Trail Runs in FNQ

Trail running has been established in Far North Queensland thanks to the efforts of the Cairns Road Runners who has offered trail running events since 2006. There are 8 Trail Running Races hosted by the Cairns Road Runners in Far North Queensland in 2014, including the popular FNQ Trail Running Series. There are another three trail runs and regular training trail runs to introduce runners to the various trails. Keep an eye on the Cairns Road Runners Website ( and the Cairns Runners Facebook page for updates.

Minimum Impact Trail Running
The Trail Running Series showcases fantastic trail locations in Far North Queensland. Before, during and after each event competitors, volunteers and supporters are encouraged to follow standard ‘leave no trace’ environmental guidelines. To reduce our carbon footprint, competitors are encouraged to make use of transport provided or organise to travel with fellow competitors.

Please Note: Due to safety concerns Junior Runners (Under 16s) can only participate in selected trail runs.  Applications for consideration in longer events can be made to the race organisers.  Strict criteria (which may include, but not be limited to, full parental supervision during the event) will apply to ensure the safety of the junior runner.

2014 Events:

Registrations are open

8 February 2014. 6th Poker Run. 1 hour. FREE for Club members (Practice Run on 1 February).

In its sixth year, the Poker Trail Run is conducted on dirt tracks at the Smithfield Conservation and Mountain Bike Park in Cairns, Queensland. There is a long loop (approx. 3km) and a short loop (approx. 2km) through rainforest and pine plantations. Competitors complete as many loops as they can in the hour allowed. Upon registration and at the end of each short loop, adult competitors receive a playing card. Two cards are awarded for each long loop. The runner with the best poker hand at the end of the race is the winner. Junior runners receive a goody bag.

15 February 2014. Full moon Glacier Rock Run. 6km. FREE

A great social night run from Stoney Creek Road to Glacier Rock lookout along the Douglas Track.

29 March 2014. 3rd Earth Hour Run. 10km or 5km. FREE

Run up to Park Ridge to view the lights being turned off for Earth Hour.

30 March 2014. 3rd Barron Gorge Trail Race. 18km or 11km. Race #1 of the FNQ Trail Running Series. (Practice Run on 9 March). Competitor Information Pack

We get straight into steep hills in this race – head up the super-steep Smith’s Track at the start of this race.

27 April 2014. 4th Black Snake Trail Race. 34km, 21.1km or 10km. Race #2 of the FNQ Trail Running Series. (Practice Run on 6 April). Competitor Information Pack; Support Crew Information

This race is named after what is probably the most common snake seen in the rainforest. The Red-bellied Black Snake is often just called the Black Snake by Far North Queenslanders, who spot it frequently laying on trails basking in the sun. It’s not aggressive, and while its bite is considered dangerous, it is unlikely to result in death!

4 May 2014. Members’ Only Handicap Race #1 of 2. 5km. FREE

1 June 2014. Members’ Only Handicap Race #2 of 2. 5km. FREE

15 June 2014. Inaugural Atherton Forest Trail Race. 15km or 9km. NEW. Competitor Information Pack is being updated.

11-13 July 2014. 3rd 3 Marathons in 3 Days. 3 x 42.2km = 126.6km

13 July 2014. 3rd Cairns Marathon – Part trail, part road (Day 3 of the 3 Marathons in 3 Days). 42.2km. Competitor Information Pack; Support Crew Information

26 July 2014. Smithfield Trail Run. 8km. NEW. FREE to Club members.

17 August 2014. 4th Mt Haig Trail Marathon. 45km, 21.1km, 10km, 5km fun run. Race #3 of the FNQ Trail Running Series. Competitor Information Pack.

This race follows a fairly well constructed forestry road that meanders to create probably the best rainforest circuit in the north, according to Paul Curtis’ book “The Travellers’ Guide to North Queensland Cairns and Surrounds”.

7 September 2014. 4th Kuranda to Port Douglas Ultra Trail Marathon Race. 64km; 64km relay (2-5 runners); 16km Bump to Beach. #4 of the FNQ Trail Running Series. Includes the 16km Bump to Beach race. Competitor Information Pack; Support Crew Information

This Point-to-Point race starts just off Kennedy Highway in Kuranda and follows Black Mountain Road that runs through native rainforest, open eucalyptus forest, pine plantations and crosses picturesque creeks. It is a scenic course incorporated in the Mowbray National Park within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The pyramid-shaped Black Mountain is a prominent feature of the race. The tropical rainforest is home to the endangered southern cassowary, a flightless bird that can grow to two metres in height.

5 October 2014. 4th Twin Bridges Half Trail Marathon. 21.1km. Competitor Information Pack

The Twin Bridges track (East Black Mountain Road) follows the route of the original Black Mountain Road, to the east of the current road. It diverges from Black Mountain Road 27 kilometres from the Kennedy Highway and rejoins it 2 kilometres from the top of the Bump Track. Closed by gates at both ends, it is a multi-use track for trail runners, walkers and mountain bikers. Motor vehicles, trail bikes and horses are not allowed on this track.

28 Responses to Trail Runs in FNQ

  1. masaru hirose says:

    E-mail has been from Japan.
    I learned that in Kuranda to Port Douglas Trail Race 64k in the web site.
    Does this race will be many people participated?
    Please tell me the size of the race.

  2. Sala Ayrey says:

    Hi Lorraine – a quick query….is the Misty Mountains half marathon, planned for Sept 18th still a goer? It doesn’t seem to feature on some of the calendars so I was wondering if it has been cancelled. Cheers, Sala.

    • Hi Sala, YES! I’ve just been too busy to also update the website, sorry. Entry form on the Events – Road Runs pages. It’s not a Cairns Road Runners Event, but we are supporting Alan Courtney, who is the race director.

  3. Sala Ayrey says:

    Great – thanks Lorraine. I’ll drop into Cairns Family Chiropractic on Monday and submit my entry form/payment. My first ever half marathon – hooray! :)

  4. Mal says:

    What is the cutoff time for the ultra and half?

    • Hi Mal, not sure which event you mean – the 64km and 21km of the It’s Extreme Kuranda to Port Douglas has no cut offs. The 74km Ultra on 12 November,which is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival, has a cut off at the top of the Bump, 57km into the race – you have 9 hours to get there. I’m not involved in the 21km race, and don’t know about any cut offs. You’ll need to contact the race organisers.

  5. David Bree says:

    Hi Lorraine

    I heard that this race was on this year and I have just read the reviews in the AURA magazine. I’d love to incorporate a family holiday in Cairns/Port Douglas with this race next year.

    I am not a trail runner. Do you need trail running shoes for this run or will standard running shoes suffice?

    Kind regards


  6. Shobun Goto says:

    What’s the cutoff time for Mt Haig 45K?

    • Hi Shobun, we encourage participation in our events, and welcome anyone along who wants to have a go! So no cut off for any of our events at this point in time. We’ll be there at the finish waiting, when you come in. The race director reserves the right to pull competitors off the course as required – this is to ensure the safety of all competitors and volunteers.

  7. ian says:

    Can we upload a map of tomorrow’s training run please ?

  8. Rhys says:

    Hi there,

    Looking at coming down to Cairns from PNG for the black snake run, is it open to anyone?? Cheers,


    • Hi Rhys, yes we’d love to have you along. Enter before the ‘late fee’ kicks in on 19/4/2012 9:00 PM. Entries closes on 27/4/2012 9.00PM, no late or on the day entries. Entry fees vary, depending on distance. For independent runners it is as follows:

      Distance Standard Late
      10km $ 25.00 $ 30.00
      21km $ 35.00 $ 40.00
      34km $ 40.00 $ 50.00

  9. Stephanie says:

    I’m here from Canada wondering about running the 21 km black snake run on April 29.. Do I need anything special, should we be self supported ( own water etc. ) or are there drink stops? How many people usually run in this? Do I need snake bite kit or anything? Is the trail very wet this time of year? Is there cut off times?Sorry for so many questions. Thank you.


    • Hi Steph, always happy to help out!
      Do I need anything special – just a hydrations system for example a small water bottle.
      Should we be self supported ( own water etc. ) or are there drink stops? Water provided at 2.5km; 5km and 10km. No cups. If you want anything else, you can leave it in the drop box going to the turn around at the Fig Tree.
      How many people usually run in this? This is the second year, we had over 50 competitors in the 34, 21.1 and 10k last year.
      Do I need snake bite kit or anything? No. This is only mandatory for the 34km runners.
      Is the trail very wet this time of year? Easy dirt road to run on, but you will get your feet wet crossing over a few shallow creeks.
      Are there cut off times? No. This is at the discresion of the Race Officials.

  10. natasha sekulic says:

    Hi I’m thinking of entering the ultra. This will be my first ultra (although have done a marathon). Is this course suitable for a novice ultra?

    Is there any special gear other than a compression bandage and whistle that the ultra’s need?

    Also, as I’m travelling from interstate, I won’t have a support crew. Will I be able to plan ahead and leave supplies at the refueling stations?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Natasha, which Ultra are you think of? We have three this year! The 3 Marathons in 3 Days is on next weekend, so I assume you are referring to Mt Haig or Kuranda to Port Douglas. Mt Haig is 45km, so if you’ve done a marathon, it will be very achievable – just tough as there are three long hills on the course. For the Kuranda to Port Douglas you’ll do a marathon + another 1/2, so that is do-able too. Again, not an easy run, so don’t turn up without having done a proper training program. You will need to have in place your own nutritional plan and hydrations system. Compression bandage and whistle required on the Kuranda to Port Douglas. There are checkpoints where you can leave gear, no support crew is required. Hope you can make it!

      • natasha sekulic says:

        Thanks Lorraine for your prompt reply – sorry I didn’t specify. I was thinking of the Kuranda to Port Douglas and am already following a training program for a 100km race at the end of September so was thinking the 64km would be a good tune up race. Thanks again!

        • Sounds like you will fit right in! Will be a pleasure to have you along for the event. Good luck with your training. Next year, come up and do the 3 Marathons in 3 Days as well.

  11. Sarah West says:

    Can we nominate on the day for the Kauri Creek Marathon?

    • Hi Sarah, no. Entries for the 45km; 21.1km and 10km close on Sunday, 15 July. No late entries accepted after that. Get your nomination in now, as a late fee applies from 9.00pm on 10 July!

  12. ray mun says:

    greetings guys!

    i’m interested in taking part in the Kuranda to Port Douglas Ultra Trail Marathon 2013. where can i sign up at? :D



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