Ironman 70.3 Bintan: Course Review

    Posted On Aug 28 2015

      By Vinnie Santana, triathlon coach at & AsiaTRI contributor


      The inaugural 2015 Ironman Bintan in Indonesia, held on August 23rd 2015, attracted over 700 athletes, mostly from Asian countries and Australia. The event has everything to become one of Asia’s best due to the combination of easy access, a challenging and fun course and a great destination for athletes and families.

      The journey from any international location to Bintan is very easy and smooth. It can be easily accessed from Singapore International airport, it takes ten minutes from the airport to the ferry terminal, one hour ferry from Singapore to Bintan, immigration is fast and smooth and only another ten minutes to most official hotels.

      Once in Bintan, the organizers provides shuttle buses every 45 minutes from official resorts spread around the many different beaches to the race site, the journey takes only fifteen minutes from most of the hotels.




      Warm and calm waters, very straight forward and easy to navigate loop, the “inverse L shape” swim course is very beginner friendly as the athletes starts from waist deep waters in several different waves.

      The lack of running into the water, typical from a beach starts also avoids a spike in heart rate that can affect the rest of your race.

      Then once out of the water, the run to the end of transition, when you are finally on your bike is 400m long, the bike course for the first few kilometers is flat giving you an opportunity to let your heart rate settle from that transition

      See also:  Winner of the Free Entry to Ironman Cairns (Full) Announced




      The bike course in Bintan could be one of the best in any Asian race. Road quality is near perfect and brand new, its a one loop course which makes it fun and interesting, the scenery is mixed, from ocean front roads to local villages and plantations, traffic is very well controlled and safe, talking about safety, training on the island the days before the race is very safe and quiet.


      For most of the course you will be either going up or down! Rolling hills would be the ideal description of the course, there aren’t any long or too steep uphill, neither technical downhills, but you can expect to be shifting your gears very often. This also makes drafting a smaller problem in this race.

      One note for high performance athletes is to use a 11 teeth cog as the smallest as there are some long downhills where you could run out of gears .

      As the race start as early as 6am for the PROS, the weather early on the bike is relatively cool, which can mask the challenges of a warmer weather later in the race, make sure you stick to your fueling plan and keep the calorie and liquid intake on the bike even though you may feel its not that necessary, it will help you later in the day when sun comes out.


      The run course is 100% flat and three laps of seven kilometers around a lake, this can help with pacing as mentally you can aim for a negative split run, trying to increase the effort and pace a little on each lap.

      See also:  Video: How To Take Your Bike To The Next Level – Pro Bike Tips

      On the 2015 race, athletes were lucky with only a modest heat for South East Asian standards, it was overcast and the temperature was in the mid 20’s Celsius early on the bike and raised to a very low 30 Celsius at noon, that combined with very frequent aid stations made this race cooler than other Ironman 70.3 events in the region such as Malaysia, Philippines or Thailand.

      That said, if in the next year events the sun is out in full force, the heat can become a much bigger challenge as the run course offers literally zero shade.



      Ironman 70.3 Bintan: Best Photos

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