There’s no denying that the Ironman Wales attracts athletes with incredible strength, physical duration, drive, discipline, focus and commitment. The course is famed for being one of the toughest of its kind, with those competing facing on occasion, extreme weather, alongside this, they have to contend with the varied and unforgiving terrain of Wales. The one-day endurance race is not for the faint-hearted and preparation ahead of the event can be consuming, with the advised level of training being a minimum of 15 hours per week! The dedication of participants on the lead up to the big day gives a small insight into the determination of those you will see pacing the streets of Pembrokeshire and swimming off of the shores of Carmarthen Bay when the Ironman comes to Wales. The race itself can take anywhere between four to 17 hours, so, if you’re keen to catch a glimpse of these superhumans tackling the epic challenge, you’ve got plenty of time.
When is Race Day?
Ironman Wales will take place on Sunday 15th September 2019, so expect to see Pembrokeshire come to life with participants and spectators. As you might expect with such a fantastic event, a contagious atmosphere encompasses the local area, making it a great time to visit if you like the buzz and action.
What Are the Distances?
For most, a two-mile walk would be plenty, but not for the Ironman! Participants will tackle no less than 140.6 miles during the event. Firstly, contestants will swim 2.4 miles in Carmarthen Bay, following this, they will jump on their bikes for a 112-mile cycle around Pembrokeshire, the final leg consists of a 26.2 mile run around the town centre of the picture-perfect Tenby.
Where Does the Course Go?
The swim consists of two laps, with contestants completing this in the waters of Carmarthen Bay, Tenby.
The bike ride winds amongst the stunning Pembrokeshire countryside, giving spectators and participants fantastic views throughout the event, with the iconic landmarks of the area often stealing the limelight.
Starting in Tenby, the route then guides athletes to Manorbier, then onto Lamphey and into Pembroke. From there, they will head towards Angle then back to Pembroke. The second half of the route then flows through Carew, Templeton and Narbeth before leading participants to Saundersfoot and back to Tenby.
For the run, it is back to Tenby, where they will complete four laps of the seaside town.
How Can You Watch?
The races are free for spectators to watch and there’s no need to get any form of a ticket. Due to the event lacing around Pembrokeshire, road closures are scheduled, which can make accessing viewpoints tricky. To avoid disappointment, it’s best to decide on a place to view and get there as soon as possible. Some of the top spectator spots include Pembroke, Narberth, Tenby and Saundersfoot.
There are shuttle buses for the event which can take spectators to and from Tenby and Saundersfoot, avoiding the road closures. It is advised that you buy tickets for the shuttle bus service in advance. To get to the event, Ironman advises heading to the Carew Airfield on the morning of the race and leaving your car there to reduce congestion around Tenby.
Volunteering at the Event
Do you think you might like to take part, but the gruelling course isn’t for you? If so, then you may be interested in volunteering. The electric atmosphere is addictive and being a part of the event in this way can be a rewarding experience. There are various rolls which need filling, for more details and registration, head to the website: http://eu.ironman.com/triathlon/events/emea/ironman/wales/volunteer
If the race has inspired your little ones and the thought of waiting to be old enough for the big race seems much too far away, then they may want to take part in the Ironkids Wales. It’s a ‘run only’ event which is held in Tenby each year, giving children the opportunity to get in on the action. Participation is the main focus for the day and each child will receive a medal for their hard work, as well as a t-shirt. Children of three to 14 years old can enter and it is held on the 14th September 2019.
Where Can You Stay?
Pembrokeshire is home to our HQ, and we’re proud to be able to offer a range of unique and quirky Pembrokeshire glamping options for the event! With converted lorries, yurts, log cabins, cottages and eco-pods, you’re home away from home for the week can be just as epic as the event!
The Ironman Wales is not for the faint-hearted, and even making it to the finish line is one of the biggest sporting achievements! If you’re planning on heading to this stunning pocket of Wales to catch a glimpse of the men and women participating, give them a cheer and plenty of encouragement as they go past!