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IMPRESSIONS OF THE IRONMAN GLORIA 70.3 TURKEY

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IRONMAN race which is one of the biggest sports competitions in the world is going to be organized in Turkey for the first time ever on 25th October 2015. As you know, the Half and Full distances are commonly referred to as Ironman 70.3 and Ironman distances respectively. Ironman 70.3 is going to be held in Turkey, the "70.3" refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run.

IRONMAN race which is one of the biggest sports competitions in the world is going to be organized in Turkey for the first time ever on 25th October 2015. As you know, the Half and Full distances are commonly referred to as Ironman 70.3 and Ironman distances respectively. Ironman 70.3 is going to be held in Turkey, the "70.3" refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run.

Cem Adabük, who is working for TURSET Project Management Company which is the licence owner of this IRONMAN race, took me around the race track and told me every detail about the race track. Now, I am going to share those details and my observations with you.

Swimming

Let’s start with the Swimming Track first. As you know, race track will be 1900m long. The competition will start at the Belek Beach Park shore where will also be the first transition location. There will be 2 different transition locations in the race because start and finish points will be in different locations. The race will follow a rectangular and clockwise track which means that the buoy line will always be on the right side. Swimming will be only one tour and the distance between entering the water and exiting the water is about 200-250m. Naturally the race will be in the sea Jand the water will be salty. We already have this info but it is worth to remember. On those dates, the sea temperature will be below 24 degrees Celcius. Thus use of the wetsuits will not be restricted.

Kindly click this link for the average sea temperatures.  

Transition 1

200 m after exiting the water, you will enter the first transition area. This is a smooth and flattened area without any slope. You will go for another 200m until you reach the place where you will pick your bike. It means all of the entrance-exit and transition bags will be in 400m. Firstly, you will reach the bags which contain your equipments and you will reach your bike after the suit change, putting on the race belt and the bike helmet and putting your shoes on. After going for a short distance, you will be riding your bike at the exit of the Belek Beach Park.

Bike


  . 

Following the Belek Beach Park Exit, we will ride for around 500m and turn left at the first traffic light where we will enter the track. After we turn left, 5km smooth road which is also a part of the running track will be meeting us. Right after we will pass in front of Gloria Sports Arena, we will turn right to the Serik Road and go for another 5K. That part should be fast. We will enter the Serik destrict and after a short ride, we’ll connect to the Antalya- Alanya highway from the left side. We will continue from here for 3-4 km straight and a little bit decline quickly, will enter from the Aspendos sign and we will turn left after 500m and pass over a stone bridge. After exiting the bridge, we will be riding on the street which is parallel to the main street and after 500m, we will reconnect to the Antalya – Alanya highway. We will go for another 5km and then enter the Tasagil Junction from the left side. Until here, the track is quite fast and the asphalt’s condition is really good. After taking this junction, we will follow the left side of the road (which means the inbound route of the cars) It is a much better way compared to the right lane. It is a cold asphalt that the stone chips are sank into the asphalt. Yes, we are going to shake a little and in some places the road is going to get tight but we experienced this situation at the IRONMAN races abroad. We just need to train according to this situation and arrive here knowing this fact. After the Tasagil entrance, approximately 2km later, there is a left turn and following this turn, the rolling track begins. Until coming here, you might have had a perfect speed and your average speed can be over 35km/h but after this point, we are going to pass through incredible views and will ride uphill and downhill until 75th km. The asphalt’s condition is going to be the same after this point till Aspendos. Please try to do your trainings on the stabilized roads and try to get used to this. Generally, the bike ride has a 780m of elevation gain at this track.

There are 2 little uphills in the first 45 min. Following these, the main uphills and downhils start to show up. After the first 4km uphill which starts with a 3% slope and ends up with a 10% slope,  we’ll meet a 4-5km downhill which contains a technical turn, “an S Bend” requires to be taken very carefully.  After this, there is another 4-5km uphill with a 6-8% average slope until the turning point. Slope of the steep is around 12-14%.

Peak point is where we go back and we again start with the downhill. We are going to cycle onnot too hard not too easy S shaped road while going down.Technical level of this ride can be considered as intermediate and  upper intermediate. Following this, we will start climbing for 5-6 km with the average slope of 7-10%. While riding downhill, you should have made a technical turn at this point, now it is time to do the internal turn there and at that bend, the slope becomes 12-13% instantly and then goes for another 2km. Between those 2k, there is a very little downhill where you can rest your legs. After that, you will go down the hill for 4km where you climbed the first place. This is a straight downhill which doesn’t require any technical skills. The asphalt is not at a perfect condition and can be discomfortable at some levels but it is much more rideable compared to the vibration felt in the car due to shaking while driving there.

Not too much, not too little. It is good to do hill trainings. We will be using the same road between 32 and 65 km. In this interval, there are 6-7 uphills and downhills, longest one is around 5km. It means that we are going to climb down the same hills where we climbed up at the first place. I remember 2-3 U turns. We learned that caution signs and volunteers that will be guiding us are going to be places there. After this, we are going to be connected to the road that will connect us to Aspendos. Following this road, another short uphill and 3km area that has a bridge on will be waiting for us. The only bad place on the track is this point. There is the asphalt but still not settled. Authorized Turset stuff is going around the track minimum 3 times a week, following the operations and getting regular updates. I saw this with my own eyes. There are places that are still being paved with asphalt by the way. After Aspendos, asphalt condition becomes normal and after almost 5km fast track, we reconnect to Alanya / Antalya highway. After going straight for 5km, we turn right to Serik district and go back the road the same way we entered. We could complete the 97km track because the road is still under construction and the operations go on. After the Serik exit, the road until Gloria Sports Arena will be ina good condition and fast. The  bicycle track training in the Gloria Sports Arena ends at the football field.

-       This is the tough climbing point.  While going down the hill, there is the U turn and while climbing up, you will meet the tough uphill which will be  200m long, total 5km

Transition 2

We are going to leave our bicycles on the grass pitch of the football training field and start the running track right away.

 Running

We will start from the Gloria Sports Arena Football Training Field and go around behind the hotel. After that, we will exit from the back door of the hotel and enter the Belek city center right across. Approximately 200m later, we will turn right and go straight for 1-1.5 km and connect to the highway. This is the same place that we rode our bikes. We’ll go for around 2km. the same way. Then we will meet the traffic lights and we’ll take a little right and a little left and continue to the Gloria Golf field. We will enter the Gloria Golf from the right side and then immediately we’ll pass through a little underpass to the golf fields on the left. There, we are going to do 800m and go back the same way. In other words, we’ll do 2 tours of 10.5km and when we complete 21 km,  we’re going to reach the Finish line at the Football field at Gloria Sports Arena. As I was told, a very beautiful green and post-race area will be waiting for us. J

I surely believe that the track will be a visual feast. On the other hand, the asphalt is the subject a lot of people talking about. As a person who raced at an IM Aix En Provance 70.3 race this season, I can tell that the condition of the asphalt there was much worse than here. Also as a person who ran 4IM and 9IM 70.3 totally, Panorama will be amazing, on the way between the entrance of the Tasagil and the exit of the Aspendos is going to be a visual feast of green. The condition of the asphalt in Italy and France races were much worse than here for sure. Turset Company is taking this race too serious and working days and nights to do an amazing job and prepare an incredible race. I strictly recommend everyone to experience the race track at least for one time before the actual race.

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