Respect to the Spectator – Watching an Ironman event

Dan and I are off to Austria this Wednesday to race in the beautiful city of Zell am See-Kaprun.

I race the regular 70.3 on Saturday whilst Dan competes in World Champs on Sunday.

Since Dan qualified for Ironman 70.3 World Championships we have: celebrated, he has undergone surgery for shin pain, recovered from surgery, and trained trained trained. Now, the event has finally come around and one week from today he’ll be racing it!

Here is a picture of Dan coming into the finish line last year at his qualifier race (Ironman 70.3 Muskoka).


So for the past four years of Dan’s triathlon career – I’ve been the cheerleader, the carrier of bags, the taker of action photos and everything in between. Spectating any race that lasts greater than a 3/4 hours is a feat in it’s own!

This year I go from spectating to racing and I’m freaking out. I’m good at spectating. In fact, I would say that I’ve mastered it. Racing a 70.3 Ironman race… this is something I’ve never done before. I’m extremely excited but equally nervous.

So let me share something I know I know… Top tips for spectating an Ironman event (Dan – take notes… you’re not the only one racing this time!)


Check the weather – last thing you want is to get caught out being under prepared for a full day outdoors.

Check the course and map out your spectating plans. Some events take athletes quite a way out where you may not see them for 2+ hours. If you want to support them out on the bike/run course then knowing their average pace and when to expect them at certain points will be helpful.

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 8.15.14 AM

WHAT TO wear

Layers are your best friend. Ironman events start early, and you’re often there one hour before the race starts to boot. So don’t commit to the cool morning and be prepared for the weather to play out.

what to bring
  1. Lightweight picnic blanket
  2. An easy to carry bag with the following items:
    • Camera
    • Cash (God forbid you get to the coffee stand and they don’t take card!)
    • Snacks and a water bottle
    • Weather appropriate accessories (sun screen, hat, water proof gear etc).
    • Extra tote bag just in case
  3. Sometimes there are stands where you can make signs but if you want to go all out this might require some planning ahead of the race. We often do T-Shirts.
  4. Bring friends or good book. It’s a long day to spend alone.


WHAT not to do
  1. Don’t bring too much stuff. Remember you will be carrying it with you all day as you are often not near your accommodation or car.
  2. Going out the night before watching an Ironman event could make for a rough day… just look at this lot when Dan raced his first Ironman distance triathlon!! haha 
    Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 8.32.33 AM

Last thing to remember, make sure you get a group picture at the finish line!

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 8.35.18 AM


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