Triathlon Course reviews

Although this is not the perfect forum, it would be nice to hear riders review Triathlon race courses and give interesting tips and experiences. I started with one below, please be encouraged to write about your favorites.

This is great. I imagine the community will be very interested in course reviews.

And if you have any insights as to how you would have modified your equipment to better suit a corse, then post it here and we’ll be thinking of ways to improve and expand our products to help everyone :smile:

Golden Triangle Triathlon - Epic in every way - 3 countries, one race.

Last year I joined the Golden Triangle Triathlon organized by the local tourism office with the support of a race organizer. The Golden Triangle is reference to the Opium trade between Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Laos. What is really different about it are a few key factors.

Swim: 1.7km, bike 53km, run 12km.
Start: by barge in a high speed Mekong river in Laos and swim to the exit on the Thai side. when I joined in 2014 it had just been raining and the river was cold (18c) and very fast. It took me less then 15 min to finish due to the drag, but many racers missed the exit entirely due to the current, and had to be “rescued” by the boars and jet ski’s. To get a feel of the chaos that time, there is a great youtube summary when the river wins from the athletes

Ride: The 55km bring you from T1 to T2, it starts by taking you through a small city where the school children are supporting you along the way, passing old pagoda’s and temples. then the long stretch to Mae Sot, the border town with Myanmar, passing along the river and through rice paddies, it includes one major but gradual climb of around 200 meters at about 1/3rd of the segment. after that its pretty steady.

Once arrived in T2, you run along the main road straight down the border into Burma. Once you cross, you will be amazed by the excitement of the people. The entire border town is cheering along the road, giving water, energy drinks and smiles and cheers. It makes you feel like being in the olympics (not that I know how that feels but still). You make it up one hill along the local temple and down on the other side, only to make your way back to the border into Thailand. Once passed the border you turn right and after a few hundred meters your enter a forest and there is no one but the jungle around you. The contrast is amazing… Then there is yet another steep climb on 2 segments for about 600 meters circling through the green. Its a tough spot in the race, just 5km before the finish. Once you conquered that hill, you are home free making your ways across the finish line.

Its a must do race if you live in Asia, simply because of the experience.

Bike: Giant TCR Advance, DT Swiss 1800 standard alu wheels


Awesome experience and review!

Laguna Phuket Tri Fest review - Challenge Series

The long established Laguna Phuket Triathlon features top athletes who come back each time for more. The secret, apart from the amazing Thai hospitality, is the course itself. I must say, its one of the hardest courses i know. Possibly Subic Bay in the Philippines has some comparison, but does not live up to the overall experience.

it’s 2 races: first weekend a 1.8km swim, 55km ride and 12km run
and the second weekend the 70.3 featuring a 1.9km, 90km ride and 21.5 km run.

Whats special? lets starts with the swim. it comes in 2 segments, first the sea start, leaving from a magnificent beach in warm water in a U-shape course of 1,600M, then cross the beach and enter the lagoon for the remaining 400m crossing to the Transition. Just the change from Salt to Freshwater is an experience itself and requires some mental adjustment. Interestingly, When you swim out you have the dawn colors and once you reach the u-turn, the sun is directly over the exit point adding some challenges to your navigation… then hit the beach, cross the hill and go back into the muddy waters of the Lagoon, following the sunrise.
The swim is 100M longer for the 70.3.

The ride: both very technical and amazing views with little time to go down the aerobars.
the 55KM take you north along the coast with after 10km a few steep and hard climbs, mainly is sets of 3 with some short “not-so-steep” segments in between. about 1/3 of the participants actually bike them, the rest… well… tries. The road is along the gorgeous coast line past the beaches and resorts, then turns inland through small villages and rubber plantations… there are many turns so many cyclist prefer a road bike over a TT.
For the 90km, the route takes you across the island first, and around the cost line for more amazing steep climbs before circling back to the Laguna side, only to take on the hills in reverse of the 55km route. Phuket government removed dozens of speed bumps for the race and even modified one bridge where the race crosses over a major highway to accommodate the triathletes.

The run, for me known as the “hot-run” goes around the resorts, over the golf course through the residences down the road and back in 2 laps (one for the 12km).
I did my first Tri here in 2013 and did both in 2014, and realized I had started with the tough ones, instead of choosing easier destinations.
Bike used: Giant TCR Advance w DT Swiss 1800 standard Alu w aerobars, Shimano 105


Here is the Subic Bay Ironman 70.3 course review by AsiaTri…

Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya, Malaysia

I have just completed my first ever 70.3 Ironman course at Putrajaya, Malaysia
under heaty weather of Southeast Asia.

Swim: 1.9km, Bike 90km, Run 21.1km

The swim course is relatively easy as it was raced in the man-made lake of Putrajaya as there was no choppy wave of the rough sea as you normally get when you race in this part of the world

Ride. it was covering 2 sets of 45km course. Relatively flats with elevation gain of 400m, It was a relatively fast ride. I easily pushed over speed of 45kmh at the straight road with the of the aerodynamic of my Specialized Shiv and Tokyowheel Epic 60-88 set up. Awesome speedy ride

Run. The run was though. the 21.1 km of naked, bare run course with the temperature reaching 40C was a killer. Luckily with the great ice-water bath support along the way, I pass through the finishing line confidently

Great support from the organizer, with continuous supply of nutrition, hydration, and medication, this hard race has made it possible to conquer by average amateur athletes.

Bike: Specialized Shiv
Wheelset: Tokyowheel Epic 60-88 set up
Shoe: Saucony Kinvara

Continuing the discussion from Triathlon Course reviews:

Continuing the discussion from Triathlon Course reviews:


First ever VNG Ironman 70.3 Dah Nang Vietnam Course review.

Vietnam does not have many major international event experience, but now it can claim it hosted an Ironman 70.3 with participants of 56 countries. I met Aussies, Russians and Americans. with close to 1,000 participants it was a great party to be.

Although the day before the race the wind made the sea very choppy, the morning showed a clean calm sea. the T shaped course layout of 1,9km was nice, and the sandy floors were visible throughout the swim. The transition was a brisk 200M away from the shore and led directly to the beach road. the wide and nicely paved road was excellent and led out along the beaches and finally turning towards the city crossing a small and a large bridge. After this point (about 18km) we took 3 laps of a 20 km long stretch (which was a revision of the original 45 km route). Winds were favorable and it was a fast ride but due to the short 10km turns a busy stretch for the draft marshals.

The run went along the same stretch of beach road with the desperately needed water stations every 2km. After the 10km turn the run went back and entered into the Hyatt where the finish line was on the beach.

We were welcomed by the crowds along the way. The finish line had a great setup with small kids pools reach filled with ice water to recover and a flow of cold beers to re-pleninsh our minerals.
The organization was excellent and the hotels were very flexible with all our bikes, gears and 4 am breakfast needs. It will indeed be one race where I would love to return to, despite the heat which made the run amazingly challenging.

Bike: Cervelo P3,
Ultegra, Tokyowheel 88/60
90km average speed 33,7kmph


Great thread idea. Following with interest. Thanks Marcel!

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