IRONMAN Course Ranking Website

Hey y’all, I of course have no ambitions to do an IRONMAN this year, but, uh, you know, sometimes the mind wanders and stuff or maybe I am just asking for a friend…

Can you help me find a website?

About a year ago I used a website that ranked IM courses by difficulty. It had a freemium model (I think?), it looked at course difficulty for each leg, and it also ranked the level of competition in the field. A google search hasn’t provided the website I am thinking of. It isn’t RunTri or EN’s ranking.

Any ideas on what website this could be?

Somebody who is totally not, like at all, getting bad ideas about racing a triathlon


Probably Coach Cox?

I found that one in a search, but nope, that’s not it. Coach Cox is helpful for sure, but this site had a much better way to compare events.

Tri Rating?

Found that one in the search too, but unfortunately is not it.

Beginning to think I may have dreamed this up, haha

I can save you the trouble from searching, the hardest IMs on record are always the ones I did the exact years I did them. The legends still speak of the DNF rate that one summer day…


Well, I’ll be interested to see it if it’s real! :joy:

1 Like is another good one but seems to have been down the last couple weeks. Maybe their database got hosed?

EDIT: Nevermind it’s up.


I’ve got the app so had not gone to the website for a few years. It has a lot more cool info than the app, but it’s also costs a bit more for full access (4 vs 30)

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Let me help…

A long list of places

Not sure you need a list anymore…


Judging from the swims and runs I’ve seen on your strava lately I wouldn’t think you were thinking of doing tri’s. I used to do the Boise 70.3 as it was fairly flat…but IM didn’t renew it. I always heard Arizona was one of the easier courses.

I would vote Chattanooga. Water is warm, no wetsuit needed; point to point, down-current, so you can float and still make cut off. that takes care of Jonathan’s weakest discipline. Bike is rolling, fast and 116 miles, so 4 more miles to capitalize on his specialty. Run course is great - well supported, some shaded areas in park, cool bridges to cross; tough hill to climb twice, but you get the downhill on the backside. and the community fully supports it. The year I did it (2018), swim was canceled due to flooding. Went to get a haircut a short while after the announcement. Lady cutting my hair already knew about it, and had already signed up for a different volunteer position.


Pretty sure Jonathan means obstri

But on that same note… does someone know why the now only have Ironman races… they used to also include Challenge races :frowning:

I always used to refer back to Thorston’s Tri Ratings (as mentioned above). I’m not aware of another site that does this, but I also haven’t been in the IM world for a few years now… thankfully :slight_smile:

I looked at obstri. I think the Chattanooga run course is a little overrated in terms of difficulty. It’s ONE hill. people freak out about it. I thought the old IM Canada course was a lot harder, as was Clermont FL (national long course championship).

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I always found that the problem with looking at time etc as a judge of ‘difficulty’ doesn’t really help you pick a course that would actually be enjoyable.

For example, the old Ironman Texas bike course was “harder” if you look at time/elevation etc, but it was WAY better as an experience. It was one big loop through mostly quiet roads and the national forest. Now you have to do multiple loops on a huge concrete highway. If you are riding 5,6,7+ hours then having some variety makes it so much easier mentally. IMO.

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I can’t answer your question, but in true Internet forum style I’ll give a long post on stuff you probably already know. :slight_smile:

First, off just do Lanzarote. Everything else will seem easy after that. :smiley:

I haven’t found a single source for determining which race I want to do, but the links the others have put up are a good start. Weather and courses, and to some degree the field, change from year to year so once you’ve narrowed it down it’s worth doing a bit more digging on those few.

If you’re a strong swimmer, favour the windy, sea starts. Unfortunately the rougher the sea swim the higher likelihood it will be shortened or cancelled so this can backfire. Weak swimmer, there’s that river current-assisted race in the States.

Mountainous bike will reduce the impact of drafters on the results, obviously a tougher ask for the heavier riders though.

Almost all the run routes are essentially flat, but if running is your strength and you want to place well it’s worth considering the few hilly run courses. Temperature and shade are worth looking into.

I use Coachcox to analyse the field at the races I want to do, you never know who will turn up but it’s a fair yardstick. If you’re looking to win, then all the other athletes in your category are doing the same thing, so courses that suit people like you will have people like you signing up - a bit of a catch 22 :slight_smile:



giphy (1)


@Jonathan our Forum Triathlon Chief Motivator @JoeX has spoken - it is gospel :).