which Ironman course is hardest



I know that its all personal......but its interesting that these work on individual years as well


have you done many of them and do you agreeimage



  • Ooh that probably looks about right to me. Henley didnt have the huge climbs of Switzerland and France but I don't think it had a mile of flat either.

    (makes note never to enter Wales)
  • Interestingly tho this years Lanza scored much higher ...

    Having not done the US ones it makes it a little difficult to see the comparisons but I think Wales v Lanza v UK is a good comparison

  • Cool, looking forward to Wales next year!

    But with UK at #10, the others down the list must be very, very flat.  UK had a few bumps and one big hill on the bike, but nothing significant on the run. 

  • will be interesting to see what this years wales gets.the first year had a mega hard score and last years wasn't so bad at all........but lanza had a harder year than the last fewimage

  • Here we go again 

  • I think you will find my first words were.....It is all personal...image

  • I have only done 1 official IM but as it was Wales I agree 100%! image  Especially as that was in the "mega hard" year.

  • I think its always fairly interesting to see how races compare. It's only a bit of fun.
  • KK, I think a flat course is easier for everyone. 

    A hilly course may mean a mountain goat can finish further up the rankings but I don't believe anyone finds it easier to run uphill than on the flat, generally speaking.

    So I think the generalisation stands (IMO of course!)

  • As a Wales and Lanza finisher, does that make me we'll 'ard image

  • kittenkat wrote (see)


    Whilst it would be interesting to see how the elites battle the courses and the differences, I get a 'small' feeling that some regular people might like to feel better that others because they've done a 'harder' IM?


    Yep, I wouldn't disagree - that is the lure of the hard courses.  Not all Ironman races are created equal. 

    You then get into the debate about is it better to have done an easier course faster or to have just completed the harder course.

    Best just not to take any of it too seriously as it isn't very exclusive any more anyhows.

  • Pingu, yep!


  • Yeah, Pingu, but not as hard as TripleHardLanzaWalesIronMousie  image image

    funkin has done Wanaka (he always says it was nowhere near as tough as everyone said it was), Lanza (as he expected it to be but he could have gone harder, even though it was a windy bike year), UK (harder run than Lanza, as mostly up or down, little flat - and he was racing as hard as he could which probably didn't help matters)...soon he'll try out one of those other "top ten" courses and then of course Nice next year for The Sailing.

    I think it's interesting, his PeeBee is now Bolton and his previous was at Roth, I don't know what that means except perhaps he's got better since 2010.

  • That makes you a top nutter Pingu.

  • and KK if you want a debate why not join in this thread




    I notice once again you start a thread but can't be arsed to put what you think on the subject....or are you just starting threads on topics you don't care 2 shits about just to increase your thread count....

    anyway i will return to having a look at the complicated rating systems that are giving and try and make sense of it allimage

  • the fastest swim is 44:13..........wow...i struggle to get half done in that timeimage

  • Meeow girls.

    Mountain goats apart, I think that for "hard" we ought to read "not fast". So a flat couse in Florida in winter may be identified as fast, hence one reason that it sells out in minutes. There are of course other reasons like location. Other flattish courses are known as particular hell holes, such as Kona. It doesn't make them easier.

    Lanza could fall into the hot category. As could a fair few others. Add hills for spice. Add a nice ocean swell. Subtract the heat, add autumnal gales and speak Welsh....


    seren nos wrote (see)

    will be interesting to see what this years wales gets.the first year had a mega hard score and last years wasn't so bad at all........


    seren, the big change looks to be to the run with the bike still mega hard. I heard that the run course was short in 2012 which probably explains it.


  • Think Mouser said Lanza over Wales, just.

    I imagine the likes of The Brutal, Celtman, Norseman or Embruman would be off that scale.

  • For good or for bad I purposely did Lanza and Wales in the same season this year.  I'd been bantering with Slag and Meldy on this one.  I decided that my challenge for 2013 was to do both of them in the same season to make it as equal as I could to see for myself which was harder.  There was some debate about this issue on the forum last year.

    My conclusion was that Lanza was harder. 

    I don't have the stats to hand to directly compare the climb, I can only find this:


    which predates Wales but would say that the climbing at Lanza is harder. To me it felt harder and more sustained because there was xx km of climbing in a series of long climbs.  To me Wales felt like a very typical British ride and, if prepared for, something which shouldn't too onerous.  Whilst there were evil undulations throughout and Narbeth, Wisemans and Saundersfoot to contend with, each of these were typically short and sharp and could be recovered from. The climbs at Lanza felt relentless and the weather conditions made it worse.  Without visiting Lanza, it is very hard to train for this over in the UK.

    I'm not sure how to compare the weather conditions.  I know that Pingu said that she felt that Wales was harder than Lanza (having also done both) and Seren said this may be because Pingu did Wales in windier conditions than I did but I have to say that both courses weren't particularly friendly weather wise this year seeing wind and rain in Lanza and slightly less wind but lots of rain and it was cold at Wales.

    The run course in Wales is hillier than Lanza and makes my regimented run/walk strategy very hard to sustain.  I was quite fearful of it when I got off the bike as I wasn't sure where it went. That said, once I'd done it, it was fine to walk the ups and run the rest.  Some of the ups were sufficiently shallow that you could run them anyway.  I felt that the hillier run course did not make Wales any harder than Lanza.  Although Lanza had a flat run, the bike course was so brutal, it still made it 'harder' in my eyes.

    That's my opinion anyway, and purely subjective of course.


  • For what it's worth, I do agree with KK's earlier point about the measurement of a 'hard' course.  I don't particularly enjoy flat courses because there's no break.  Like she said, you have to keep pedalling.  At least on a course with some uphills, you'll get some downhills to give you some time to freewheel.

    Then there's the tidal swim at Swashbuckler - I can't imagine doing an IM distance swim in waters with a strong tide.

    Anyway, rambling now...


  • I didn't find wales wet or windy this year at all.....

    i hadn't realised it had rained during the swim......on the bike I noticed it rain a  few times but still wasn't cold and the eveidence  from the photos confirm my armwarmers were down by the first 20 miles............I didn't even feel the rain on the run .only knew it was because you could see it......this was because to me there was no cold wind all day so never got cold.

    so on a personal level a hot lanza course would feel much much harder to me that any wet colder course......

    but bike wise because of my crap power to weight ratio.....a flat bike course like outlaw was so easy peasy in comparison because once moving it was easier to keep my high speeds up

  • FFS if you actually read before jumping down her throat KK makes a valid point i done Wales and as i live and train in Cornwall didnt find it to tough same with IMUK both a Bolton and Sherborne which are hillyish i slaughtered myself both times i did Outlaw once it worked and a massive PB second time the wheels fell off and cramped most of the marathon for me flat courses are relentless and Outlaw seems to tske me a lot more time to recover from than other "harder" i.e hillier courses if you go out to do your absolute best each race they are all feckin hardimage

  • i managed to geta picture of pinapples instead of a quote.....must remember not to use forum in the middle of doing a newsletterimage

  • I'm afraid the website you posted at the start of this thread makes no sense to me at all image what score is easy / hard?

    isnt that site that gives all the average times the best guide? (But then it only includes the branded M dot events, which is limited)


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