Home Chat General Chat

Ironman 70.3 UK - how hilly is hilly?

Thinking about IMUK 70.3 - all info says it is a very tough and hilly course with 1750m total climb on the bike and 900m overall climb on the run including off road sections.

How hilly is it in reality, from a participants and maybe first timer's view? My home turf is Richmond Park and many consider it to be 'flat' .... north/south banter aside, any suggestions?!

Is this the event to start middle distance with?


  • andyb99andyb99 Posts: 229
    its supposed to be a real killer....same as bala.....it seems the middle distance organisers try to choose a place as difficult as possible...trying to make their event the toughest.
    fun2tri do a middle distance at trentham which is supposed to be quite flat....or the little woody is supposed to be ok...its either them of full IM for me next year.
  • I did IMUK 70.3 this year, and did pretty much all of my bike training in Richmond Park. I have to say that the hills on the IMUK course are far more challenging than anything Richmond Park has to offer! The course has 2 very 'interesting' climbs, and you do each one twice. There is also one descent in particular which I found terrifying - it goes on forever, and finishes with a 90 degree left turn at the bottom. It isn't unknown for riders to misjudge the corner and end up in the field opposite!

    That said, it was my first 70.3, and I loved every minute of it - despite pulling a calf muscle a week before the race while training. I went with the idea that, even with a duff leg, I could still complete the swim and bike, then I would take the run as it came, depending on the leg. I had decent (for me) swim and bike legs (I was off the bike after 4:20), and if I had run my predicted half-marathon time could have had a 6:15 finish, which I would have been delighted with. As things turned out my calf went again 200m into the run. I thought about quitting, but realised I had over 5 hours until the run cut-off, and that I could probably walk the rest of the course in that time, so I carried on. I jogged where I could, and walked the uphill sections - of which there are plenty, but only one really tough one, and finished in 6:48 which, given the circumstances, I was chuffed with.

    I guess the upshot is that yes, the hills are much more severe that Richmond Park, and this will have a knock-on effect on your run, but the atmosphere at the race was fantastic. As long as you are realistic in your expectations you will have a great day - I certainly did!

  • grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    I did this race last year, and yes it's tough, but knowing that you train accordingly. I didn't think the bike was as bad as everyone would have you believe. But saying that, I live and train in the Cotswolds and we have plenty of hills which would match Wimbleball, one of my training rides for Wimbleball involved a lot more climbing then the actual course. So if you live in a very flat area and your not a strong cyclist, then I would say you may have some issues, otherwise you have all winter to get out and get climbing!

    However, don't do what I did, which was spend all winter worrying about the bike and ignoring the run, the run is key to this race, it's really hard, again train accordingly.

    However, the sense of achievement completing this race is huge, it's an amazing race, get pre-registered
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    Grant, you did also IM 70.3 Germany. How did that compare to UK? You posted a faster time on the UK one, what happened?
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    FK, sounds like a piece of work! Did you do other Surrey training rides, such as Box Hill? What were your splits for IMUK 70.3? I guess I need to use the winter to get some serious hill rides and runs in ... focus!
  • No, I didn't do any other London training rides. I was living and working in London during the week but returning to my family in Devon at the weekends. Although where I live in Devon provides plenty of opportunities for hills I try not to do my long rides/runs at the weekends as I spend enough time away from the family as it is

    The most I did was the hill by the plantation in Richmond Park, but I would do several laps, attacking the hill in a harder gear each time. Splits were swim - 40m, T1 7m29s, bike 3:35, T2 3m14s and run 2:22.

    Prior to this I'd done one sprint and 3 ODs over the previous three years. Since then I did a full IM race in the New Forest. I've listened to advice from loads of people, and read the forums aplenty, but the only way to find out just how difficult something is is to get off my arse and have a crack at it.

    I'm doing IM Switzerland next summer, and IMUK 70.3 fall in quite a good time with the training schedule so I may well do it again. Alternatively, there is one in Weymouth about the same time which is not M-Dot, so is quite a bit cheaper. I would like to have another go at Wimbleball without any injuries though - just to see if I can crack 5:59.

    Get the base work in over the winter and I'm sure you'll be fine!

  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    Thanks for the detailed info FK. I have done a sprint and OD this year in my first season and plan a sprint, OD and HIM next year. I surely understand the family thing and do all my training during the week, which is sometimes tough especially for long sessions when I start at 4.45 am ...

    Good luck with you plans for 2010!
  • grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    just2tri wrote:
    Grant, you did also IM 70.3 Germany. How did that compare to UK? You posted a faster time on the UK one, what happened?
    Both events are brilliant ad I can highly recommend both, but Germany has the edge, there is just lots of little things that make a big difference.

    But yes I posted a slower time At both events I suffered some stomach issues, but it was a lot worse in Wiesbaden. When I did Wimbleball I put it down to eating to much because I didn't know any different. But now I have done two and had stomach issues at both I can only conclude I'm not getting my nutrition right?
Sign In or Register to comment.