If you’re starting the year with a bang by heading to the Middle East for IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai race on January 29th, you’ll want to be prepared. The Dubai triathlon is a great chance to experience the Middle East in the most populated city of the UAE, blending culture with sport. Thanks to the stunning location on Jumeirah public beach, you’ll see one of the most beautiful part of Dubai during the race.
This race starts right on Dubai’s most popular beach: Jumeirah public beach. This course is much simpler than many others as it’s only one lap. You’ll begin the swim from the stunning Jumeirah public beach, then swim parallel to the beachfront, finishing with an on-beach transition.
Progressing from the transition, the bike route is a 90km route (91.6km on Strava) and takes you far from the city into the Arabian Dunes along a moderately flat road route, with 437m elevation. It’s one loop course along the same road, with three aid stations along the way at 10km/80km, 25km/68km and just before the turnaround.
This course is slightly confusing as it’s three laps in a row along the beachfront. You’ll start next to Umm Suqeim Park, and run along a brand new 17.5km beachside track to the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. Be prepared for a tight turnaround, and if you’re running among a heavy group, create space to make your corner smooth and elbow-free.
One of the best parts of this exciting new run track is that it will be lined with spectators to provide plenty of encouragement. Plus, it’s right on the beach providing you with great views the entire way throughout the run. Don’t forget to remind yourself it’s a three-lap course, as you don’t want to sprint to T2 and forget you have another lap to go!
Who’s tipped to win
This year in the men’s category: Terrenzo Bozzone is tipped to take out the win, with Javier Gomez a close second and Andreas Dreitz just behind. Josh Amberger, Ruedi Wild and Tyler Butterfield are all next in line to take out the podium, but we’ll also have our eyes on Michael Raelert and Tom O’Donnell.
- Terenzo Bozzone: 23% (3-1)
- Javier Gomez: 17% (5-1)
- Andreas Dreitz: 13% (7-1)
- Ruedi Wild: 10% (9-1)
- Josh Amberger: 10% (9-1)
- Tyler Butterfield: 10% (9-1)
- Michael Raelert: 6% (15-1)
- Timothy O’Donnell: 5% (21-1)
- Martin Jensen: 3% (28-1)
- Bertrand Billard: 2% (51-1)
Our top tip for the women’s IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai is Daniela Ryf who’s also the 2016 winner. Caroline Steffen and Ellie Salthouse are our distant picks for first, but almost guaranteed podium picks.
- Daniela Ryf: 61% (1-1)
- Caroline Steffen: 20% (4-1)
- Ellie Salthouse: 10% (9-1)
- Radka Kahlefeldt: 3% (28-1)
- Sarah Crowley: 2% (48-1)
Who won last year?
Jan Frodeno took out the top spot in the men’s race in 03:34:48, and Daniela Ryf won the women’s race in 04:01:09. It was a devastatingly windy last year, but both competitors fared well in the wind.
Dubai Ironman will offer 35 qualifying slots for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship
January is winter in Dubai, but don’t worry, it’s Persian Gulf winter which isn’t cold at all. The average temperature is 19 degrees Celsius, which highs of around 25 degrees Celsius, and lows of 14. It’s unlikely to rain, but can become humid and heavy when rain is forecasted, so be prepared.
Be ready for wind
Last year was excessively windy, with the swim being shortened for safety reasons. So be prepared for wind by fastening down everything on your bike so it won’t blow off, and fasten your hair down tight so it’s not blowing in your face throughout the run.
Winter water temperature of the Persian Gulf in January is 21 degrees, so use that to dictate what sort of wet suit, or race wear you’ll bring along.
Rolling Swim Start
IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai will have a rolling swim start. You’ll line up according to your realistic, predicted swim time (self-seeding) and every five seconds, ten athletes will start. It will take approximately 20 minutes to get the entire field across the swim start line.
In effect, this will create a “time trial” dynamic for the race and for the determination of the final results.