oldest living rainforest in the world. This is an event for multitaskers.
How to reward yourself: Swap the cycling tights for a wetsuit and enjoy a day exploring the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef.
Reef to Reef MTB
When: August 2021
Where: Tropical North Queensland
The Challenge: As one of Australia’s newest mountain biking stage races, Reef to Reef MTB is less of an endurance slog and more of an exhilarating adventure on two wheels.
Starting in Cairns and finishing four days later in Port Douglas, the terrain is challenging without being too technical for the average rider. There are plenty of flowing tracks through tropical rainforests that will have you screaming in delight.
What you need: The ability to focus, peddle for four days and execute the perfect shakas while riding a bike.
How to reward yourself: You can’t complete a race with reef in its title twice without visiting the holy grail of reefs. Here’s 8 epic ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef.