It is shaping up to be a hot one for the inaugural Cairns 50 with temperatures predicted in the early 30s and over 90% humidity. But it won’t just be the weather that is burning up for Sunday’s race with hot fields in the women’s and men’s 50k ultra events. So who should you be keeping an eye out for this weekend?
Coming off a 4:13 at the 2021 Gold Coast 50 which secured her 7th female overall and 2nd in her age group, Kerry comes in to the inaugural Cairns 50 as one of the favourites. Travelling to Cairns from South-East Queensland, Kerry will be used to the heat we will encounter this Sunday. Her consistency in training over the past 7 months, with no week being less than 50kms since September 13, will have her ready to take on what Cairns has to offer!
The local pocket rocket who shows up and kicks ass at the big events, Akane will be fighting it out at the front of the field this coming Sunday. In 2021, Akane was the 2nd female across the line in the Cairns Marathon in 3:17:07 and if she can put together a race like that this weekend, she will put herself in a position to take away the win at the first Cairns 50. She’s no stranger to the ultra-distance having tackled the Kuranda to Port Douglas in 2020 (2nd female) and is definitely one to watch!
The Townsville multisport enthusiast is used to the heat and humidity of FNQ and also used to going long! In 2021, she tackled the Townsville Marathon and got it done in 3:38:13. Add to this a PB Half Marathon at Mackay Marina Run, a second place at the Burdekin Sugar Rush Half Marathon and many other adventures throughout the year, 2021 was big for Krystal. Don’t count her out on Sunday!
The Mareeba Trail Runner is a regular at local running events in Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands, and comes in to this weekend’s Cairns 50 with the runs under her belt. Sonya took out the overall female win at the Bustard Express 4 hour event in March on a tough trail course with plenty of elevation, covering a marathon in that time. Put her on the flat paths of Cairns 50 and she is likely to be right at the pointy end. Her running CV also includes a 2nd place at the 2020 Guzzler 50k behind the ultra running phenom Reesha Lewis, so don’t be surprised to see Sonya at the front of the race!
OTHERS TO WATCH…
Running royalty, Rob Clarke joins us at the inaugural Cairns 50 from the Gold Coast, bringing with him experience and speed. His running CV includes a 2nd place at last year’s Brisbane Marathon Festival in a blistering 2:31:38 and the 2018 Gold Coast 50 title in 3:17:34. He’s no stranger to FNQ with a win at the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival 74km ultra in 2015. Then add to this his goal of going sub 3 hours for 50km’s, you can certainly expect to see Rob at the front provided he manages the heat.
The big local hope, Cairns GP Lachlan McIntosh has been running out of his skin recently. He has been smashing short course PB’s with a 17:06 Cairns Parkrun two weeks ago followed up the next day with a 36:52 10k showing that he is in the form of his life. The only question – can he nail the pacing and nutrition to get through 50k at such high paces? He is certainly used to the local conditions and, if he gets it right, will be able to challenge the front of the race.
Fresh legs, new shoes and a determined mindset might just be what Cairns local Jonathan Camilleri needs to compete at the front of the Cairns 50 race. He has been stringing together consistent training and hitting some big sessions in preparation for Cairns 50 and will give the race a solid shake. He certainly has the pedigree with a 3:05 Cairns Marathon in 2021, but will need to pace his first ultra well to get the most out of himself.
A picture of consistency over the past 3 months, Ben’s training this year has looked like 100km weeks, week after week after week. And not only is he running long, but he is running fast. In 2021, Ben took out the men’s field at Cairns Half Marathon in a blistering 1:16:46, and 2nd overall at the Mackay Marina Run in 1:17:09. Being his first ultramarathon though, the only question is can he hold it together for 50k?
Is it even a Cairns ultra-run without Bryan O’Mahoney? The local ultra-runner is a familiar name in FNQ running with super results across many years of running. He is a previous winner of the Kuranda to Port Douglas Ultra and 3 Marathons 3 Days so has the experience to get it done over the ultra-distance. If he can put together a solid race this weekend, he is certainly one to watch out for.
2021 was huge for Oliver Carey stringing together marathon after marathon including Sunshine Coast Marathon, Townsville Marathon, Airlie Beach Marathon, Brisbane Marathon and of course Cairns Marathon too. He is no stranger to a sub 3:30 marathon, going under this mark multiple times and will be well and truly in the fight for the podium at the inaugural Cairns 50. It’s his first ultramarathon though, so the extra distance could be the difference between a good day and a bad one.
OTHERS TO WATCH…