Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya: Course Review
By Vinnie Santana, coach, ironguides.net
Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya was realized on April 5th, and if there is one word to describe the race in Putrajaya, it would be “convenience”. Once you land in Kuala Lumpur, nothing will be too far away or difficult to get to.
Putrajaya is less than thirty minutes drive away from Malaysia’s main airport in Kuala Lumpur which has flights to most medium sizes cities in Asia as its the AirAsia hub, if you are based in a main city in Asia, you can probably take a flight on Friday early evening or Saturday early morning and leave on Sunday afternoon. This is a great option for athletes with limited days off from work as you don’t need an extra day for this event.
Another big plus from this race is the convenience of the shuttle buses both on race day and the day before, the organizes provide transportation connecting the official hotels to transition area and to the venue where the expo, registration, briefing and awards are.
Swim: 1.9k (1 lap)
The rolling start for age groupers make this a very safe and comfortable swim especially if you don’t like the mass start. You can take your time and find your space. It’s a one loop swim in the warm waters of Putrajaya’s main lake, no wetsuit is allowed.
The organizers have also placed several “rest pontoons” along the course, so beginners athletes can take a break if they need to. Sighting is also easy as there are several landmarks around the course.
Swimming in the lake is not allowed other than the swim practice the day before the race which is recommended to go, its an easy workout to stay loose and you get to experience some or all the swim course.
In 2015 the first athlete out of the water was world class swimmer Josh Amberger in just below twenty four minutes, this indicates the course might have been a little long and combined with the warm waters doesn’t make it a very fast swim.
Bike: 90k (2x 45k loops)
Rolling hills and false flats would be a good description of the bike course. There are no major climbs or steep hills, but plenty of undulations to make it interesting and give your time trial position a break. On the flip side you also have long and steady downhills, if you are a high performance age grouper and prefer to ride at a lower cadence, consider a bigger than standard chain ring and certainly a 11t cassete for this race
The organizers managed to close the city’s main highways for the events which makes it clean drafting wise as athletes had plenty of space to avoid riding in a bunch. The roads are wide and the quality of the asphalt is five start.
The quickest bike split in 2015 was from eventual winner Domenico Passuelo in 2h06, its a fast course but in average with other flat a quick courses in the circuit.
Run: 21k (2x 10.5k loops)
As expected it was a very hot day in Malaysia and that slows everyone down. Even 5-times Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander were challenged by the heat and only managed a 01:29:09 half marathon time.
The course is all flat and a mix in between running through town and around the lake, making it very entertraining.
There is no out and back on this course, so if you are racing for a podium finish or a World Championships qualifying slot, you won’t have the chance to check the gap on your competitors, so keep on pushing as hard as you can as you never know where your closest competitor will be!
All in all, Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya is a high quality race and an amazing opportunity for the local athletes to experience and Ironman event.
Enjoy your training and see you in 2016 in Putrajaya!
2015 Race Day Photos by AsiaTRI.com
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