16 Mar 2025

Let’s race… IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche

UNESCO World Heritage-listed architecture, glittering blue water and a fast, flat race course packed with PB potential. Discover everything you need to know about IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche - and why you should be adding this middle distance destination race to your bucket list.
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Jenny Lucas-Hill

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Triathlon writer and age-group long course triathlete Jenny Lucas-Hill gives you the inside track on racing IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche. From course details and training tips, to the best places to stay and the must-see vacation hot spots.

With UNESCO World Heritage listed architecture, the harbour town of Campeche sets a stunning scene for an IRONMAN 70.3 race – which returned in 2024 after a hiatus. Featuring fast, flat courses and balmy temperatures, this early season race is a great way to kick off your triathlon year.

Experience the magic of Mexico’s best-kept secret

Location - World heritage-listed beauty on the Yucatan Peninsula

Often referred to as Mexico’s ‘best kept secret’ the beautiful city of Campeche sits on the popular Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Fortified against pirates in the 17th Century, the city walls are home to impressive baroque colonial architecture and pretty pastel-coloured buildings – earning it UNESCO World Heritage listed status since 1999.

Away from the historic downtown, the Campeche region is filled with beautiful natural landscapes. From tropical rainforests to hilly valleys and biosphere nature reserves when you can see flamingos and other wildlife.

The race itself starts just outside of the historic city centre, with the swim start and T1 hosted by a country club on the coast near the Lerma area. A split transition means after the bike you’ll head into the downtown area for a spectator-lined run towards the finish line – finishing your race in front of the iconic sea gate.

Offering a mix of tropical beach getaway and cultural city centre experiences, IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche is a destination race well worth considering.

Why race... IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche

IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche is a great destination race to add to your calendar, offering up the chance to explore a stunning and unique location while racing on a fast, fun course with plenty of spectator support.

UNESCO World Heritage-listed location
New sunrise start for an even more spectacular start to race day
Spectator-friendly course for a great atmosphere

Course - Sets the stage for a fast finish time

Previously an afternoon race, from 2025 IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche will now feature a stunning sunrise start. A sight to be seen as the sun rises over the turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico. A fast, flat bike course along the Merida Highway sets you up for a quick time. While the spectator-friendly run course creates a great race day atmosphere.

Swim - 1.2 miles / 1.9km

The swim features a rolling start, with athletes entering the water at Country Club Campeche, just outside of the city. The single-loop follows a straight forward rectangular course, meaning navigation shouldn't be an issue. Just be prepared for a non-wetsuit swim, as the sea temperature tends to be around 28 degrees Celsius at this time of year.

BIke - 56 miles / 90km

Heading out of T1, the bike course takes you out along the fast, flat Merida Highway. And while the 2-loop course is predominantly a straight out and back, there are a few little twists and turns to be aware of along the way. T2 is located back in the city, ready for a spectator-friendly run course.

Run - 13.1 miles / 21.1km

The run course is three laps of a fast, flat course. You'll make your way past the Marine Fountains and into the downtown area of Campeche along a spectator-friendly route before finishing at the iconic sea gate.

Race training & prep

Given that IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche takes place early in the season, if you’re based in the northern hemisphere you’ll want to factor some heat preparation into your training – otherwise those balmy race day temperatures may come as a shock. Indoor training is a great way to simulate warm conditions when the weather outdoors is anything but toasty. It’s also worth taking note of that warm water temperature – be prepared for a non-wetsuit swim.

The fast, flat bike course is certainly TT bike-friendly – spend some time dialling into your aero position and you’ll be in a good place to make the most of this speedy middle distance triathlon race course.

Travel & accommodation

Campeche has an international airport just a few miles away. But for most travellers – particularly if you’re coming from Europe – expect to have a connecting flight or two to get there.

At the time of writing, IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche have not announced their partner hotels. But as a tourist location growing in popularity, you’ve got plenty of options. From the luxury and boutique hotels, such as the Puerta Campeche and Casa Don Gustavo. To budget-friendly and mid-range options such as Hotel Castelmar and Hotel Tucan Siho Playa. Keep an eye on the IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche race website for more details on the partner hotels once they’re released.

Spectators - Take to the town

Once the race is underway, spectators are best heading back into the centre of Campeche. Here you can take the opportunity to explore some of the city’s unique architecture and the city walls. The athletes will pass by the finish area several times on the course, so you’ll have a chance to cheer them in as they finish off the bike. And then see them several times on the run before they finally get to head down to the finish chute.

Race-cation - The post-race must-dos

Once you’ve rested up post-race, it’s time to flip the switch into tourist mode and explore everything the city of Campeche and the surrounding area has to offer.

Starting in the city, head to 59th Street to take a walk down this iconic ‘corridor’ of beautiful pastel-coloured buildings. The boardwalk is a great spot to go and take a photo of you with your finisher medal next to the colourful Campeche sign too. A walk a-top the historic fortified walls give you the chance to see the city from a new perspective. And with plenty of cafes and restaurants on offer, you can get a taste for the local cuisine – chaya water with pineapple, coconut sorbet, cochinita and pomuch bread are all specialities.

Away from the downtown area, a trip to the top of the Calakmul Pyramids offers up stunning, uninterrupted views of the surrounding jungle. Thrill-seekers can go and experience a zip line, flying 90 metres above the water filled crater at Cenote Azul de Miguel Colorado. Nature-lovers will enjoy a kayaking trip through the mangrove forests, or a visit to Laguna de Terminos to spot the dolphins. And for an insight into the history and culture of the area, it’s worth making a trip to Edzna to see the Mayan Ruins.

This coastal city has more than enough to keep you busy on your post-race vacation.

Experience the magic of Mexico’s best-kept secret

World-heritage listed beauty and warm hospitality sets the scene for a spectacular day of swim-bike-run.

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