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Previewing the upcoming 2019 Ironman 70.3 Calgary

This will be the 11th edition of the Western Canadian half distance race and second year as an age-group only contest

Ironman 70.3 Calgary is set to go Sunday August 11 in the Auburn Bay Community of south Calgary. Registration is still open, including a relay option. Calgary, a city in the shadows of the Rockies offers stunning views of the mountains, and this course is no exception. Previous pro winners of the race include Andy Potts, Tim O’Donnell, and Tim Don for the men and Mirinda Carfrae, Heather Jackson, and Heather Wurtele for the women.

Last years winners were age groupers Dave Van Reeuwyk (4:02:53) and Katrina Rye (4:25:15).

The two loop 1.9K swim starts from the beach of Auburn Bay Lake, a 43-acre man-made lake. Sighting in the lake is said to be comfortable, in large part due to its clear waters. Previously the swim has been wetsuit legal, with water temperatures normally around 20 C. The swim is a beach rolling start.

Then it’s a single loop 90K bike along Alberta’s ranch countryside. Hopefully you have your aerodynamics nailed as the course is very fast! The bike course is almost completely on Highway 22X, travelling east from Calgary to the Carseland region before returning west to south Calgary. The bike elevation has a gradual decline for the first 45K with a couple of steeper descents before a slight incline back in the opposite direction to Calgary.

Bow River in Calgary, AB.

For the single loop half marathon, runners will head out on the paved Bow River Pathway and north through Fish Creek Provincial Park to the run turn-around. Though the course is mostly flat, be wary of the tough climb up Bow River Valley with about 5K to go, it will test your will!

If you’re interested the bike course Strava segments are held by Trev Williams with a time of 2:02:02 in the 2017 edition of the race and Melissa Paauwe 2:12:11 in the 2018 edition. The Strava segment can be found here.

Pros Andy Potts and Ben Hoffman neck-and-neck at the finish line at 2015 Ironman 70.3 Calgary

The race also offers 40 qualifying slots to the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Taupo, New Zealand.

Also unique for the 2019 race are reserved spots for the sold-out 2020 Ironman Canada in Penticton for each age group winner. So if you missed out on signing up for Ironman Canada last month before it sold out, you can still register if you win your age group at Ironman Calgary 70.3 this year.