Which is the hardest half marathon race? Which is the easiest? We put 32 Half Ironman 70.3 races to the test, analyzing the complete results for nearly 67,000 triathletes. Here are the results, by Raymond Britt
Top 5 Toughest Half Ironman 70.3 Races: Branson, UK, Japan, Philippines and Boise.
- For further details and links to data for each race, see Chart of 32 Best Half Ironman 70.3 Races,
- For similar comparative charts, see our 30 toughest half Ironman 70.3 swim, bike, run courses.
- Wondering what your Ironman finish time might be, based on your half Ironman 70.3 time? See our Analysis of Ironman Finish Targets vis a vis Half Ironman Finish Times
- Want more of our comparisons? See our Easiest/Hardest Ironman Couse Comparisons
- Even more? See our Analysis of 25 Best Marathon Races
Toughest. The UK Ironman also ranks among the toughest Ironman distance races. Branson's challenging bike course left many short of energy on the run. Philippines triathletes fared well on the swim and bike, but the run -- the toughest of those we've ranked -- that landed it on this list. Both UK races -- 70.3 and Ironman -- rank as top 5 toughest.
Clearwater. The 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater has the fastest time, but we expect that, because of the world-class line-up of athletes racing there. Same is true with Ironman Kona; it ranks as fastest among the 25 Ironman races we've analyzed. For now, Clearwater is left out of the charts.
Fastest. Brazil, Austria and Pucon are clearly the fastest courses of this group. We're not sure what to make of Brazil's times; they might be too fast. Austria's rank is similar to the country's full Ironman distance race. Steelhead triathletes turned in very fast times this year, as did those in Kansas and Mooseman, making these the four fastest half Ironman courses.
In-Between. As for the rest, at 6+ hours, they all are proof that there is no such thing as an easy half ironman. Once you're on the course in any of these races, you're going to have the challenge of your lifetime, and the finish will be something to be proud of, forever.
Other Races: There are several additional Ironman 70.3 races, some of which will be added over time, as race results become available.
Notes on Methodology: see notes in our post of Hardest/Easiest Ironman, nearly all apply here.