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Help picking first IM

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I'm in the middle of training for my first IM which will be next year. I live in Melbourne, and given that IM Melb is now no longer an option I'm trying to decide on which location to pick as my first IM. I think I've narrowed it down to either Port Mac (May) or Taupo (March).

 

In general my bike is my strongest leg, run not too far behind that with swim my weakest. Has anyone done both events, and if so what would you see as the pros/cons of each loaction? Hoping to make my first one an enjoyable experience!

 

Thanks in advance

 

ETA: Sorry also should've mentioned that my wife and 5 year old daughter will be coming, and we'll probably look at staying on for a week after for a family holiday.

Edited by stone

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Swim in general will be easier at port due to it being much more sheltered. Â Taupo can blow up and be quite choppy where port generally wont cause its in the river.

Â

Bike on both is touch, port road surface is definitely worse, both 2 laps out and back, not much would seperate them over the years as far as time I wouldn't think.

Â

Run port is 4 laps and good support for 6km/10km of each lap but the settlement point part is a bit quiet. Â Taupo 3 lap run is hilly and tough but so much support.

Â

Finish line at Port is definitely the best I have ever experienced. Â You can't beat it its like a massive party.

Â

Overall I think they are both great events and you cant go wrong with either.

Edited by RunBrettRun

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Port will have a Transitions Beer Mile. *Drops Mic* (as the young people say)

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I've done both and prefer Taupo. Swim is bliss, the surface of the road is better and the run course has more support and is more interesting. Taupo as a town and holidays destination is more fun and beautiful also. I did do Taupo this year, weather was perfect for 5 days. Have heard that's not always the case.

Both good races.

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port was better when it was in april before they squeezed melbourne into the calendar, being in may now its just the bit crappier with weather.

​as others have said both are good races.

​I like NZ better but i've got inlaws on the lake at taupo so its an easy one for me

​port is much easier logistically as you just load the car up and drive there, takes about 13h from melbourne.
​packing a bike up in a box isnt hard but first 2-3 times it can be a little annoying.

​both are good holiday spots, port is def better if it is summer and their is beach weather but by may it isn't really.
​taupo is prob cooler for doing some cultural experiences and seeing some different spots, plus mountain biking at rotarua is you aren't too messed up 4-5days post race, and some other cool stuff there too.

​from a pure ease of logistics and carting the family around first time i'd do port. both are good options and you wont be disappointed.
if you want to do the mass start thing though pick taupo.

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I've done both. Taupo is a more scenic course. The swim and run at Taupo are nicer, fresh water and lake views. The bike is much the same.

My times are very close for the two races

 

Taupo can be hit and miss with weather, has been shortened twice 2006 & 2012, so if a one & done do Port for the certainty. When Taupo rains it is cold.

 

If you are flying either to Sydney/Auckland and driving then there is more tourist things around Taupo than Port for the before afterwards.

 

Couple of other option: Wanaka is the most beautiful, Cairns is the logistically easiest as don't need to drive

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Thanks for the suggestions, Busso is probbaly at the wrong time of the year this time around. December is a little too early for me I think. Similar for Cairns being a little too late, plus from what I can see the flights are a little more expensive up there and back. Cairns is definitely on the want to do list though.

 

I'm probably leaning towards NZ, mainly because I've never been and it would be good to get a hire car for the week after and go on a family holiday exploring around. Plus even though my swim is my weakest leg I'd like to experience a mass swim start before they get rid of them!

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Busso flat and fast which is good and bad. There's no respite on the ride, pedaling constant speed, down on the bars for 180kms is mentally quite challenging.

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I'm probably leaning towards NZ, mainly because I've never been and it would be good to get a hire car for the week after and go on a family holiday exploring around. Plus even though my swim is my weakest leg I'd like to experience a mass swim start before they get rid of them!

 

Is that the general consensus that 70.3 + IM will be all rolling starts in a few years?

 

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Is that the general consensus that 70.3 + IM will be all rolling starts in a few years?

 

 

Not sure, it was slightly tongue in cheek. Although from what I understand that has been the general trend?

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Training for an Ironman over summer and swimming in the bay, Id suggest Taupo over Port because it starts to get cold in the last month to swim in the bay.

 

they are both about as tough as each other but I think Taupo has a better community feel where Port is more clicky.

 

Taupo is still a mass start.

 

It's what a real IM is like. Not this rolling shit where you don;t know where you are on race day compared to others.

 

My tip is, get a mate to do it as well and just both do the same race and enjoy the journey together.

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Thanks for the suggestions, Busso is probbaly at the wrong time of the year this time around. December is a little too early for me I think. Similar for Cairns being a little too late, plus from what I can see the flights are a little more expensive up there and back. Cairns is definitely on the want to do list though.

 

I'm probably leaning towards NZ, mainly because I've never been and it would be good to get a hire car for the week after and go on a family holiday exploring around. Plus even though my swim is my weakest leg I'd like to experience a mass swim start before they get rid of them!

Just remember to hire a car big enough to fit the bike box!

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Steely's already said he's going to Port

Inside joke that Steely has been to Taupo twice and both shortened 2006 & 2012. So if he enters a race you don't.

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For bike course training I would suggest the old Frankston Half bike course plus throw in White Hill Road , Taupo is very rollercoastering so these hills will help . If you don't know the Frankston course , call into Jones Cycles in Frankston where he has a map of course on the wall. I definately recommend White Hill rd , the ascent doesn't stop !!!

Also with the course road surface at Taupo , tighten up EVERYTHING on the bike.

The years I did it (3) you could have picked up enough spares from the stuff vibrating off the bikes .

Great spot to take the family . I remember 2004 well --smoke on the water !!!

Just enjoy the race and see what happens result wise.

Hans

Ps x-terra Motatapu is even better .(I am biased I know)

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I actually thought it was a pretty flat bike course with a good road surface at taupo lol. I guess it depends on what you're used to.

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Sorry but what does drops mike mean? I am from the country [emoji1][emoji15]

 

Don't worry, I had to look it up too...

 

The History of the Mic Drop. The expression started in the 1980s to mean delivering a performance or speech to get the better of someone in such a great way that you can just drop microphone and walk away victorious.

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I actually thought it was a pretty flat bike course with a good road surface at taupo lol. I guess it depends on what you're used to.

There are enough long ascending/descending to test you . If you only train on flat roads (eg Beach Rd. Melb) you might run oit of breath.

Train so you have something left to pick up the weaker riders.

The first hill on the Reparoa rd is flat. ???.

This is where on the second lap you can reel in people.

When swim training days before Taupo , watch out for the golf balls .

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Fair enough. To me it was pretty flat overall and all my training was done riding from port to dunbogan and back or on the kickr. If you do plenty of long race pace efforts i dont believe the hills at nz will hurt unless you push well above your goal power. Its a pretty easy course to maintain an even power over if your smart. There is definitely no MFD like hills to spike your power.

 

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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There are enough long ascending/descending to test you . If you only train on flat roads (eg Beach Rd. Melb) you might run oit of breath.

Train so you have something left to pick up the weaker riders.

The first hill on the Reparoa rd is flat. ???.

This is where on the second lap you can reel in people.

When swim training days before Taupo , watch out for the golf balls .

Was good enough for RBR to q for Kona so it must have been Flat!

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Don't worry, I had to look it up too...

 

The History of the Mic Drop. The expression started in the 1980s to mean delivering a performance or speech to get the better of someone in such a great way that you can just drop microphone and walk away victorious.

Thanks

I feel so modern now [emoji1][emoji1][emoji1][emoji106]

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I'd go do IM Chattanooga and get on the piss in Nashville and Memphis..... Qantas had $900 bucks to the USA last week, the cost of an IM....... go to Graceland.

 

Unless you are the corporate brand tattoo type, I'd do challenge Wanaka if you want a cool race with a week holiday afterwards. Every local iron distance will be easier after doing that race too.

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I'd go do IM Chattanooga and get on the piss in Nashville and Memphis..... Qantas had $900 bucks to the USA last week, the cost of an IM....... go to Graceland.

 

Unless you are the corporate brand tattoo type, I'd do challenge Wanaka if you want a cool race with a week holiday afterwards. Every local iron distance will be easier after doing that race too.

 

 

Agree with Oompa Loompa. Save extra $$ & pick a US based race.

 

 

Then holiday in Disneyland & Vegas.

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I'd go do IM Chattanooga and get on the piss in Nashville and Memphis..... Qantas had $900 bucks to the USA last week, the cost of an IM....... go to Graceland.

 

Unless you are the corporate brand tattoo type, I'd do challenge Wanaka if you want a cool race with a week holiday afterwards. Every local iron distance will be easier after doing that race too.

x2 for Wanaka. Holiday for the family and painful day for you. Win win.

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x2 for Wanaka. Holiday for the family and painful day for you. Win win.

Wanaka is great , course,scenery , people .

If going to NZ make sure your bike is squicky clean , the bio-security checking is heavily enforced . Don't want any of those nasty Australian bugs getting in.

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Wanaka is great , course,scenery , people .

If going to NZ make sure your bike is squicky clean , the bio-security checking is heavily enforced . Don't want any of those nasty Australian bugs getting in.

I wonder what they would have done with Pistol & Boo?

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There are enough long ascending/descending to test you . If you only train on flat roads (eg Beach Rd. Melb) you might run oit of breath.

Train so you have something left to pick up the weaker riders.

The first hill on the Reparoa rd is flat. ???.

This is where on the second lap you can reel in people.

When swim training days before Taupo , watch out for the golf balls .

 

I live out in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, basically at the base of Mt Dandenong. I have no issue with finding hills or rolling/undulating rides and runs. I actually have issues trying to find flat bike courses, the only time I really ride beach road is if I need to get some extended time in on a flat bike route. E.g I did a 3 hour bike loop last Sunday that is the flattest I can find around my place and it still got me over 1,000m of elevation gain.

 

My bike training consists of structured intervals on an indoor trainer midweek, and getting out for my long ride on a Sunday. Unless it's horrible weather and then I'll pull a 3-4 hour trainer ride, but that really is a last resort.

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Agree with Oompa Loompa. Save extra $$ & pick a US based race.

 

 

Then holiday in Disneyland & Vegas.

 

Yes I did actually look at some US races, I was thinking Vineman just north of San Fran in 2017. Which would be perfect for a Disneyland trip etc after with the family. We have a 4 year old daughter though and I'd like to take her on that sort of trip when shes a little older, like 10-12. So I'm going to keep those US races in my back pocket for when the timing is right, so hopefully I can get a US race in and combine it with a family holiday as well. I was thinking that out of the US races I really like Vineman, Chatt & Lake Placid.

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Whatever makes the family / supporters happiest. That's the most important thing to a long term tri career. Mine rarely come to watch.

You (me at least) want that support long term.

Edited by Mjainoz
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Busso is 26-27 weeks away, more than enough time for a good training plan, Wanaka is what - 5 weeks later? (still mid Jan, right?) not that much extra time, and reality - do Busso - then you can relax more over Christmas.

 

Other options - Ignore the MDOT hype, do AAA first weekend in Feb :D

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Busso is 26-27 weeks away, more than enough time for a good training plan, Wanaka is what - 5 weeks later? (still mid Jan, right?) not that much extra time, and reality - do Busso - then you can relax more over Christmas.

 

Other options - Ignore the MDOT hype, do AAA first weekend in Feb :D

Wanaka is mid Feb right before IM NZ.

 

Could do the half / full combo or do The Hillary or anything else that's on in Feb in NZ haha.. biased a little but for vacation race it wins for me.

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Yes I did actually look at some US races, I was thinking Vineman just north of San Fran in 2017. Which would be perfect for a Disneyland trip etc after with the family. We have a 4 year old daughter though and I'd like to take her on that sort of trip when shes a little older, like 10-12. So I'm going to keep those US races in my back pocket for when the timing is right, so hopefully I can get a US race in and combine it with a family holiday as well. I was thinking that out of the US races I really like Vineman, Chatt & Lake Placid.

 

Smart move, our daughter was 8 when we went to Mexico & the US for the first time. She only remembers Mexico.

 

I'm doing Vineman this year.

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I live out in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, basically at the base of Mt Dandenong. I have no issue with finding hills or rolling/undulating rides and runs. I actually have issues trying to find flat bike courses, the only time I really ride beach road is if I need to get some extended time in on a flat bike route. E.g I did a 3 hour bike loop last Sunday that is the flattest I can find around my place and it still got me over 1,000m of elevation gain.

 

My bike training consists of structured intervals on an indoor trainer midweek, and getting out for my long ride on a Sunday. Unless it's horrible weather and then I'll pull a 3-4 hour trainer ride, but that really is a last resort.

FYI

The ride from Cafe -racer in St Kildare to Portsea and return is approx 180km and mostly flat .

Go early enough on Saturday mornings and you might end up in Mitch's group (if they are still going) . Not many hills , great vanilla slice at Sorrento ,

Ps . Mitch can go pretty hard if he feels like it. I used to last 2-3km. (I am old and slow)

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If u have a five year old and a first time supporter port is a no brainer

They can stay on bike/ run course and just duck out to

See you as u wipp by

 

Great atmosphere and easiest to get to etc

 

Taupo is amazing but as your first Im with a young family port is the go

 

Taupo wil be a rolling start also

I have this from Wtc Asia pac swim man

Cheers

Ivp

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If true that is disappointing. No need for a rolling start in Taupo as the start line and course is wide enough to accommodate the field with little argy bargy...

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If true that is disappointing. No need for a rolling start in Taupo as the start line and course is wide enough to accommodate the field with little argy bargy...

+2. With dissapointment if this is the case . You have the WHOLE LAKE to swim in , not that hard to control . ( mrs and I have raced there 2 1/2 times , 2002, 2004 and ugh 2006) , mind you I did get 3rd in my age group on bike 70+ Kph out. 14 kph back . When it blows it can be harsh.

We stayed on lake edge and kids came out to look every now and again when they weren't in thermal spot in lake . Just near turn up from lake edge on bike course.

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+2. With dissapointment if this is the case . You have the WHOLE LAKE to swim in , not that hard to control . ( mrs and I have raced there 2 1/2 times , 2002, 2004 and ugh 2006) , mind you I did get 3rd in my age group on bike 70+ Kph out. 14 kph back . When it blows it can be harsh.

We stayed on lake edge and kids came out to look every now and again when they weren't in thermal spot in lake . Just near turn up from lake edge on bike course.

When we raced ALL competitors were in the water , self seeding positions , treading water watching the light for it to turn green . No problems were had .

No run in off the beach like Busso , Franga, etc So not too much bump and grind.

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Yep glad I got to race it while they still did a mass start. Really hope IP's source is wrong and it stays. Was unreal being called across the finish line the the position that you finished unlike sunny coast 70.3 this year where I lost 4 spots from when I crossed to the final result.

 

Mass start is a true race.

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Totally agree with the post above and all the pints said above I put to joey WTC man that is in charge of all swims in the Asia pac

It all comes down to WTC liability and the way they can control things if things go wrong

 

I personally don't mind the rolling start or the mass start but if someone can stay alive and be save because they used the rolling start then the RS it is

 

Not sure when the

Cheers

Ivp

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Totally agree with the post above and all the pints said above I put to joey WTC man that is in charge of all swims in the Asia pac

It all comes down to WTC liability and the way they can control things if things go wrong

I personally don't mind the rolling start or the mass start but if someone can stay alive and be save because they used the rolling start then the RS it is

Not sure when the

Cheers

Ivp

Sorry, but to me it takes away the whole concept of Ironman , and now comes down to cradling the athletes . "your turn , be careful of those nasty swimmers"

But what would I know , I'm just an old man who raced when it meant something . Now it's multi laps so anyone in trouble gets prompt attention . Too hard ? Don't do it .

Too much fear of being sued .

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its not my thoughts FM

im just passing on WTC policy on the swim these days

straight from the horses mouth

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its not my thoughts FM

im just passing on WTC policy on the swim these days

straight from the horses mouth

I do appreciate / admire your achievements and in no way is my piece an attack on anyone .

It's just that with so many competitors there should be entry limits to better manage the races .

However more competitors -more money for the organizers .

Like in the old days, you had to qualify in Aus to even do Ironman . Now people who do Oly distance races (in USA) can qualify to do Kona .

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