Tri Training Harder's Review of IRONMAN 70.3 Dublin 2016

Welcome to our IRONMAN® 70.3 Dublin Course Review. Here we aim to give you a good insight into the course, the location and what to expect as well as extra tips for spectators and advice for nutrition and training.


IRONMAN® 70.3 Dublin is located in and around Phoenix Park, Dublin. The race HQ is ideally situated for competitors travelling across Ireland and from other countries due to the fact it is located close to the centre of one of Europe’s busiest tourist destinations. Why not combine your visit to Dublin with some sightseeing?

The race HQ, start and T1 are located on the East coast of Ireland, South East of the City in Scotsman’s Bay, Dun Laoghaire. T2 and the finish are located in the same place on this course- right in the heart of Phoenix Park in the North West corner of Dublin City. 


For accommodation you have a lots of options:
  1. 1. Hotels – Lots of variety both in the City itself or on the outskirts.
    2. Houses & apartments to rent – great for groups and can be very inexpensive if booked in advance with a large party.
    3. B&B – these get booked up very quickly so you will have to move quickly!

Nirvana Europe are the Official Travel Agent to the IRONMAN European Series, providing accommodation, travel and event services to athletes and spectators.

IRONMAN 70.3 Dublin is a sea swim similar
to IRONMAN Wales (pictured above)


The swim is a 1.9km single anti-clockwise loop. The swim entry and exit are two different points in the bay so you will not be exiting the water at the same point you entered. Remember that this is a sea swim. Wetsuits are mandatory.

Top tip: Use a landmark on the pier for your sighting in the first half of the swim and then pick a landmark on the mainland for your sighting in the second half.

Cut off time: 1 hour 10 minutes after your wave start, with a further 10 minutes allowed to reach bike mount


T1 at this race is a very standard, compact affair. The run from the water exit to transition is not too far but as always don’t overdo it in your excitement and push yourself into the red with a short sprint. Take time to reflect on what is to come.

In T1 you will find your own numbered blue bag (given to you at registration) in which we would recommend having:

  • – Helmet*
  • – Race belt with number attached*
  • – Bike Shoes
  • – Sunglasses
  • – Talc for your bike shoes to soak up any excess moisture
  • – Small towel
  • – Nutrition for the bike
  • – Spare water for rinsing your mouth out after the swim
  • – Socks
  • – Warm layers

Your wetsuit and any other discarded swim kit is to be put in this bag to be re-hung by a volunteer.


This is a very flat course and if you love posting a fast bike split then you will be in your element here!

The bike course for IRONMAN® 70.3 Dublin consists of a 56 mile point to point ride with a single loop from Dun Laoghaire and finishing in Phoenix Park in Dublin city centre. From T1, athletes will hug the coastline heading north towards Dublin city.

The next section of the course is truly remarkable. One of Europe’s busiest cities is closed down to allow for race competitors to head east along the river. After passing all the landmarks of Dublin City, riders will emerge on the other side of the city and catch their first glimpse of Phoenix Park where the run course will take place. 

Once past Phoenix Park, athletes will head into a single loop which will be completed in a clockwise direction. The loop is around 40km in distance and once you finish the loop you will only have a short ride back to Phoenix Park to commence the run course.

There is only 408m of climbing and 371m of descending in the whole of the bike course so this is a very flat bike course by any counts.

Cut off time: 5 hours 30 minutes after your wave start, with a further 10 minutes allowed to reach the run exit


At T2 in Phoenix park you will come off your bike, rack it, then head into the marquee and pick up your RED transition bag. In this will have all your run kit: (for example)
  • – Trainers
  • – Run nutrition
  • – Appropriate extra clothing for bad weather
  • – Socks & Sunglasses (if not worn on the bike leg!)

Your helmet and any other discarded bike kit is to be put in this bag and left in the tent to be re-hung by a volunteer.


The run continues in a similar vain to the bike course: flat. There is very little elevation change during the run course. The course is predominantly covered on small paved tracks through the grounds of Phoenix Park and the whole run is contained within the park.

The atmosphere during the run will be a sight to behold if 2015 was anything to go by. The spectators were 5 to 10 deep down the central driveway of the park which is where the finish chute is situated. Athletes must complete 3 laps of the run course before making their way down the famous red carpet to collect their medal. 

Make use of the feed stations that are available on each lap, especially during the first two laps- you will want all the energy you can get for that finish sprint!

Cut off time: 8 hours 30 minutes after your wave start.


Once you have crossed the line, received your medal and T-shirt, you will be shown into the finishers tent where there will be food, drink, massage tables and also your own WHITE bag. In this, we would recommend putting in:

  • – Clean socks and comfortable shoes
  • – Towel
  • – Full change of clothes, especially if the weather is bad.


Our top tips for giving your spectators the best experience at IRONMAN® 70.3 Dublin.

1) Where is best to spectate for the swim?
It is not particularly easy to get from the swim location on the coast to Phoenix Park so you may want to consider whether it is worth the early start here or whether you are better off finding yourself a nice spot on the bike course closer to the city itself.

2) Where is best to spectate on the bike?
If you base yourself close to Phoenix Park then athletes will be passing the park on the City (East) side on their way out to the loop. Basing yourself here will also mean you can take advantage of the bars and restaurants on the West of the City while waiting for your athlete to arrive on the run course!

3) Where to spectate on the run?
The central road through Phoenix Park was stacked 5 to 10 people deep at the inaugural event in 2015. The atmosphere here was electric and well worth arriving early to secure a space on the barrier to cheer on your athlete!

Gear and Equipment


This will be a wetsuit swim, so make sure you have one that is well fitted and that you have tried beforehand (walking around like a lemon in your living room doesn't count, get in a lake or the sea).

Take a couple of spare swim caps with you- these could be very useful extra head warmth on the day underneath the one you will be given.


This is a very flat course so a standard gear setup will be perfect, along with any aero kit you may have. A time trial bike is recommended if you have this luxury, if not then some clip on aero bars will offer a huge gain.

Make sure you have enough water cages for your nutrition plan and have got your bike fully serviced or at least well cleaned, lubricated and checked (especially tyres and brakes) at least a week before the race so that you can ride with confidence without putting yourselves (or anyone else riding near you) in danger.


The terrain is mixed for the run and will be a little weather dependant. If the ground is dry, then there will be no problems, however if the ground is at all wet, it can get muddy on the grassy sections. It is worth training in and bringing a set of 'regular' race trainers and some which are designed for trail running too so that you can choose on the day. Make sure trainers are well worn-in pre race, the worst thing possible is blisters during the run leg! Remember, Ipods, MP3 players or similar are not permitted on the course. Your race number must be worn on your front, visible for photographers and marshals to see.


All your hard work and dedication in the lead up to this will be completely 100% wasted without a viable nutrition plan on race day! For a more in-depth look at how you could tackle your nutrition plan for the race, click here.

Bike Course Feed Stations:

These will be found at 25km (St. Mochta's Church), 45km (Pro-Tech Autos R156) and 65km (Maynooth Post-Primary School).

At these feed stations you will find: PowerBar Drink & Energize Bars, Water and Bananas (cut in half)

Run Course Feed Stations:

There are 3 feed stations on each of the 3 run laps, each between 2 and 4km apart.

At these feed stations you will find:

  • – PowerBar Drinks and Gels, 
  • – Water, 
  • – Cola
  • – Bananas


Tri Training Harder, the official coach for IRONMAN® UK Events in 2016 can be of help in a number of ways:

  • – Download your own bespoke training plan for your event here.
  • – Have a coach help, who will build your training plan for you with options that suit your needs and budget here.
  • – Phone consultation with an experiened coach to answer your personal training questions here.
  • – A training holiday in the Algarve for a week of training surrounded by like-minded individuals and experienced coaches to answer any of your questions!

Registration for 2017

Don't want to miss out? Go to to re-register for 2017 events.

We hope this review has helped you. Happy Training!

The Tri Training Harder team

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