27 Oct 2024

Let’s Race… IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella

Sun, sea and so much more on the Andalusian Coast - don't be put off by Marbella's reputation
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Jenny Lucas-Hill

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European triathletes are spoilt for choice when it comes to warm weather racing. And whilst Lanzarote has its climbs, and Portugal the stunning architecture and culture, this Andalusian gem is the perfect combination. If you’re looking for a race destination that can please the athletes and spectators alike, forget what you think you know about Marbella and discover a whole new side to this misunderstood Mediterranean paradise.

With its first edition in 2018, IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella has quickly established itself as a challenging and stunning race venue. With recent years boasting over 1300 athletes on the start line, and with an impressive pro field IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella offers a real test of mettle to all.

Race in the finest tourist destination in Spain

Location - soak up the sun

The Spanish Coastline has been a staple holiday destination for years, but beyond the cliched party reputation is a beautiful, historic city that makes for the perfect racing holiday getaway for the whole family.

One of the key attractions of IRONMAN 70.3 Marbella is the ease of travel to Southern Spain. Most low-cost carriers operate regular flights into Malaga airport, after which a quick 50 minute transfer will see you into Marbella Town.

The Race Village is situated on the Promenade of the Playa de Puerto Banús, offering fantastic open water swimming opportunities in the days before the race. There are also miles of scenic runs alongside the sandy beaches, with majestic views over the Mediterranean to keep you motivated.

Course - welcome to the beach

The unpredictable nature of a sea swim, coupled with the extensive climbing through the bike course makes Marbella a race for the experienced athlete. Make sure you pack your swimskin, as it could save you valuable seconds in transition. Unless you’re a really confident descender and bike handler, it could be beneficial to break out the road bike and look at weight saving, rather than all out aero.

Swim - 1.9KM

A single-loop swim takes place in the warm Mediterranean waters of Puerto Banús’ famous Levante Beach. With an easy to navigate course and short exit into T1, you’ll have a super speedy transition onto the bike course.

BIke - 90KM

The bike is an increasingly rare single lap route, from the beaches of the ‘Golden Mile’, across the city and through the rolling Andalusian countryside. You’ll tackle the climb to Ojen (500+m) twice on the out and back course, but its all down hill from the 70km mark.

Run - 21.1KM

Off the bike and into the warm Spanish sunshine. 2 laps along the exquisite, spectator lined Marbella promenade, where the cheers will keep you going. Soak in the atmosphere and cross the finish line by the picturesque Banus Marina.

Spectators - beach life

The central location of the event in the Puerto Banus community means there’s lots of opportunities for supporters to spot their athlete. A single looped bike route does make it difficult to venture too far out on the course, but a lapped run that passes along the main promenade will give you a great boost, whilst helping tick off the miles quickly.

Choose to base yourselves at either end of the run course, and have all the best bits of Marbella town or the event village close by. For spectators in the city, there’s lots of great activities to keep them entertained, from chic beach clubs to adrenaline activities like inflatable rides, there’s something for everyone.

Race-cation - old town charm

Nestling idyllically between the azure Mediterranean and the peaks of the Sierra Blanca mountains, once the race is over, extend your stay to enjoy the oft-forgotten gems of Marbella.

They may not be enjoyable on the bike but the mountains provide a spectacular playground afterwards. © Carleslturbe

Perhaps it’s just a little downtime at the beach, check out Playa de Venus, you’ll see it by the finish line! Head inland from the famous beaches and discover Sierra de las Nieves Nature Reserve, where miles of pine tree lined trails and bubbling springs give way to huge limestone cave networks.

After a day on the trails, head back to Marbella and enjoy some traditional Spanish Tapas, and maybe even sample the famous nightlife for yourself.

From sailing trips to world-class golf resorts, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Don’t miss the exquisite Old Town, the stunning Playas de Marbella and enjoy world class cuisine in the bustling Plaza de los Naranjos.

Race in the finest tourist destination in Spain

If you’re looking for a race-escape in the early season with a unique cultural Andalucian experience, this is your race.

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