Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Outrunning the Crocs; Grant Edwards Faces Danger in His Ironman Mission

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Outrunning the Crocs; Grant Edwards Faces Danger in His Ironman Mission

Article excerpt

COMPLETING the 3.8km swim may seem tough enough, followed by the 180km cycle and 42.2km runs leg. But throw stingers and saltwater crocodiles into the mix for a greater challenge.

And there are plenty of willing athletes up for the battle.

Launched last year, the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival has received a massive injection of interest and strong entries in 2012.

And all are primed to take on whatever Mother Nature throws at them.

Stinger season should have finished well before the June 3 race day, but athletes have clearance from Triathlon Australia to wear wetsuits during the swim despite the water temperature being above 24 deg.

Yet it's the crocs that many fear most.

With advice from experts, organiser USM Events will employ croc hunters to undertake ahazinga in the week leading up to the event. This will identify nests, where a map of the whereabouts of the territorial beasts will be detailed and reveal if any need to be relocated.

Crocs like to watch and stakeout before attacking, so only one practice swim over the course will be staged on the Saturday before the event.

Added comfort for the competitors is that crocs primarily strike at night.

Once the competitors leave the water they can at least be comforted by some stunning scenery.

They will ride on one of the most pristine pieces of coastline road in Australia.

Improvements to the course will see greater crowd and business involvement, with the ironman cyclists looping through Port Douglas twice while spending more time running through Cairns proper on the marathon a including the esplanade's abeer milea.

For those who want to follow the athletes closely, jump aboard a Quicksilver boat to achase the racea which takes onlookers to Port Douglas for the bike turnaround and then returns to Cairns for the finish.

The ironman and half-ironman 70. …

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