Before we go any further, no we are not discussing Marvel’s Iron Man here. We are talking about the IRONMAN Triathlon – a series of long-distance swimming, cycling and running races.
Later this year, Marrakech will become the first city of the Maghreb to host such an event, with athletes coming from across the globe to compete. The marathon event – known as the IRONMAN 70.3 Marrakech – takes place on October 27th 2019 and will involve a 1.2-mile swim prior to a 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run. Oh, and athletes won’t get a break in between.
For a quick overview of what the event involves, check out the video below:
If you’d like to sign up for the event, you can register here for 310 EUR. If, however, you’d rather attend the event as a spectator, read on below to discover where each of the three races will be taking place across the city.
Athletes will begin their day at 07.45 AM with a single-loop swim in the stunning waters of Lake Lalla Takerkoust, approximately 18.5 miles to the South of Marrakech. Transport to the lake will be organised for participating athletes beforehand. They will then be expected to complete one loop of 1,900 metres (approximately 1.2 miles) in a maximum time of 70 minutes, using relevant checkpoints along the route to guide them.
Once the participants have finished their swim, they will move straight onto the cycling course. This 56-mile route runs through several authentic Moroccan villages, including the Berber village of Tahanaout, and the green meadows of the Ourika Valley. The snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains will also be in the background along the way, before the route finishes up at the Moulay El Hassan Circuit.
Competitors will need to complete the route in a maximum time of 4 hours 45 minutes – approximately half a mile a minute.
After arriving at the Moulay El Hassan circuit, athletes will ditch their bikes and embark on a 13.1-mile run – the final part of the course. This will involve completing two 6.5-mile loops around the beautiful Medina of Marrakech, where participants will pass an array of historical sites such as the Minaret and Koutoubia Mosque.
Fortunately for the athletes involved, the course will be relatively flat and will need to be completed in a maximum time of 2 hours 35 minutes. Like the cycle course, the route will finish back at the Moulay El Hassan Circuit, where each participant will receive a warm reception at an epic finishing line. They will then receive their finishing medal, T-shirt, and as much water as they would like. They’ll also receive a free massage afterwards to help aid their recovery.
Despite the event taking place after the summer months, Marrakech is known for its soaring temperatures and lack of rainfall all-year round. The average temperatures during October tend to fall between 15oC and 28oC, so it’s vital for spectators and participants to drink plenty of fluids during the event to keep hydrated. Protective clothing and sun tan lotion should also be worn to shield skin from the sun’s rays.
Holidaymakers visiting Marrakech at the time of the event should also be aware that roads and traffic are likely to be affected, and will need to make plans accordingly. Competitors should make sure they stay somewhere sensible as well, preferably with a pool available, so that they can cool off once the IRONMAN 70.3 event is over.
The Riad el Zohar is one of only a few places to stay in Marrakech Medina, the Old City, with a courtyard pool at its centre – a truly relaxing environment. Our staff will make sure to look after you properly, getting you back on your feet again in no time. Not only will our beautiful riad give you a truly authentic Moroccan experience, it will also provide you with the perfect place to recover – contact us today to find out more.