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The Fastest Ironman and 70.3 Courses (2021 Update)

Want to race the fastest Ironman courses? You'll have to travel.

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When it comes to long-course race planning, athletes in search of a PR like to seek out the fastest Ironman and 70.3 courses. Descriptors like “flat and fast” are the reason why events like Ironman Arizona, Florida, and Texas sell out, while races with a reputation for hilly profiles tend to have registration spots available right up to race day.

But if you want to do the absolute fastest Ironman and 70.3 courses, you’ll have to get out of North America. In an analysis of average age-group finishing times between 2010 and 2019, two European races took top honors: Luxembourg 70.3, with an average age-group finishing time of 5:27:23, and Tallinn (Estonia) for the full Ironman, with an average age-group finishing time of 11:37:16.

While Luxembourg is still in the mix for 2021, we see a few new entrants into top five fastest 70.3 courses—including a North American event, Des Moines—along with Warsaw and Venice all appear for the first time in the list. For the full-iron distance, Mallorca and Vitoria are two fresh faces in the top five fastest list. Scroll down for the complete 2021 fastest 70.3 and Ironman courses, and check out our data dive for an in-depth analysis.

But what about the slowest races overall? Those honors go to the Philippines, where we find both the 70.3 and full Ironman courses with the slowest average finishing times between 2010 and 2019: 6:45:27 and 14:31:02, respectively. But in 2021, with many races overseas canceled, the slowest 70.3 was held in Virginia, with a mean time of 6:43:15. The slowest Ironman this year was Waco with a mean time of 14:00:58. Check out the “slowest five” list below, and be sure to read our expert’s take on what we can learn from these times.

Perhaps the most interesting change: Ironman St. George, which came in fifth on the list of “slowest” Ironman courses from 2010-2019, is making a comeback in a big way. St. George’s difficulty (and therefore low participation numbers) was one of the reasons the race was canceled in favor of a 70.3 event in 2013. But tough courses never die–the full-distance race will be making a comeback in 2022, when St. George hosts the Ironman World Championship event in February.

Want more in-depth analysis and explanations? Read Data Dive: The Fastest and Slowest Ironman and 70.3 Courses of 2021

An athlete celebrates his finish at Ironman Copenhagen. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for Ironman

Slowest and Fastest Ironman and 70.3 Finishing Times for Age-Groupers (2010-2019)

The Ironman data is analyzed using age group finishing times for all races worldwide between 2010-2019, excluding relays and events in which a discipline was cancelled or shortened.

Ironman 70.3

Slowest Ironman 70.3 courses:

  1. Ironman 70.3 Philippines – Avg. Finish Time: 6:45:27
  2. Ironman 70.3 Dun Laoghaire – Avg. Finish Time: 6:44:43
  3. Ironman 70.3 Bangsaen – Avg. Finish Time: 6:43:45
  4. Ironman 70.3 Langkawi – Avg. Finish Time: 6:41:35
  5. Ironman 70.3 Davao Philippines – Avg. Finish Time: 6:40:12

Fastest Ironman 70.3 courses:

  1. Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg – Avg. Finish Time: 5:27:23
  2. Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast – Avg. Finish Time: 5:29:07
  3. Ironman 70.3 Maceió – Avg. Finish Time: 5:30:22
  4. Ironman 70.3 Punta del Este – Avg. Finish Time: 5:30:57
  5. Ironman 70.3 European Championship Elsinore – Avg. Finish Time: 5:31:33

Ironman

Slowest Ironman courses:

  1. Ironman Subic Bay Philippines – Avg. Finish Time: 14:31:02
  2. Ironman Malaysia – Avg. Finish Time: 13:55:03
  3. Ironman Gurye Korea – Avg. Finish Time: 13:48:12
  4. Ironman Taiwan – Avg. Finish Time: 13:47:47
  5. Ironman St. George – Avg. Finish Time: 13:45:28

Fastest Ironman courses:

  1. Ironman Tallinn – Avg. Finish Time: 11:37:16
  2. Ironman Barcelona – Avg. Finish Time: 11:39:04
  3. Ironman Copenhagen – Avg. Finish Time: 11:40:21
  4. Ironman Mar del Plata – Avg. Finish Time: 11:40:35
  5. Ironman Brazil  – Avg. Finish Time: 11:46:58

Slowest and Fastest Ironman and 70.3 Finishing Times for Age-Groupers (2021)

The Ironman data is analyzed using age-group finishing times for all races worldwide in 2021, excluding relays.

RELATED Data Dive: The Fastest and Slowest Ironman and 70.3 Courses of 2021

* Events with an asterisk were shortened or had canceled legs, but were still considered fast or slow with the inclusion of conservative estimates for the missing distances (actual mean times shown for accuracy and consistency). For more, read our expert’s analysis of the 2021 data.

Ironman 70.3

Slowest Ironman 70.3 courses for 2021:

Ironman 70.3 Waco – Avg. Finish Time: 6:46:50
Ironman 70.3 Virginia – Avg. Finish Time: 6:43:15
Ironman 70.3 Memphis – Avg. Finish Time: 6:33:22
Ironman 70.3 Andorra – Avg. Finish Time: 6:25:10
Ironman 70.3 South Africa – Avg. Finish Time: 5:50:02*

Fastest Ironman 70.3 courses for 2021:

Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg – Avg. Finish Time: 4:32:33*
Ironman 70.3 Des Moines – Avg. Finish Time: 4:48:15*
Ironman 70.3 Warsaw – Avg. Finish Time: 5:17:33
Ironman 70.3 Venice – Avg. Finish Time: 5:28:38
Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast – Avg. Finish Time: 5:33.36

Ironman

Slowest Ironman courses for 2021:

Ironman Waco – Avg. Finish Time: 14:00:58
Ironman Coeur d’Alene – Avg. Finish Time: 13:52:06
Ironman U.K. – Avg. Finish Time: 13:44:15
Ironman Lake Placid – Avg. Finish Time: 13:40:37
Ironman Chattanooga – Avg. Finish Time: 13:28:18

Fastest Ironman courses:

Ironman Vitoria – Avg. Finish Time: 10:14:47*
Ironman Barcelona – Avg. Finish Time: 11:00:09*
Ironman Mallorca – Avg. Finish Time: 11:20:12
Ironman Copenhagen – Avg. Finish Time: 11:28:42
Ironman Talinn  – Avg. Finish Time: 11:53:37