Toughest/Easiest Ironman Triathlon 26.2 Mile Marathon: Comparing 25 Run Courses
The idea of running 26.2 miles after finishing a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike ride is daunting, to say the least. Trying to identify which race appears to have an easier or tougher marathon is a little easier. Above are average times for the most recent marathons in 25 of the world's leading Ironman triathlons. [Also see Average Ironman Bike Course Splits and Average Ironman Finish Times]
The wild card to consider when looking at these times: the degree of difficulty on the bike course. A 5+ hour marathon on the St. George course probably has a lot to do with it's toughest 7-hour bike ride. China's course features the toughest marathon; however, the race will be on a new course in 2011.
Austria and New Zealand have comparable, relatively easier bike courses, and as a result, legs may be fresher to run faster marathons. More interesting is to note that Florida, Arizona and Lake Placid marathons are nearly identical. Madison as the toughest marathon? Having raced 8 of these events personally, I'd agree.