Some sporting events capture the imagination and inspire something bigger. The Cairns Ironman Triathlon is one such event. The sheer challenge of the distance requires an extraordinary effort.
The Ironman involves a 3.8km Swim off Palm Cove beach, a 180km Bike to Port Douglas return to Cairns, and a 42.2km Run along the Cairns esplanade. That is a big day of 226km.
However, this big day points to something bigger. On race day, 6th June, I want to compete in this Ironman to raise $2,260 for my amazing friends at Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).
Flying for a Cause
For over 75 years MAF has been flying light aircraft over jungles, mountains, swamps and deserts to bring medical care, emergency relief, long-term development and Christian hope to thousands of isolated communities around the world.
MAF’s service to others points to something bigger than ourselves and reminds us of the sacrifice needed to make a difference. That is why I am up for the Ironman challenge to raise awareness and support for something bigger than just a triathlon and myself.
The Ironman is regarded as the toughest one-day sporting event in the world. For the professionals it is an eight-to-nine-hour workday. For the rest of us it can last 10 to 17 hours.
Even with the local crowd support and frequent fluid and food stations, the hot Cairns conditions make it a tough day. This ultra-endurance event requires athletes to take in litres of electrolyte sports drink, energy gels and food to stay fuelled for the long day around Cairns.
MAF’s Big Need
The Cairns location is also significant for MAF with their nearby Mareeba base a critical part of their whole operation. Mareeba services the MAF operation around Australia and Asia with pilot training and heavy maintenance of their aircraft.
With their current Mareeba lease not being renewed, a generous donor has gifted land at the end of the runway. However, they still need $850,000 for a new heavy maintenance hangar.
Through my Cairns Ironman Triathlon, I want to raise awareness and funds for the amazing work MAF do. All donations go directly to MAF. Are you up for the challenge to help support something bigger and make a difference to the lives of remote communities?
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html