Many people agree that Ironman Coeur D’alene is a great race with a solid corp of volunteers.

It’s also in the perfect month for those attempting to qualify for the Kona Ironman Triathlon.

This is a breakdown of the Ironman Coeur dalene course from the official Ironman Triathlon CDA page. Below this you will find my own thoughts on the course from when I took part in the first two years of the event.

They say they like to hold Ironman races at destination spots– which makes Ironman Coeur D’alene a prime contender for an Ironman Triathlon.

Named after the Coeur d’Alene Indian tribe, this former logging and lumber town boasts a population of 50,000 (although the sign on the way into town says 34,415), 150 restaurants, and enough outdoor activities to keep anyone busy for a very long time.

The two-loop swim course at Ford Ironman Coeur dAlene has the potential to be tough, but has even more potential to be a really nice start to the day.

It’s become the norm to hear that the water is cold … the word is that the athletes can expect water somewhere between 63 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (a little over 17 degrees Celsius).

All of the courses at Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene are two-loop affairs, and both the bike and the run pass by the finish line and transition area four times, so spectators are in for a great day.

The bike course is more challenging than it initially would appear. The course is very technical, with enough difficulty to keep things interesting.

“It would be hard not to have a picturesque run course in Ironman Coeur dAlene.” It’s relatively flat, it’s fast, and it goes through some of the most picturesque neighborhoods this picturesque town has to offer. The limiting factor on the run … the heat!

Some thoughts from my own experience.

IM CDA was the only race I attempted that was two loops of all three events. Originally, I didn’t think I would care too much for it. Especially the swim.

I thought it might be a slower time than normal because you actually come out of the water after lap one and run across the beach to begin lap two.

Also not being a swimmer, I thought it might be a bit of a let-down to have to get back into the water after reaching shore.

I was completely wrong. I actually had one of my best swim times in this Ironman. Also, leaving the water between loops was a bit of a break from the repetitious strokes of the front crawl.

The one thing that sticks out in my mind however, is that the swim-start area is quite congested, and things can be a little hairy, especially in the early going.

Ironman Coeur Dalene

The swim you dread may not be so bad.

When I took part in the first two CDA races the swim was clock-wise, and for some reason they changed the course to counter-clockwise. Possibly this was done to alleviate the crowding at the start.

The bike course was very interesting and features several down-hill, very fast, sweeping curves. Pay attention to the “slow-down” warning signs.

You won’t encounter the “massive” climbs that Ironman Canada features, but will find plenty of rolling hills and several long, flat stretches.

You even make your way though a gray-hound race track at one point. The benefit of a 2-loop bike course is that you know exactly what to expect the second time around and are more aware of the challenging high speed turns.

I suppose the most difficult leg to do twice in Ironman Coeur dAlene was the marathon. Its really pretty cruel to bring you right past the entrance to the transition area at the end of the first loop.

You really have to grit your teeth and push through the turn-around on the CDA marathon course and head back out toward the highway. If I had a choice, I would much rather do an out and back course.

All in all the entire event was an excellent experience. Even in the early years of the race the organization was excellent and the volunteers were second to none.

Also its a beautiful, picturesque area for an Ironman and I’m sure you won’t go wrong by giving this race a try.

Congratulations to those of you who were part of the 2010 edition of Ironman Couer D’Alene.

Best of luck in realizing your Ironman goals if you are planning to spend the Winter and Spring months preparing for Ironman Coeur D’alene.


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