IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships 2023

Lahti Finland Thursday – Day 1 

IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships 2023

Lahti Finland Thursday – Day 1

Follow my progress:  Preamble | Day 2 | Race Day

Travel Day

Finland is pretty accessible from the UK, we flew Finnair, no issues on the day at all but I know some did on earlier days, maybe all airlines are hit and miss !

I originally had the bike booked on the plane but our plan to hire a car meant if we wanted to take the bike box we needed a car big enough to lug 4 of us, luggage and bike from Helsinki to Vierumaki and then to Lahti. The cost was so prohibitive that although I had already paid for my bike on the plane I decided to pay again for someone to take it overland as part of a concierge service as the difference was still less than getting a bigger car. We would meet them in Lahti Thursday and I could leave the bike with them overnight, perfect.

Also because the accomodation was so expensive in and around Lahti we opted to stay in Helsinki area on Wednesday night after the flight and head to get the car the next day. Holiday Inn it was, pretty close to airport and cheaper than staying near the race another night.

When we arrived at the airport it was already heaving with triathletes picking up bikes, we left them to it and made our way to the hotel, I popped out for a run and we used the local scooters to go to the nearest shopping centre to eat. Pretty big place too.

Proper Day 1 in Race Week

Today was going to be a long day. Traditionally in ironman parlance for us, its register for the race, spend a bit in the ironman expo and scope out the way the race event area is set out. With this being a World Champs everything takes on a bigger footprint and just swamps a normal race.

First we had to get the car.

Check out of hotel, get a shuttle bus back to the airport, find the right train and platform to take us to central Helsinki, then locate the metro to get us to the car hire place. All done in around 90 mins but by now everyone is already knackered and I have shouted at youngest for moaning non stop for having to lug aroud 22kg suitcase and a rucksack halfway across a capital city, I am a BAD man! Bless her kiss 

The car journey to Vierumaki takes about 90 mins and was a beautiful ride through stunning countryside, all the while the weather changing every few minutes 🙂 We had booked a ‘villa’ although we weren’t really sure what that was it certainly wasn’t a disappointment. 

Our house from the lake

Getting ready for a dip with the girls

The new way for TTT athletes to meet !

Girls playing face masks, family meal at home for a change

Race Venue

Lahti may be stuck for hotel rooms but it looks a fantastic location for a world champs. Huge outdoor spaces, beautiful lake, amazing road infrastucture and the town is buzzing with excitement.

We headed straight to the centre to park as I needed to meet Nick from Tri-Spoke Concierge to get my wetsuit and check tomorrows time for a bike ride. I also need to check in and register at around 3pm. Registration was such a cool thing, it really takes effect from that point, we are really racing !! and I got to pick up the Worlds Champs coin that we missed in 2021. The expo area is enormous, it takes on another level at a championship race, I went mad as usual, we decimated that as you can see and then headed outside to another event area outside with loads of vendors, live music and information stands.

Time to get registered

The all important qualification coin

Pretty big effort in terms of athlete village

Won’t be doing another for a while ! lap it up.

Its been a long day, lots done, chilling time now at the villa, supermarket run has limited us having to go out too much as food is pretty expensive here eating out, however, we have found suitable places that aren’t horrendous but having a kitchen and ability to create and cook our own stuff is what we came here for too.

Tomorrow is bike course check, maybe a swim or short run and then massage booked for the afternon before chilling the rest of the day and spending time in Vierumaki with the kids. Its gonna get bonkers after that so relaxation time needed, until the next blog, thanks for reading.