Ironman Bintan 70.3
What I like about it
- Challenging course with the rolling hills and wind
- Easy access – 45mins ferry ride from Singapore
- No need to dismantle and pack your bikes as the ferry has the capacity to load full bikes without any dismantling of wheels etc.
- Great race organisation
- Great family venue with a plethora of family oriented hotels.
- The race runs though many small towns and fishing villages. Support from the town and villages are amazing as the kids run out to greet and support the athletes. It is their biggest event of the year after all.
- Not short of some scenic views as you ride along the coast.
- Amazing swim!
Why I may just do this only once
- If you are looking for a PB, this is not the course
- It is hot and humid! I mean melting hot and sauna humidity kind. Be ready for a sweat fest!
- The management of the bikes by the ferry operators are not that professional. Somehow, every time I travel there, my bike comes back with war scars not from the race but from the ferry ride! And I am not the only ones that have this problem. They seriously need to look into this.
- Race expo is basically non-existent. For the non-triathlete partners – Hooray! For the triathlete – What the Hell! The race expo makes your local convenience store look like an international bike expo!
- Humidity is the same as most Asian countries – high
- Super Hot – about 32-36 0C
- Well spaced out
- Every 30km for the bike
- Every 1.5km for the run
- Fully stocked with gels, isotonic drinks, coke, water, food and for those transitioning from coach potatoes to struggling age-groupers, they do have titbits to soften the shock of doing a 70.3.
- Water stations run out of ice quite quickly so be prepared for warm water, warm coke and warm sponges.
- Recommended to stay at the race hotel – Grand Lagoi. Very friendly and accommodating hotel. Its just at the finish line and across from the transition area. Price may not be the cheapest in Bintan but the convenience is priceless.
- If you are looking for a little pampering, try the Sanchaya Hotel (Approx $900 a night).
- Many family hotels around
- Club Med
- Bintan Lagoon Golf and Beach Resort
- For the more price conscious athlete who has plans to take part in 10 Ironman events a year and need to have some budgeting done. There are other good hotels around the area too.
- Angsana Bintan
- Mayang Sari
- Bintan Lagoon Beach Resort
- If you cannot get a hotel through your normal expedia, Agoda websites, call the travel agent direct. For this event, it is Albatross Travel. Speak to them directly as they would usually have extra rooms they have pre-booked and not sold off yet. On TOP of that, they may be able to give you a good deal if they have a Travel Fair approaching. I went straight to them and got a room at the Grand Lagoi which is was stated as fully booked 3 months before the race two weeks before the race. And at a discounted Travel fair price.