Cairns 30 Preview

Clear Favourites for Cairns 30

It will be some super fast racing at Cairns 30 this weekend with the 2022 female champion lining up to defend her title and 2022 Cairns 50 runner up ready to tackle the two lap 30km course. Who do we think will be battling it out for the podium?


In 2022, local professional triathlete Sarah Thomas showed a clean pair of heels to take the win the the women's Cairns 30 by a whopping 20 minutes! This year she lines up again with her major competition likely to come from the mens field in the battle for overall honours. 

But over 30km and in the hot conditions expected this Sunday, anything can happen, and there will be a strong field looking to nab themselves a spot on the podium. In particular, Ignite Endurance run coach Nadine Hunt will be in the mix. She has had a strong 12 months of triathlon and running and is just getting stronger and faster. Nadine Burns will also likely put up a fight after some time away from endurance sports, as will Laura McCartney who podiumed in the half marathon at the recent Dynamic in a Dress. Making their way up the highway to tackle our local runners s Mikayla Griffin who we see as a major threat to the 2023 Cairns 30 podium.

Then add to the contenders a long list of local females including Suzanne Rath, Devicca Embahe, Kylie Whitley, Michelle Caffrey and Sarah Sim. It will be hot racing with an open field.


Although the 2022 Cairns 30 champion Adam Fox won’t line up for 2023 (apparently he has something more important the following weekend), there will still be a clear favourite on the start line for the Mens Cairns 30. In 2022, Mission Beach’s Ben Melville finished 2nd in the inaugural Cairns 50. He then backed this up with a 2:37 Gold Coast marathon and a 34:37 10k this February. This year Ben will take on the 30k and will be very hard to beat.

The local hopes rest on the shoulders of triathlete Jonathan Camilleri who is coming off a 1:24 half marathon at Dynamic in a Dress and a 1:26 half marathon in last weekend’s Geelong 70.3. But with Ironman Port Macquarie on the agenda for May, how hard will he be willing to push? Expect Colin McIntosh to be amongst the contenders too. Although Colin’s first race over the half marathon distance, he is a strong runner and will definitely be mixing it with the best on race day.

The real unknown for Cairns 30 in 2023 is the large contingent of runners making their way up the highway from Townsville. Over 25% of this year’s field will be travelling from down south and there is likely to be some unexpected performers in amongst this group. But they will have to take on the other local lads including the likes of David Blakely, Stuart Plested, Brett Carlsson and Anthony Ralph.


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