Find here all information about Ironman of Vichy which is one of the few destinations that hosts both a 70.3 and a full distance triathlon. The race is organised by the world famous Ironman organisation and is a qualifier for the World Championship of Ironman. The 2023 edition was held in extreme hot temperatures and during the bike race and marathon the mercury raise to 38 degrees Celcius (100 Fahrenheit).
Race overview & Strava tracks:
Athletes in the picture
During an Ironman event there are a few signs which celebrate the events competing in these hard races. There is the big “M” board with all the names of the athletes printed but also a big sign where they can write their own name on it. The athmosphere in the athletes village is great. If you are ever in the area of such race, don’t hesitate and pass by to get an impression.
The race itself
The race officially started at 06:40 am and Marie-Claire started swimming just before 07:00 am. As the water was warm (26° celcius) it was not allowed to wear a wetsuit. A little bummer as the wetsuit makes you a little faster during swimming. First swimmers came out of the water just below one hour and Marie-Claire did after 1 hour 33 minutes.
The bike race was a smaller loop followed by a bigger loop of 70 km which had to be conquered twice. This bigger loop I road myself on Friday before the race. It was a very beautiful course but has 2400 altitude meters which makes it much harder. In the big loop there was a climb of 15 km. As of 10 am the weather was close to 30° celcius which made it very hard for the athletes. Marie-Claire dosed very well and completed biking in good condition after 7 hours 23 minutes.
In meanwhile the temperature had reached 35 – 37° celcius (100 Fahrenheit) and even in shaded zones it was 30° degrees. It was already hard for the spectators so I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to run a marathon in these temperatures. The start of the running was smooth however after 2 km the legs and stomach started to do difficult making Marie-Claire realising that it would become a very long 40 kilometers. Still with a good condition, motivation and support of several friends she managed to complete the marathon in 5 hours 16 minutes.
You are an Ironman!
It’s a privilege reserved for people who are finishing their first Ironman. Just before their first finish they can ring the bell and enjoy a few last meters before crossing the finishline. While athletes are completing the last meters the legendary words are spoken to them: “You are an Ironman!“.