The Geelong 70.3 course has a bit of everything for every type of athlete. A flat smooth swim course, some flats, some hills and some technical aspects on the bike and a multi-lap undulating run course. If you would like to join us for our race course recon day, or sample a race specific half ironman training program, you can drop us a line, or visit our website here.
Below is a summary written by Performance Coach Steve Davis for the Geelong Ironman 70.3 course in 2019.
SWIM – 1 lap
The sheltered waters at Eastern Beach mean that the conditions are generally very good with little to no swell and excellent visibility.
You swim a long straight 800m out to the first turning bouy. This will give you plenty of time and space to get into your own rhythm. There are smaller guide bouys to help you navigate out to the turning bouy.
At the first turning bouy, you turn almost 315 degrees south easterly into a 700m straight stretch. If it is sunny you will have some sighting issues as you will be looking directly into the sun, but you are able to use the east side of the Eastern Beach Swimming Enclosure as a marker to sight with.
At the second turning bouy, you turn just over 90 degrees north westerly for a short 300m to the final turning buoy. As this is a short stretch, it is a great place to pick up your pace a little if you can, and bring in your kicking legs to get the blood flowing to the bottom half of the body ready for you to porpoise, then stand up and run out of the water.
The last turning bouy is just 100m into a very gradual gradient to the shore at Eastern Beach. There is a generally a lot of sea grass here, so where possible, try to avoid it when standing up so that you have no issues with any hidden sharp rocks or sea creatures. You will have a long distance to porpoise before you stand up and run out, across the beach and onto the footpath.
You will run along a cement path the full length of transition before turning into T1 and onto lush grass. This will give you ample opportunity to get your wetsuit off down to your waist before you get to your bike.
BIKE – 2 laps
You run out of transition over blue carpets and around some twists and turns into the car park where the mount line is situated several meters after the bitumen starts.
You then have 400m of flat carpark where you need to get your feet in your shoes and strapped in before making a short uphill left turn then 50m on, another uphill left turn. You will then climb for approximately 600m up into the Botanic Gardens.
Once at the T-intersection of the Botanical Gardens, you follow the Eastern Park Circuit to the left and there is a fast, flat and downhill section before a sharp left with a traffic island onto Holt Road. This part of the road is quite bumpy and can have gravel across it so be very careful here.
After a few hundred meters down Holt Rd, you turn left onto Portarlington Road where you can settle into aero and find your race pace and rhythm. There is the 5km/50km Aid Station here which you need to keep in mind for the second lap.
At around the 7km mark, you take a left turn onto Point Henry Rd. This is a flat, open, exposed and often windy 10km out and back stretch of road with very little to look at and no crowd around. Stay focussed, remember that it is just as windy for everyone out there, and use the alone time to focus on your rhythm and nutrition.
On your return to the start of Point Henry Rd you make a left turn back onto Portarlington Road where the course is very slightly undulating until you hit the 800m Leopold Hill. This hill is quite steep and kicks up at the end, so relax into the climb and select the correct gearing to get up it with good cadence.
Once over Leopold Hill, you will hit the 26km/70km Aid Station, then 2km further down the road you will get to the Curlewis Golf Course turnaround for your return back towards Geelong.
On your return, you will gain a huge amount of speed going back down Leopold Hill, so be aware that if you are not a confident rider, you need to be pumping the brakes early to avoid gaining too much speed, and if you are an experienced rider, then tuck in and enjoy the free momentum gains!
You do not go back down Point Henry Rd on the return leg. You also go past Holt Road by about 500m where you U-Turn, come back the 500m and turn left into Hold Road. You then retrace the road the way you came out through the Botanical Gardens, slightly uphill, then the steep descent with the fast and sharp right hand turns into the carpark. Be very careful not to gain too much speed down this hill as the 90 degree turn is right at the bottom of the hill.
Once in the carpark, you go back past the mount/dismount line by a few meters before doing a U-Turn to start your second lap.
RUN – 2.5 laps
You will exit transition and head east past the big Ferris Wheel. There is the 0.5km/6.5km/10.5km/16.5km/20.5km Aid Station 500m after the T2 exit. You will then run past the finish line at Steampacket Gardens and up a gradual climb along Western Beach Road. You will pass the 2.5km/12.5km Aid Station before running through Rippleside Park carpark and a turnaround at the 3km mark.
After the turnaround you veer left, then turn right onto the Esplanade and run along the boardwalk. This 3km section is flat and straight along the water’s edge, until you do a slight zig zag around some stairs and back onto the road just before the finish line.
You run past the finish line and transition where there will be a huge amount of crowd support – so look good, but don’t the adrenalin kick in and go too fast through this section. Keep to your pacing plan and enjoy the experience.
After running past transition and a playground you’ll hit a sharp 100m ramp that takes you up onto Hearne Parade and past the 8km/18km Aid Station. This 1.5km section is quite open and exposed to the elements so there can be a lot of sun and wind around here.
After the Aid Station, you will run past the Limeburners Boat Ramp and up a steep 200m climb to the turnaround.
You then run back down Hearne Parade and follow the road around and slightly uphill until you reach a longer steeper ramp where you will descend down and do a hard right downhill turn behind the Beach House Restaurant and along the short west side of transition. You then turn left and back past transition to start your second lap.
After you have done 2 full laps, you will run past transition, past the finish line for approx. 450m then turn right and right again at the Pier for the final 200m to the finish line.
It’s quite a long run from the swim to T1 so you have plenty of time to get your wetsuit off.
There is also a long run with your bike to the mount line with some twists and turns.
There is a medical tent, toilets, aid station and change tent along the short west side of transition.
If you have any specific questions relating to your race, or you would like to see what our Half Ironman training program would look like for you, then you can contact us here