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Taking part in an Ironman race is about as far from a relaxing holiday as you can get. Whether you go the full distance, or opt for the half-way house of an Ironman 70.3, picking a destination most suited for a post-race warm-down is tricky.
Such has been the popularity of the races, there are now over 200 contests, for adults and children alike, dotted all around the world.
And as you would expect, the settings and climates the races are run in vary wildly. What’s more, each Ironman destination has it’s own charm. It’s own opportunities to wind down after the race or even more activities to get stuck into.
Whether it’s a sun-drenched beach or cobbled medieval streets you want to frequent after your race, we’ve got the option for you.
Event: Ironman 70.3
Date: June 3rd
If you feel that there’s no point in putting your body through an Ironman test, only to flop on a sun lounger when it’s done, then Ironman 70.3 Hawaii is for you. While there is always the option for some beach time, the adventure opportunities on ‘Big Island’ are limitless.
You could continue to explore the trails of the Hawaii Volcano Valley on a bike, but the best experiences mean taking to the water again. Surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving are massive on Hawaii’s largest island. And with one of the biggest concentrations of manta rays in the world in the surrounding waters, heading out on a night time dive to see these gentle giants cannot be recommended enough.
Event: Ironman 70.3 Calgary
Date: July 23rd
While the race itself heads south-east out of the skyscraper-rich city of Calgary, just 125km west of Alberta’s largest settlement are the wondrous Rocky Mountains. From the Bow Valley to Banff National Park the sheer majesty of the Rockies is impossible to deny.
Head out for a less-strenuous post-race hike around some of the walking trails starting in easy day-trip proximity to Calgary. Take in the stunning blue-green lakes and freshwater streams and go back to basics with nature, all with the imposing peaks of the Rockies looming large on the landscape.
There’s no need to push for a quick time here, just take it at your own pace and enjoy the view.
Event: Ironman 70.3 Bintan
Date: August 20th
There are no skyscrapers on show on the Indonesian island of Bintan to blot the landscape. The destination, just 45 minutes off the coast of Singapore, is the definition of island tranquillity.
The locals, young and old, may line the streets to cheer on the competitors on the day, but when the race is run it’s all about you-time. Pick a spot on a deserted beach and watch the waves lap onto the white sand in front of you. If you do fancy entering the water again after your Ironman exerts a dip in the crystal-clear waters isn’t a bad option either.
Event: Ironman 70.3 Pula
Date: September 17th
The city of Pula dates back to the 10th century BC, so for history buffs, the Istrian gem is a perfect place for a half-Ironman competition.
A clear Roman influence provides a (slightly) more modern outlook on today’s Pula, with the city’s exquisite Arena marking the centre-point of the city. Entrants to Ironman 70.3 Pula need not set aside time to visit the world’s six-largest surviving arena of it’s kind as the race itself actually finishes within the ancient ruins.
Away from the amphitheatre there are a whole host of historical nuggets to enjoy on the Croatian coast. From the 14th century St Francis Church to the Austrian-built 19th-century Fort Bourguignon, Pula provides a perfect culture hit.
Event: Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
Date: October 22nd
The home of Mardi Gras, New Orleans is the place to party after the exertions of an Ironman event.
As well as the famous carnival celebration, the city hosts dozens of other events celebrating things from tomatoes to a ‘San Fermin en Nueva Orleans’ – like Pamplona’s famous ‘Running of the Bulls’, only with ladies with plastic baseball bats on roller skates (don’t believe us? just Google it!).
However, you don’t need an organised event to have a good time in the ‘Big Easy’ post-Ironman. Enjoy jazz the French Quarter or kick back with a cold drink in one of the numerous bars dotted along the suitably-named Bourbon Street and celebrate a race well run.
Inspired to run an Ironman? Head over to the official event pages to select the destination for you before heading back to SportsCover Direct to secure that all important Sports Travel Insurance before you go.