• Nikki Bartlett

IRONMAN Dubai 70.3

Short and sweet race report from IRONMAN Dubai 70.3...

Pre race:

-Glasgow - Dubai: Arriving Wednesday 31st

-One of the best parts of the sport is meeting new, friendly individuals. Absolutely spot on Homestay with Aaron (who PB'd on race day!) and Kate. Without this stay this trip would have been too expensive for us - especially for a race 8 weeks into structured training, so thank you so much guys, you were amazing. See you this time next year ;).

-Checking out the course was pretty simples:

Swim: Choppy, just wetsuit legal (1 x loop)

Bike: Flat, windy (out and back)

Run: Flat, bouncy and a bit mental (1.5 x loops)

Race day: Friday 2nd Feb

Pre race feelings:

-Excited to race and see where I'm at this early on into the season. Really excited to line up with a stellar field.

-Happy to be lining up injury and illness free after a solid 8 slow build up into training since off-season binge.

-Appreciating being healthy and excited just to get out there and race, test new kit, represent a new team and be in a race scenario again. All the training in the world is fab, but you learn the most from racing. Plus I love to race, so why not.

Race day:


-Location was spot on - on Jumeriah Beach, with the start location in the marina which looped to T1 on the other side of the beach. On a calm day - gorgeous water!

-Quite clearly this was going to be one of the choppiest swims (up there if not worse than Challenge Weymouth 70.3 back when it was a Challenge race). Main issue - small black turn buoys which were so difficult to sight. In fact we went wrong a couple of times and had to go back on ourselves. I think sea swims should adopt Challenge Salou's idea - BIG BRIGHT turn buoys with balloons coming off of them. It's pretty stressful not being able to see a thing in the water. But a solid swim, was pretty fresh coming out - albeit a tad sea sick.


-The bike route was as simple as it comes, out on the 45k out and back section on the flat and windy 63 with about 5 turns / roundabouts in total. The way out felt like a slog against the head wind.

-I put down exactly what we had planned to the turn point, but my current level of fitness ended about there, and what I know will be achievable come April / rest of the season, now became a battle of seeing if I can stay within 20 watts of the target. Bit of a bonk fest with about 35ks to go.

-Then came the panic munch on food. Big error.

-Keep as aero as possible. Aiming not to let the HUGE AG PACKS catch. Success.

-Pleased with bike split and finally getting in a bike performance we know I'm capable of (and some more to come).

-7th off the bike, 1 min to 6th


-Flat and fast: hmmmmm flat and omg control this stomach / bonk mess

-Really struggled in this run, probably up there on most horrendous feeling running in a race - matter of survival

-Pleased to maintain position

-Know there's a huge amount to come on the run, so I'm looking forward to putting the pieces together in future races this year


-Very happy and content with the result - something which can often be misjudged when we reflect on a performance. Perspective is everything. For each individual this will be different depending on where they're at/time back since off-season etc. So for me, I believe that this early on in training (for me!!!!) you have to readjust your expectations and whilst this would be somewhat an average result / disappointed with my run come summer time. Right now - this is where I'm at, a realistic result, and one which will drive me

-Dubai was awesome, a great reason to head out of the UK and break winter up, fab to see a new city and learn about their culture. I absolutely love where racing takes you and the memories you share with close ones. Hope to be back next year, step up in performance and see the amazing homestay team again!

-Very hungry to crack on with training in preparation for IRONMAN South Africa - 15th April. The field will be world class and I'm excited to head back and race. The simplicity of knowing the course too!

-Congrats to everyone who raced, some absolutely killer world-class performances out there, very inspiring!

I wrote a blog with my new sponsors - Linac Learning, on how making small changes in your everyday life will allow you to be the best version of yourself, manage expectations, and allow you to lead a life which makes you happy. Give it a read:


I'm also excited about a new charity that I'm an ambassador for this year - Abbie's Sparkle Foundation. More on this to come in a blog, but find out more on this inspiring Scottish based charity; providing support children with cancer across the UK: https://abbiessparklefoundation.weebly.com

Massive thank you to the best sponsor team:

Linac Learning

Skechers Performance

The Financial Fitness Group


Zone 3

Rolf Prima Wheels




Clif Bar

Conti Tyres

Ceramic Speed

Coach: Rob Cheetham

Little vide pre and post race:

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