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Half Ironman Triathlons

The Half Ironman, also known as the Middle Distance Triathlon or 70.3, consists of a 1.2 mile (1.9k) swim, 56 mile (90k) bike, and 13.1 mile (21.2k) run. In total, this adds up to a distance of 70.3km (hence the name), which is exactly half the distance of a full Ironman. The half Ironman is becoming a more and more popular distance, as triathletes want to push themselves beyond the standard Olympic distance, but aren't yet ready for the full Ironman distance. Events at this distance can vary according to weather conditions or the difficulty of the terrain, but in general the cut off time for half-ironman distance triathlons is 8 and a half hours after the start. A very impressive time for completing a 70.3 triathlon would be under 6 hours, and elite competitors even go under 4 hours! There are two official Ironman 70.3 events in the UK, in Weymouth and Staffordshire, where it is possible to qualify for the annual Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
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About Half Ironman Triathlons in the UK

The Half Ironman (aka Middle Distance or 70.3) is a real test, but definitely achievable for those willing to put in two to three months of consistent training in advance. The race consists of a 1.9k (1.2-mile) swim, 90k (56-mile) cycle and a 21.1k run (13.1-mile/half-marathon): the total distance is 113k or 70.3 miles, hence the name. The distance of each stage is exactly half that of a Full Ironman event, which has a total distance of 140.6 miles (226.2k).

Ahead of any race, be sure to read up on the requirements for essential equipment. Some events won’t let you compete if you don’t have the right gear. A wetsuit requirement is certainly something to look out for, and the norm in the UK because of our cold waters. We’ve put together a list of the essentials to get you going.

What are the best Half Ironman events?

Long form triathlons have been gaining in popularity in recent years and the number of events has swollen. The Ironman UK and Ironman Wales events both host the shorter 70.3 format but there are plenty of flagship events for the Middle Distance Triathlon. Weymouth 70.3 and Hever Castle Triathlon are two famous examples.

What is the average time to complete a Half Ironman triathlon?

It’s really hard to say how long these events should take an athlete to complete. At one end of the spectrum, you have the professionals who will finish these events in or around the four hour mark. But a lot of the time required can be down to the course itself, some are very flat and fast and others pride themselves on being more rugged and challenging. A very good time for an amateur athlete would be five to six hours for males and six to seven for females.

How long should I train for a Half Ironman triathlon?

To get yourself to the level of fitness required to finish one of these events we’d recommend you train for around three months. We’ve put together a Middle Distance training plan to help you on your way. Don’t forget to taper as you’ll want your energy reserves to be full. These events are a real test of your grit, but if you’ve finished one already and are looking for your next challenge then maybe you should try your hand at the Full Distance Triathlon.

Half Ironman Triathlons by Location