Day in the life | Tracey Hannah pt.1

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Whether you are a keen Mountain Bike fan (of Downhill in particular), a casual weekend warrior or just enjoy following the sport from the confines of your lounge, you have most likely heard of Tracey Hannah. An influential role model in the Mountain Bike community as a strong advocate for women in sports, Tracey has been active in the elite level of racing since the early 2000’s. After dominating the junior and elite level for her first years, she took time off before returning several years later to continue right where she left off – at the very top.

Now back in her hometown, Tracey gets to enjoy a slower pace of life. Having grown up in Cairns, there are plenty of reasons why she attributes her success to her tropical backyard – not only in her early years of racing and ongoing training, but as an adventure magnet for those who simply can’t keep still. So what exactly does the World No.2 get up to? Let’s find out…

Training in the Smithfield mountain bike park

It’s no secret that any athlete in the top level of their game trains. Naturally, Tracey is no different. Even in a sport so seemingly revolved around gravity, Tracey and her fellow athletes put in the hard yards to ensure tip top physical and mental condition once the racing calendar kicks off. For Tracey, training has many forms. Stationary ‘wind trainer’ sessions, gym, road riding and of course time spent lapping the Smithfield Mountain Bike Park.

The combination of summer heat, steep hills and technical terrain offers a rigorous training session all the while creating a sense of enjoyment while riding the network of trails made famous over the ages, and the trails where her career spawned all those years ago.

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Rainforest adventures

Just one of many ways to cool off during the long, hot summer days, Cairns is spoilt for choice when it comes to hunting down and diving into a cool, pristine rainforest creek. Tracey knows just the trick, and just the spot. Fairy Falls off Crystal Cascades is somewhat of a hidden gem, with its narrow path seemingly leading to nowhere, but opening up on a surprise waterfall and refreshing swimming hole.

After some rock hopping and a spot of scrambling over slippery rainforest roots the reward is well worth it, and for Tracey it brings home a reminder just how spectacular this corner of the world she calls home really is.

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Palm Cove

No rest for the wicked! Undoubtedly one of the better known postcodes in Cairns, Palm Cove is best known for its esplanade lined with 5-star resorts and restaurants. But Palm Cove also offers a relaxed way to take in some sun – and sneak in an extra spot of training. The beach stretches for kilometres with the clean, white, sandy shore one of the nicer spots you could ask for while taking an extra training session.

While visiting ahtletes froth and thrive over the chance to catch some rays and dive into the ocean while travelling the globe getting to the World Champs in Cairns, Tracey has this literally at her doorstep to enjoy.

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Pump Track Sessions

Another excuse for training – though seriously, they do help! Pump track riding offers a rewarding, and rather entertaining method of getting on the bike with short bursts of spare time. Tracey and her dad decided the spare corner of the yard could do with some landscaping, and so out came the mini-excavator. Not long after, Tracey had a fun little figure-8 pump-track to jump on and tear around on, building strength and practising skills vital to her racing career.

And when you have a pump-track, you have to invite your friends! Afternoon sessions turned into night-time sessions under lights and with a barbecue running – the perfect summer evenings with friends and family!

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Thought we’d leave it at that? This is only half the story! Tracey knows how to make the most of her time off, hitting the local trails, enjoying the adventurous nature of Cairns and getting some training for the upcoming season under her belt.

Stay tuned next time when we continue with our dive into the daily life of Tracey Hannah, home in Tropical North Queensland!