Earlier this week we previewed the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne swim and bike courses. Here, we look at what awaits on the run course and at the much-anticipated finish line.
From the bike-to-run transition area in Frankston, athletes are able to view the shoreline curving north and slightly west into the distance in the direction they will run. The furthest visible point appears to be more than a marathon away. In fact, it’s just past the halfway mark of the point-to-point run.
Leaving T2, athletes will run a short loop along the beach pathway through the Frankston Foreshore, then continue on to the Napean Highway. They’ll stick to this roadway until the suburb of Mordialloc, where a spin through a roundabout will spit them out onto a wide paved bike and pedestrian path. This portion of the run will prove an enormous treat, as competitors will view the illustrious mansions of Brighton to their right and the sparkling waters of Port Phillip Bay to their left. They’ll follow this pathway for the remaining miles all the way to the finish in St. Kilda. Local lore seems to all but guarantee that the run will be windy – yet whether competitors will be treated to a tail wind or tortured with a head wind will remain a mystery until race day.
Worth noting are a few details that set Ironman Melbourne apart as a bar-raising logistical feat, chock full of VIP features for all athletes. Courtesy of Melbourne-based PFD Food Services, refrigerated trucks will remain parked at each aid station on both the bike and run courses (27 in total), keeping all on-course water and Gatorade perfectly chilled for the Ironman athletes. With a finish line 26.2 miles away from the race start and transition area, reuniting competitors with their bikes presents a special challenge – however race organizers have arranged for safe transport of bikes and gear bags from the transition area in Frankston to a secure underground parking structure at the finish in St. Kilda.
The finish area at St. Kilda Sea Baths will be like none other on the Ironman circuit. Athletes will be warmly welcomed into the facilities that include showers, a steam sauna and even a heated seawater swimming pool in which to recuperate and freshen up following their accomplishment. Once rejuvenated, they’ll enjoy numerous food and beverage options from beachside cafes along the St. Kilda seashore with which to refuel and celebrate their 140.6-mile journey.