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Ironman Texas Course Review: What to Know, Info & Tips

Author: Caitlin Thompson

Ironman Texas takes place in The Woodlands, Texas every April. It is a fantastic course for seasoned and beginner triathletes alike. This brief course review will give you an idea of what to expect, what to know, and info to help you decide if it might be the right course for you! I’ll also add a few course-specific tips for Ironman Texas 2023.

Swim Course at Ironman Texas

At Ironman Texas, the swim takes place in a community lake, with one wide u-shape loop through the lake, then into a canal. The water is quite murky the whole way, especially in the canal, and it also gets quite congested. 

The best part of the swim, and what makes it special is that it is really spectator-friendly. I could actually hear my family cheering for me as they walked along the canal. It’s not very often that that happens during the swim portion, so I really enjoyed that. 

Tip: Opt to skip the pre-race OWS 

This lake is notoriously bacterial and has made many athletes sick. Better to get sick AFTER the race than before. 

Bike Course at Ironman Texas

After a short, lovely little loop through The Woodlands, you’ll head out onto the Hardy Toll Road for two loops. There is almost always a headwind going South and a tailwind going North. The good news is that the tailwind usually comes on your way back into town. It is very flat with only a couple of little rollers and an overpass or two. 

There isn’t much visual stimulation on the bike course at Ironman Texas, but there is really great support- especially the aid station furthest South on the toll road which is manned by an awesome Boy Scout troop who will hold your bike while you go to the bathroom and even give you a little push on your bike…all with a “have a nice day ma’am” as you ride away. Southern hospitality. 

Tip: Don’t get too worked up about going slow if there’s a headwind

Stay relaxed, you’ll make up the time on the way back into town.

Run Course at Ironman Texas

The Texas Ironman is absolutely my favorite Ironman run! You’ll make three loops through The Woodlands and down the canal banks which are lined with fans! The run course includes one small hill that is just enough to be a pain, but there is an aid station situated right at the top. A couple of miles out from the finish line is Hippie Hallow, a colorful and noisy arch where you can get a boost from fans dressed as Hippies banging on drums and guitars. The finish line is so energized! 

Tip: The back half of the loop on the run gets quiet and lonely

The action is all around the waterway. Keep in mind that it might get hard for a few miles but you’ll get a lot of support and love from fans when you loop back around. 

Should you choose to compete in Ironman Texas 2023, you’ll walk away with a medal that doubles as a big Texas belt buckle! That’s pretty awesome ya’ll!

Are you geared up for Ironman Texas 2023?

Get ready to be your best at Ironman Texas 2023 next April. Check out Tres Piñas' amazing tri suits for women, made with top-notch Italian fabrics and designed with the needs of all three sports in mind. We have tri suits specially crafted for women! This is why they offer excellent support, allow easy movement and stretching, while remaining comfortable throughout the race to help you reach the finish line. 

Follow Caitlin's Journey @caitlin.thompson.tri

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