A triathletes guide to the Ironman 70.3 in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica

With the up and coming 70.3 Ironman in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica, many people who have not done the course before maybe asking what it will be like.  Well having done many tri's in the area and developed a hotel in the area, below is my advice on the 3 parts of the Costa Rica Ironman.

The start time will be 7.00 AM in the morning and if Costa Rican organisation is anything to go by, expect to be out at 7.30AM or 8.00AM.  

The difficulty of this Ironman is going to be getting into and out of Coco as there is only 1 main road that is heavily transited and with 1000's of competitors and their respective families coming, it's going to be madness.  Do not even think about driving around the day of the event, cycle to and from or walk. 

The Swim:  Coco Bay is like a swim pool, it's flat, little to no current and there are no waves at all.  This may be one of the easiest swims you have ever done.  The only complication is that there are a few boats in the water so you could get a mouthful of oily water, not the best taste.  This should be an easy swim for even beginners.


The Bike:  This could be the most difficult part, however it will only be the start and middle as there is a slight climb after your first 1km into the bike (see altimeter below) of which you will need to do 2 times as the course is 2 x 45km.  After the climb out of Coco it's a downhill to Sardinal, right and then a slight downhill to San Blas where you turn around to go back to Sardinal, out to the main road and back to Coco.  There should really be nothing difficult beyond the start and mid way point, so feel confident in this ride.

Costa Rica Ironamn Bike Altimeter

Costa Rica Ironman Cycyling Course

The Run:  It's going to be flat and hot.  By the time you start the run you will be say 3:30 hr into it, so say 10.30-11 AM.  Coco can be hot in June and if it has rained it could be humid, so make sure you prepare accordingly.  There should be many points of hydration, however if you have friends and family there, make sure they have some cold sponges ready.  Typically it will be around 30 degress Celsius or higher.  It will also probably be a bit dusty, so expect the odd cough here and there.

We hope this helps and goodluck to anyone doing the event.