IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship - Nice, France 2019 Course Preview

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PRE-RACE MEET UP and EVENTS

Wednesday, September 4th, 4:00pm CEST: Shake-Out Run with Pro Chelsea Sodaro:
Meet in Lobby of Le Meridien Hotel (1 Promenade des Anglais | 06046 Nice | France)
30-40 min social shake out run with a few pick-ups
Ask questions and take pics!
Open to All

Friday, September 6th, 1:00pm CEST - 2:00pm CEST: LIVE On-Site Q&A and Panel Discussion
Join Purple Patch founder and head coach, Matt Dixon, in Nice for a special IN-PERSON 70.3 World Championship pre-race meet up and course overview.  This event is co-hosted with Precision Hydration Founder, Andy Blow, and IRONMAN Legend, Mark Allen

This can't-miss part of your weekend will include a course overview and a chance to ask questions of the expert panel. Visit our registration page HERE for more details and to secure your spot. You MUST RSVP to attend.

Friday, September 6th, 2:30pm CEST - 3:15pm CEST: LIVE Global Facebook and Instagram Live

RACE OVERVIEW

From Matt Dixon

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The last years have provided fantastic and eclectic venues and courses for each edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, and this year’s race in Nice is a wonderful complement to the emerging history of this event.  This is going to be special, in both challenge and spectacle. Competitors are in for a treat. When we combine the location, course, and the split-days of racing, we cannot imagine a more suitable occasion to host a World Championship.

We have a true open water swim discipline, dipping into the blue waters of the Cote d’Azur, followed by a bike course that will reward the most prepared bike riders, and a run that will provide great support along the lines of the promenade.

As you will read below, preparation is king, so take note of many of the key ingredients of success in this event.  In addition, please don’t forget to enjoy the experience. It is a World Championship! Cause for celebration and fun, not for changing every habit, mindset, and recipe for success that delivered you here.

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From Purple Patch Pro, Sam Appleton

It is a World Championship.  This means it is a special event and a chance to truly go out and give it your best shot without any fear of consequence.  A special occasion that should excite you and set the stage for a big effort.

Each of the last year’s World Championships have included so much pre-race hype about either weather, terrain or competition, and Nice is no different.  The good news is that this year, we will have an honest course with great challenge, but it should also be great fun. The climbing will be long, but manageable, and the descent will be more than fine if you ride within your level and stay smart.  I encourage competitors to race each piece as it arrives and don’t fall into being stressed out by the hype. It is overplayed.


PRE-RACE INFORMATION

Weather

  • It is the South of France, but we might expect a little variance of expectations as summer begins to shift to Fall. The likely weather is clement to warm with plenty of sun, but we cannot put out of the question some autumn showers or onshore winds as the day progresses. It is doubtful that high heat will be a massive factor in the outcome of the race, but you should arrive for the unexpected. It could rain and it could be chilly in the morning, so prepare and arrive to manage any conditions.

NOTE: We’re currently getting word that the water temperature is warmer than expected, so this will likely be a non-wetsuit swim for both amateurs and pros. We advise that you bring your wetsuit just in case, but be prepared to go without or use a speedsuit if you have one.

Course Cut-Off Times

Women’s Race Day, Saturday, September 7, 2019

Women’s Swim

  • The swim course closes 1 hour after the last athlete enters the water via the rolling age group wave start, approximately 9:44 AM. 

  • Each athlete will have 1 hour to complete the 1.2 mile/1.9 km swim. 

  • Athletes who take longer than 1 hour to complete the swim will receive a DNF. 

Women’s T1

  • T1 closes 10 minutes after the last official swim finisher.

Women’s Bike

  • Athletes will have 10 minutes to get from the swim exit, through transition and across the bike mount line (approximately 9:54 AM). 

  • The bike course will close 5 hours and 20 minutes after the last athlete enters the water via the rolling age group wave start, approximately 2:04 PM. 

  • Each athlete will have 5 hours and 20 minutes to complete the swim course, T1 and bike course regardless of when they start the swim. 

  • Any athlete that takes longer than 5 hours and 20 minutes to complete the swim course, T1 and bike course will receive a DNF. 

  • INTERMEDIATE BIKE COURSE CUT-OFF 

    • Athletes who have not reached the 22 miles/36km (the top of Col de Vence) by 12:05 PM will not be permitted to continue the race. Please note, your bike will not be available for pick-up before 4:00 PM. Should you not arrive to the top of the Col de Verice before the allotted cut-off time, SAG will be there to transport you back to the race venue. From this point on, should you for any non-medical related reason be taken off the course, SAG will be following the final cyclist to transport you back to the race venue. 

Women’s T2

  • T2 closes 10 minutes after the last official bike finisher.

Women’s Run

  • Athletes will have 10 minutes to get from the bike dismount line, through transition and across the run start like (approximately 2:14 PM). 

  • The run course will close 8 hours and 10 minutes after the last athlete enters the water via the rolling wave start, approximately 4:54 PM. 

  • Athletes that take longer than 8 hours and 10 minutes to complete the entire course will receive a DNF. 

  • INTERMEDIATE RUN COURSE CUT-OFF 

    • Athletes who have not reached the 6.8 miles/11km (start of 2nd loop) at 3:33 PM will not be permitted to continue the race.

Men’s Race Day, Sunday, September 8, 2019

Men’s Swim

  • The last swim wave to enter the water is approximately 9:01 AM. 

  • The swim course will close 1 hour after the last athlete enters the water via the rolling wave start, approximately 10:12 AM. 

  • Each athlete will have 1 hour to complete the 1.2 mile/1.9 km swim. Athletes who take longer than 1 hour to complete the swim will receive a DNF. 

Men’s T1

  • T1 closes 10 minutes after the last official swim finisher.

Men’s Bike

  • Athletes will have 10 minutes to get from the swim exit, through transition and across the bike mount line (approximately 10:22 AM). 

  • The bike course will close 5 hours and 20 minutes after the last athlete enters the water via the rolling wave start, approximately 2:32 PM.

  • Each athlete will have 5 hours and 20 minutes to complete the swim, T1 and bike course regardless of when they start the swim. 

  • Any athlete that takes longer than 5 hours and 20 minutes to complete the swim, T1 and bike course will receive a DNF. 

  • INTERMEDIATE BIKE COURSE CUT-OFF 

    • Athletes who have not reached the 22 miles/36km (the top of Col de Vence) by 12:33 PM will not be permitted to continue the race. 

    • Please note, your bike will not be available for pick-up before 4:00 PM. Should you not arrive to the top of the Col de Verice before the allotted cut-off time, SAG will be there to transport you back to the race venue.

Men’s T2

  • T2 closes 10 minutes after the last official bike finisher.

Men’s Run

  • Athletes will have 10 minutes to get from the bike dismount line, through transition and across the run strat like (approximately 2:42 PM). 

  • The run course will close 8 hours and 10 minutes after the last athlete enters the water via the rolling wave start, approximately 5:22 PM. 

  • Athletes that take longer than 8 hours and 10 minutes to complete the entire course will receive a DNF. 

  • INTERMEDIATE RUN COURSE CUT-OFF 

    • Athletes who have not reached the 6.8 miles/11km (start of 2nd loop) at 4:01 PM will not be permitted to continue the race.

Finish Line Cut-Off

  • The race will officially end 8 hours and 10 minutes after the final athlete enters the water via the rolling age group wave start. 

  • Athletes that take longer than 8 hours and 10 minutes to complete the entire course will receive a DNF and will not be eligible for age-group awards. 

  • Additionally, athletes that are in an earlier wave and finish before the final course cut-off but take longer than 8 hours and 10 minutes to complete the race will receive a DNF and will not be eligible for age group awards.

Athlete Check-in

  • Location:  Coulee Verte - Arc de Venet

  • Women Only:  Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

  • All Athletes:

    • Wednesday, September 4, 2019:  2:00 - 6:00 PM

    • Thursday, September 5, 2019:  9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

    • Friday, September 6, 2019:  9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

  • Men Only: Friday, September 6, 2019 - 3:00 - 7:00 PM


Mandatory Athlete Briefing

  • Thursday, September 5

  • 10:00 - 10:45 AM:  German at Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen

  • 11:00 AM - 1:.45 PM:   Spanish at Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen 

  • 12:00 - 12:45 PM:  French at Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen 

  • 1.00 - 1.45 PM:  Japanese at Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen 

  • 2:00 - 2:45 PM:  Chinese at Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen 

  1. 8:00 - 8.45 PM: English at Palais des Expositions


Mandatory Gear Bag and Bike Check-in

  • Location:  Quai des Etats-Unis - Transition 1

  • Women:  Friday, September 6, 2019:  2:00 - 6:00 PM

  • Men:  Saturday, September 7, 2019:  2:00 - 6:00 PM

Mandatory Run Bag Check-in

  • Location:  Miroir d’eau - Transition 2

  • Women:  Friday, September 6, 2019:  2:00 - 6:00 PM

  • Men:  Saturday, September 7, 2019:  2:00 - 6:00 PM

Race Days

Saturday, September 7, 2019 

Official Race Start

  • 5:00 - 7:00 AM:  Transition Open

  • 7:00 AM:  Professional Women

  • 7:08 AM:  Age Group Women - First Wave

  • 7:56 AM:  Age Group, Physically Challenged, and Handcycle Women

Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Official Race Start

  • 5:00 - 7:00 AM:  Transition Open

  • 7:00 AM:  Professional Men

  • 7:08 AM:  Age Group Men - First Wave

  • 8:13 AM:  Age Group, Physically Challenged, and Handcycle Women


PRE RACE TIPS

Pre-Race Bike Tips

  • With the large temperature swings of the heat in the middle of the day to cool nights, it is worth removing some of your air in your tires when you rack your bike the night before the race.

  • Race morning pump your tires to your race pressure. This will reduce the risk of pressure-related blowouts when the bike is racked the day prior.

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Pre-Race Tips from Purple Patch Pro, Sam Appleton

The World Championship always delivers more “stuff.” It is an occasion, so I would arrive onsite with a checklist of pre-race schedules, equipment lists, and things that you need to do on race morning to be prepared to race. It is all about reducing stress, and this isn’t a local rodeo. I prefer to give myself more time and arrive early. I also ensure that I have mapped a suitable place to go through my warm-up routine and protocol. The best outcome is to be as stress-free as possible and almost on autopilot race morning. This means planning ahead.

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Pre-Race Tips from Matt Dixon

Don’t forget to warm up.  One of the biggest mistakes I see is the lack of a warm-up prior to the swim. At any distance, a lack of warm-up is a performance inhibitor for many athletes (pros and all the way down).

  1. Set up transition: arrive with lots of time to spare.

  2. Running warm-up: 10-15 minutes of very easy jogging. When return have a little fuel and hydration.

  3. Check transition and put on the wetsuit: final preps, kiss your family, friends, dogs, and teammates.

  4. Swim warm-up: check the course buoys one more time then go:

    • 3-5 min easy swimming then:

    • 30 sec moderate

    • 30 sec smooth

    • 20 sec strong

    • 30 sec smooth

    • 10 sec V strong

    • 30 sec smooth

    • 20 sec strong

    • 30 sec smooth

    • 30 sec moderate

    • Can go through twice if you wish! 

Ready to race.


SWIM COURSE

Length: 1.2 mi/1.9 km

 
 

Water Temperature

We’re currently getting word that the water temperature is warmer than expected, so this will likely be a non-wetsuit swim for both amateurs and pros. We advise that you bring your wetsuit just in case, but be prepared to go without or use a speedsuit if you have one.

We can expect flat to light chop with a course that opens up well -- with 800 meters of straight swimming preventing turn congestions early.

Self-Seed Rolling Start

If you are a very strong swimmer then it is worthwhile lining up toward the front, but don’t fall into the trap of seeding yourself way faster than your ability. Be honest and line up smart. We would encourage you to start to the side of the wave of swimmers, to provide options. In general, if you are more comfortable breathing to the right side, then line up left, then vice versa if you are a left sided breather. The one caveat is if there is any current, and you will be able to tell from watching the initial pro waves taking off. If there are any pros getting pulled away from the buoy line, then line up to the opposite side of the drag. While the course goes straight, the water doesn’t always conform to your mathematical line, so line up to ensure you fight current as little as possible.


Swim Overview

  • The start takes place on the Quai des Etats-Unis when the sun rises, and you are off to a 1.9KM swim in the Mediterranean Sea.

  • The great news is that the course takes you 0.5 miles out to sea, meaning more room to spread out and swim your swim.  You also should not have a massive impact from early morning sun, which will rise to your right.

  • The Med is generally calm, but there is a small risk of turbulent seas - it is a sea!  Be equipped and if the chop is up then the requirement to sight is even more amplified, and we hope you are equipped to swim strong with a faster stroke rate.

  • As it is a sea swim in a dynamic environment, training and muscular resilience will trump perfect prettiness and form.  It rewards the prepared, which we think is a good thing.


SWIM TIPS

Pre-Race Tips

  • As above, keep up the warm up and give yourself plenty of time.

Swim Gear Tip

  • Tinted goggles are likely the optimal gear for you, but bring a pair with a brighter lens in case of cloud and/or rain.

  • Don’t forget to lube up!  It is the sea, rubbage risk is officially higher and there is nothing more fun than a post race shower with “burn marks.”

Swim Tips from Matt Dixon

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  • The initial excitement must be replaced with pragmatism.  It isn’t about swimming hard, it is about swimming fast.

  • We call it “easy speed.” Your initial 150 strokes should be smooth and controlled. I promise that you won’t be going much/any slower than if you throw a big nasty effort at it.

  • Swim straight.  This means sight.  It is your most important tool.

Swim Tips from Sam Appleton

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  • I swim really hard to begin these races.  I do not encourage you to unless you come from a high level swimming background and you are trained to do so.

  • Too many forget to sight and simply follow others, often following right off course!

  • Your goal should be to swim as fast as you can, while leaving yourself with energy for the bike and run.  This isn’t just swimming hard. Be smart.

T1

  • Take a little time to rinse off the sea water.

  • Sip water, following likely ingestion of some salty sea water.  This isn’t a time to top up on fuel or salty electrolyte drinks.

  • Stay calm and keep heart rate and breathing managed.  While every second counts, panicking and rushing won’t yield optimal performance globally.


BIKE COURSE

Length: 56.7 mi/91.3 km

 
 

Bike Course Overview

  • A challenging course that will lead you to the Col de Vence ! A 9 km climb at a 6.6% average to reach a 962m altitude. The descent is absolutely spectacular through the most beautiful villages in France. Take the most of this course between the sea and the mountains.

  • Unless you are a true novice cyclist, this remains a time-trial bike course.

  • Staying aware and patient on this course is key.  There is more to the day than simply your PR, so be respectful and patient and most importantly please be safe.

Bike Elevation

  • Starting:  23 ft/7 m

  • Finishing:  49 ft/15 m

  • Total Gain:  4485 ft/1367 m

Bike Course Nutrition at Aid Stations

Enervit Energy Source

Water 

Bananas 

Enervit Energy Gels 

Enervit Energy Bars 

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BIKE TIPS

  • A course to bring out all the tools in the toolbox.  

  • Be aware that courses like this do not deliver high ‘average powers’ and are not conducive to chasing a single power throughout the course.

  • Ride the terrain smart and vary the load, it is your best chance of success.

Bike Tips from Matt Dixon

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  • Use the initial kilometers to find your rhythm and settle.  It is an easy entry point to the ride and lean into this before the stress climbs.

  •  If any athlete tries to “save legs” by spinning up the longer hill in their smallest gear throughout, they can expect to get left behind on this course.

  • Success is mixing some higher cadence climbing when grade allows, plenty of mixing of seated and standing, as well as the strength-focused lower RPM work.

  • It is ideal to drive the course first to truly understand what’s coming.  It WILL help!

  • The descent is nowhere near as crazed as many will have you believe, but it still requires caution and alertness.  Pre-riding or driving is highly encouraged.

  • Please ride to the right!  It is safe for you and those you are passing.

  • With the terrain and course features many will simply forget to fuel and hydrate.  Ensure you pile on the calories before the climb, and then again before the descent.  As you may be challenged to fuel while traveling at speed downhill, load up before going down!

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Bike Tips from Sam Appleton

  • Many are obsessed with power and average power.  I would get more focused on terrain management and self-pacing through effort.

  • You should be prepared to lock into a very strong effort (well above your goal race power) throughout the climb

  • Look for chances of speed gains, but use caution and pragmatism on the descent.

  • Smile -- this is a special course and a wonderful track.


RUN COURSE

Length: 13.1 mi/21 km

 
 

Run Course Overview

  • The run will take you along the legendary Promenade des Anglais, between the sea and the palm trees. The course will be lined with thousands of spectators to support and push you to the historic finish-line of the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Nice France.

Run Elevation

  • Starting:  49 ft/15 m

  • Finishing:  23 ft/7 m

  • Gain:  82 ft/25 m

Run Course Nutrition at Aid Stations

Enervit Energy Source 

Water 

Coca-Cola 

Enervit Energy Gels Enervit 

Energy Bars 

Pretzels 

Bananas 

Red Bull 

Saint Yonne


RUN TIPS

Run Tips from Matt Dixon

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  • Get to posture early.  The bike course sets up plenty of variance, which helps running off the bike, but the climb might tenderize.  I feel like the initial 2-3 km are key to stand tall, set arm carriage, and drive to leg speed.

  • The flatter terrain can beat up the quads, so ensure you shift stride and cadence as the terrain allows.

  • The course will be lined with spectators.  Ensure you retain focus on yourself, your pacing, your form, and your fueling.  Don’t get distracted!

  • Break the course down into mini-projects.  Don’t just chase 21km of running, break it down and optimize each “project.”

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Run Tips from Sam Appleton

  • Cheers will be plenty but don’t think the flat course will lead to an easy day.  The racing will be hot and the flatness might bash the quads.

  • I prefer to break down the run into sections and think about form, leg speed, and fueling as I navigate.

  • I never think about the end, only chasing more speed in each project.

  • The initial 2-3 km is key for me, and it should be for you, as it is all about remaining emotionally calm and looking to lock into rhythm.  It might not (will not!) feel good, but the mission is to find feeling good. It will come if you don’t over-chase and remain calm.


MATT DIXON’S FINAL THOUGHTS

Focus on the process not outcome.

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  • Triathlons can elicit monkey brain. You may start asking yourself a lot of questions during the race, and lose focus on the immediate task at hand. Controlling that attention and focus is part of the challenge and the fun.

  • Don't evaluate too early. Many athletes start evaluating their performances before they finish the race and leave some potential strewn across the course.  Triathlons require you to remain focused on execution and process, without a thought of the outcome during the race. Save your race evaluation for the recovery tent.

  • Fueling: Check in with yourself throughout the race and continually assess your calories and hydration intake. It may be hot this year, so think about that when you are planning your hydration and remember calories every 10-15 minutes. If your mood starts to drop, it is likely calories.

  • Pacing: Managing your effort, gearing, and pacing in each part of the race.

  • Form: Staying supple on the bike, good tension on the chain, running tall on the run with good foot-speed. Basically, all the things we have talked about so far!

Don’t let the support, terrain and spirit of this course deceive you. It is a wonderful race, so go have fun and embrace it.

Best of luck, we will see you on the course.

Don’t forget about our pre-race meet up!

Join Purple Patch founder and head coach, Matt Dixon, in Nice for a special IN-PERSON 70.3 World Championship pre-race meet up and course overview.  This event is co-hosted with Precision Hydration Founder, Andy Blow, and the Purple Patch Pros!

This can't-miss part of your weekend will include a course overview and a chance to ask questions of the expert panel. Visit our registration page HERE for more details and to secure your spot.

Course photos:  IRONMAN

Kim Kisslo