Summary

Half Ironman with a fast swim, fair and scenic bike course, and testing run! Very well organized event with amazing volunteers and spectators. If you’re looking for your next half Ironman this has to be near the top of your list!
Posted Jul 07, 2022
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Pros
  • Down river
  • Plenty of aid stations
  • Scenic bike course
Cons
  • Hot!!

Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 is a well know and highly praised event. After completion, I can see why. From the expo on Friday and Saturday with big name companies to the awards ceremony on Sunday then event is well organized, very well run and spectated to the fullest. This was my first half Ironman and something I’ll never forget. See below for details on each leg. 

Swim: the swim is longer than most events coming in at 1.4 miles but it is downstream and in our case was wetsuit legal. You start at the row docks and rowing facility which I found to be well organized and efficient. Sure it takes time to get 2000 athletes in the water so get there early and get in. They bus you to the start so no energy wasted and bathroom facilities were at the start for those pre race guts. Once in the water the course was well marked every couple of hundred yards. Kayaks were out there for those who are not strong swimmers. If you get in early the crowd is not bad. I found it to be a nice swim and nothing to choppy. There are volunteers 
To help you out at the end and wetsuit strippers at the shore. 

Bike: the bike course starts in Chattanooga and goes to Chickmauga, Georgia with nice views of lookout mountain. The course has rolling hills throughout with once pincher about halfway through. The roads in Chattanooga are a little rough but smooth out once you cross the state line. Police were at every intersection directing traffic so I never had to worry about stopping and always felt safe. Aid stations were well staffed and easy to roll through. Water and Gatorade endurance were at all stations. 

Run: the run is a 2 loop course along the river walk. The run has a nice mix of hills and flats. Some areas of shade but a major portion of the run is out in the open. Be prepared for the heat! During the first loop, ice was plentiful. By the second loop water was available along with gels and Gatorade but it’s hard to keep the ice from melting in the afternoon. The run was well marked and the finish chute is downhill by the river and amphitheater with spectators lining the finish line. Be prepared for a fast finish and soak it in! 

Overall I cannot say enough great things about the event. It is very competitive but beginner friendly and a great test of fitness. If you’re looking for your next or first half Ironman this has to be at the top of your list! 

Experience

This was my first half Ironman and first Ironman sponsored event however I have completed many triathlons. I can absolutely say that I felt safe during the entire event and they always had adequate nutrition at every aid station. Like all Ironman events they had Gatorade endurance, Maurten gels (caffeinated and non caffeinated), water and Red Bull at all the run stations. It was my first even but will not be my last. Great city and awesome opportunity. 

Comments

David Moore Thanks for sharing Michael. A down current swim sounds amazing!!

Michael Cavanah Yeah man. It is nice if it’s your first one because it allows you to get after it and get on the bike early. Plenty of people overlook it and still struggle but with ample training it can be a great start!

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Michael Cavanah
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Physical therapist and triathlete! Promoting a happy and healthy lifestyle staying involved in multiple sports.

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