3rd August 2019
Event: Ironman Tallinn
Date: 3rd August 2019
The first IRONMAN Tallinn took place in 2018 and has all the markings of a classic course. Well-serviced and located in a truly beautiful part of the world, Tallinn is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and is well worth a visit, IRONMAN notwithstanding! The city is situated on the northern coast of Estonia on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, just 80km from Helsinki.
IRONMAN Tallinn is still a pretty new course and the indications are the that it’s quite a fast one compared with other European IRONMAN events. The event begins with a 3.8 km single-loop swim in the Baltic sea near the Seaplane Harbour museum. Given that Tallinn is so far north, the water temperature was pretty low in 2018 (just 15.4 degrees!) which could be a challenge for athletes used to warmer temperatures. Either way, a quality wetsuit is an absolute must!
The bike course unfolds over two loops which take in stretches of coastline and pretty villages. The first few hundred metres are tricky and technical as athletes ride through twisty lanes of barriers. This section would be a challenge if it weren’t for the fantastic marshals who guide athletes through the maze and get them safely out the other side. Once this tricky section is over though, the route opens out onto proper national roads with excellent surfacing which makes it that little bit easier to get the speed up and keep the spirits high. The transition areas in Tallinn are pretty well-organised and the marshalling staff are quick – the bike racking system is good and definitely helps to shave a few seconds of athletes’ transition times.
Once the bike is racked and the running shoes are on, it’s time for the marathon. IRONMAN Tallinn’s run course has a nasty little surprise in the form of a hill at the very start. Once that’s over, the route itself is pretty and well-lined with supporters to cheer you on and get you through to the finish line and the celebrations that await.
IRONMAN Tallinn might be a new event with all the little organisational creases that come with that but it’s sure to grow in the future to become one of Europe’s top events. Definitely one for the bucket list.