Ironman 70.3 Dublin was first held in 2015. In both 2015 and ’16 it’s been one of the most enjoyable events I’ve been involved in or raced at. Here are ten things you need to know if you’re thinking of racing Ironman 70.3 Dublin.

1. The race starts and finishes in different places.

The start and finish are in two different locations, Dun Laoghire and the Phoenix Park, which are quite far apart. This can take some logistical planning both for athletes, supporters and spectators. You will need to consider how to get to the start on race morning with traffic restrictions and also how to get home or back to your hotel after the race with your bike, wetsuit and bags of kit.

2. Split transition

This affects athletes more than supporters. What with bikes needing to be racked in T1 the day before the race, if you’re not staying in or close to Dun Laoghaire you may need to arrange transport on both Friday or Saturday for registration and bike racking and also on Sunday getting to the race start.

It’s also worth noting that access to the race site in Dun Laoghire on race morning will be very restricted to traffic and there is limited parking close by so make sure to plan ahead.

3. Climb at chapelizod

There is a short climb on the bike after you exit the city centre at Chapelizod. It’s very short and hardly worth mentioning except for the fact that it’s pretty steep. It’s a good idea to check your gearing before race day to ensure you have a low enough ratio to get up it comfortably. If your bike is set up with gearing for a flat course, which Dublin more or less is, you might struggle a little here so consider running a 25, 28 or even a 30 rear cog. 

4. Ramps on the bike course
Almost immediately after you come up the sharp climb at Chaplelizod there’s a short descent onto the Strawberry Beds alongside the river Liffey. There isn’t anything difficult about the descent except the fact that there is a couple of nasty speed ramps on it. Last year there was bottles all over the road as we swept through in the Wheelworx bike support van that had been jettisoned from front and rear mounted bottle cages. Make sure your bottles are correctly secured especially if you use a rear/saddle mounted bottle cage set up.

I loop elastic bands over my rear bottles to hold them in place. It’s worth slowing down a little just until you get past the speed ramps so that you don’t lose your race nutrition.

Related: Free speed, 35 ways to go faster in Ironman that aren’t training

5. The bike course is a single lap

The bike course is a single big lap so there are long stretches with little or no spectator support. Get ready to keep yourself entertained for a couple of hours inside your head. I find that I’m rarely stuck for things to keep me entertained as I’m constantly focused on holding consistent pacing, the timing of my next nutrition or chasing down the next athlete.

6. Slow roads

Irish roads tend to be somewhat slower and harsher than those in a lot of U.S or continental European. This is down to a rougher finishing surface than is common in a lot of European countries. This will slow you on the bike but remember that it also affects everyone else too. If you’re used to smooth fast roads and your average speed is lower than normal don’t worry. So is everyone else’s.

Related: The 21 most important things I do for a faster bike split

7. Public transport
Public transport from the park is quite a long walk away from the finish and there’s is very limited access by car on race day. The finish, transition and baggage pick up are all quite a long walk from any public transport be it bus, Luas, taxi etc so it’s a good idea to pack warm, dry and waterproof clothes for a potential post race walk to your car, hotel or transportation. Planning ahead will make your post race experience much more enjoyable.

8. Wheelworx – official bike partner.

Wheelworx, the official bike partner of Ironman for this event, are offering bike building and servicing for both local and travelling athletes for Ironman 70.3 Dublin. If you are travelling to Ireland to race with your bike in a transport box then they can take all of the grubby, oily work out of your hands. You can contact them at info@wheelworx.ie or you can call the shop on 0035316201000

9. Race day wheel rental

Wheelworx offer the opportunity to race on some fast wheels without having to shell out the usual €2-3000 you would expect to pay for top brands like Zipp, FFWD, Mavic or Bontrager. These must be booked in advance and there’s limited quantities so don’t hang around.

10. Race day bike rental

If traveling with, building and repacking your bike sounds like your worst nightmare then there’s also the option of bicycle rental. Wheelworx have options that range from standard aluminium or carbon road bikes to top of the range Tri bikes. Booking is essential and as stocks are very limited it’s advisable to reserve yours early.

You can contact Wheelworx for info on bike servicing, race wheel rental or any other Ironman 70.3 bike queries you have on 0035316201000 or by email at info@wheelworx.ie