The Ironman run has established itself in the city of Hamburg in recent years. Summer after summer, thousands of athletes flock to the city for one of the most challenging triathlons known to iron men ― and, of course, iron women. The sporting event is contractually bound to the city by the Elbe river until at least 2021. Together with the Hamburg marathon, triathlon and Cyclassics, the event marks another world-class long-distance race through the streets of Hamburg.
First up is swimming. What better way to kick off the morning than with a 3.8 kilometre dip in the Alster lake? That’s sure to wake the competitors up (and the thousands of spectators on Jungfernstieg)!
Next, the cycling leg will begin on Ballindamm, taking the athletes through the Süderelbe, Vier- and Marschlande regions. They’ll make this ride not once, but twice ― just for the fun of it.
The course leads athletes along some pretty spectacular sights: for example, at this point in the race, competitors will cycle across the Kohlbrandtbrücke bridge, towering 53 metres above the city’s port area. Usually closed to bike traffic, this part of the 180.2 kilometre cycling route will be an absolute highlight of the races. Hopefully the view will ease the athletes’ pain for a little while.
Finally, a nice and easy full marathon (42.195 kilometres) will wrap things up, ensuring that the racers have had a healthy dose of exercise for the day.
Joke aside! Mastering just one leg of such a competition would be unthinkable to most. But the men and women who compete in an Ironman aren’t most people, and for them a race with three intense legs fits the bill.
In 2018, the iron men and women achieved their feats under a relentless summer sun. The Belgian Bart Aernouts was the first to cross the finish line by the Hamburg City Hall ― after a mere eight hours of constant swimming, cycling and running, and a total of 228 kilometres (141.7 miles).
6 September, 2020
Men: 6:40 a.m.
Women: 6:43 a.m.
U1/2/4 & S1/2/3 trains to Jungfernstieg