If you are looking for a spring triathlon that incorporates an exotic getaway, a unique culture that offers plenty of sandy beaches to soak up the sun before and after the race, well,look no further. Ironman Brazil should be your hands-down choice, and a choice that will provide you with an unforgettable race experience and a chance to discover the largest country in South American.
Where in Brazil
Ironman Brazilis hosted by the city of Florianopolis, in the southern state of Santa Catarina. Race headquarters, expo and transition are all located on the north end of Santa Catarina Island in the Jeureborough of the state capital, just atwenty-minute drive from mainland metropolitan and residential districts of the city.
The natural beauty of “Floripa”, as Brazilian’s affectionately call it, is its main attraction. Forty-two beaches make this location a sanctuary for those who have an active life style, enjoy sport and desire to explore the history and Brazilian people.
Held the final Sunday of every May, you can expect race day temperatures in the 22 to 24 Celsiusrange in the humid subtropical climate region of Brazil. The 2012 edition of this race sold out in four days and all indications that Ironman Brazil 2013 may sellout even quicker this year when registration opens up online on the Monday after the race. For those who cannot secure online entry to Ironman Brazil, you may be in luck as there could be a limited number of spots available for international athletes enlisting the services of Endurance Sport Travel.
How do you get there
Flights to from North America to Brazil will require making a connecting flight out of one of the airline hubs in the United States as you make your way to Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. From there, a short domestic flight to Florianopolis, followed by a 45-minute shuttle from the airport to Jeurecan easily tally up 24 hours of travel time. Finally, visiting Brazil requires securing a visitor’s visa no earlier than 90-days prior entering the country and can take up to a month to process, so plan accordingly.
There are varied accommodation options for you choose from including hotels, guesthouses, condominium and house rentals of all shape and sizes to fit any budget, and all in close proximity to the race site.Many North American age group and professional athletes choose to enlist the services of Kenny Glah’s Endurance Sport Travel. Glah’s company has been coming to Brazil for twelve years. They provide airport pickup and drop off, accommodations, meals, bike mechanics and a host of race and personal support during your stay in Brazil. It’s definitely worth checking out their services.
What to expect when you get there
Portuguese is the native language of Brazil, but you will find sufficient English spoken at the hotels,eating establishments and stores to survive comfortably.Credit and debit cards are accepted at most locations and you will quickly establish that your dollar goes further than it doesat home when dining out and purchasing goods, however, it would be wise to carry some Brazilian “Real” (R$) with you for those small purchases.
The point-to-point”M” shaped 3.8 km swim in the Atlantic Ocean has always been a wetsuit legal race. Like any ocean swim, you can expect some light current and wave action to contend with, but is very doable for even novice swimmers.The bike course in is a two-loop affair that works its way towards mainland Florianopolis on relatively flat course that can be made challenging if the coastal winds hit the course.The day finishes off with a three-lap 42 km run with one significant climb.
Expo and dinners
Ironman Brazil has a large expo which is protected from the elements in a large tent.Their expo is rich in triathlon specific wares and is a haven for tri-geeks that will warrant return visits during the days leading up to the race. There are a number of outdoor culinary options at the expo to sample the regions and countries foods and beverages in addition to a number of children’s activities. The atmosphere is casual and encourages one to lounge and socialize with your fellow competitors.
A highlight of the pre-race festivities is the welcoming dinner where one gets to experience Brazilian culture with all its sights, colors, sounds and energy of “Carnival,” complete with samplings of Samba bands and carnival dances.
To add to your Ironman Brazil journeyit makes sense to take advantage of the lengthy travel and extend your stay after the race and sample some the sights of this magnificent country. A couple of options include a tour of the impressive Iguassu Falls region or an Amazon boat cruise. You cannot go wrong with visiting Rio de Janeiro and lie on the beaches of infamous Guanabara Bay, or explore the many historical sites and the diverse environments that within and that surround the city.