Best European Destination Triathlon Races for 2018 Part 2: Ironman 70.3 Cascais

The local and international races in Asia are steadily growing through the years.   In fact, as the recent numbers from Ironman’s All World Athletes list, from the time they started awarding it to loyal participants in 2014, the AWA awardees in Asia has jumped 344% to 2018.   This shows that Asia is a hotbed as far as growth in the sport.   The immediate repercussion is the desire for athletes in the region to seek racing in other parts of the world.

In this series, we will feature the top European destination races for 2018.  We started off with Challenge Prague, in this 2nd part, we will feature Ironman 70.3 Cascais, Portugal.

Ironman 70.3 Cascais

Race Information

Race date: 30th September 2018
Race distances: 1.9 km swim, 90,1km cycle, 21.1 km run
Ironkids 29th September 2018 – Aquathlon from 7 to 15 years old
Venue: Cascais, Portugal



Like several things in life, the event began with a man and a dream. The director of IRONMAN Portugal, Jorge Pereira, had completed an IRONMAN after facing progressive sport challenges and this changed his perspective of life: “It was an amazing experience, impossible to describe it. The human being is capable of incredible things! Being an IRONMAN finisher is more than achieve a sportive goal, it’s a mental process of self-control that leads us to another dimension, a deeper knowledge of our true self.

Bringing the brand to Portugal was the next challenge. Organizing Triathlon events in Cascais with exceptional quality, with a race with almost 1300 participants launched the tasty victory of the IRONMAN candidacy. The dream came true when in September 2017 the IRONMAN 70.3 finally arrived in Portugal. The event was a big success with more than 2200 athletes from 64 nationalities and around €6 million impact in local economy.

Course Description

If you want to race in Cascais, you’ll find white sand beaches, 650 years of history with historical monuments, good food, and friendly people. As Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa, said last year in the inaugural race “the wonderful location clearly provides all the ingredients for a memorable IRONMAN 70.3 race experience.”

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The start line is situated at Praia da Ribeira Beach, in one of the most beautiful bays in the world, with a single-loop 1.9km meters swim. The swim segment will finish at the Hippodrome, where is located the transition area. The single 90.1 km loop cycle course runs alongside the ocean, through Oeiras, Algés, Belém and returning to Alcântara in Lisbon, a fast and flat part of this beautiful landscape. The cycle course also covers a stunning natural scenery along the Sintra forests and the old F1 Circuit, returning to Cascais along the Guincho Beach road.

The two loops of the 21.1 km run course start at the Hippodrome, taking athletes through Cascais Village, Marginal road, the ideal scenery before the finishing line. Running along Cascais, Estoril and S. Pedro, competitors will be cooled by sea breezes and cheered up by thousands of spectators.

Do you want to see the IRONMAN 70.3 first edition?


Getting There

The event is located in a charming village named Cascais, in Portugal, just a 20 minute drive from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. This village is situated near Sintra—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the Village of Oeiras. It is very easy to get there, the region is served by Lisbon International Airport, located just at 20 kilometers (15 miles). You can choose among travel by car or use the public transports such as metro or aero bus starting from the airport and taking, afterwards, the train to Cascais center.

Athletes and their families will find a great offer to stay and much more to discover in the fisherman’s Village of Cascais, one of the most cosmopolitan and touristic places since the Portugal’s royal family choose Cascais’s to spend their holidays in the past.

For your stay you can select Quinta da Marinha Resort, the Official Race Hotel; it is a resort situated in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park overseeing the Atlantic Ocean and near the race venue. With Cosmos, the Official Travel Agency IRONMAN 70.3 Portugal –Cascais, you can find great options and travel packages with all commodities. You can find here where to stay in this link COSMOS.

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Post-Race Activities

Cascais is a wonderful coastal village, with splendid and varied beaches for bathing, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, SUP and sailing. You can also discover the region by cycling on the coastline routes, surrounding by an amazing landscape, or run side by side with the ocean.  Cascais combines the best of a bustling town and the quietness of a small village. It has a lovely historic center with great museums, a 19th-century architecture, and beautiful parks. You can visit the Guimarães Museum, the Maritime Museum or the Church of the Assumption, and also Casa das Histórias, where you can enjoy modern painting, but there are much more historical buildings all over Cascais. You can just walk and admired the small houses, with tiled roofs, great curved and flowered balconies. There are plenty of stores and restaurants with food from all over the world, but perhaps you will prefer to try the typical Portuguese gastronomy.

You can enjoy one of the several great beaches with gold sands and usually calm sea waters or choose the waved coast to the north of Cascais if you prefer sea sports and wild ocean. You can easily go from Cascais to Lisbon, and visit the historic neighborhood exploring Alfama, Chiado or Baixa, with noble plazas and touristic attractions. Between Cascais and Lisboa, you can stop by Oeiras, and visit the Marquês de Pombal palace or run along the seafront walk right by the sea, enjoying the amazing view.

Sintra is another nearby region that is worth a visit. The village which is nestled on the hills of the Serra de Sintra with beautiful palaces and very good trails that you can explore by running or walking. You have much more to stopover in this mystic and romantic region.
Cascais is perfect for a varied holiday with a great choice for family vacations. The wonderful location, the perfect environments for training combined to a great region to visit offers the opportunity of an unforgettable IRONMAN 70.3 race experience!

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