Updated on August 2020 – Please note that the 2020 edition was postponed to October 30th, 2021
Are you ready for one of the toughest editions of the Ironman circuit? The Ironman Langkawi in Malaysia is also known as one of the most beautiful. The heat and the humidity are a constant on this race, bringing an extra challenge to this tough triathlon. Here you will find all the information you need about the Ironman Langkawi and tips about Langkawi, Malaysia.
We visited Langkawi back in March 2105, and we fell in love. Nature is absolutely stunning! On the forests and mangroves you can find all shades of green. Beaches have a calm sea and soft white sand. Not to mention the delicious variety of food. When I heard that they have an Ironman competition I was thrilled. At that time, I had no idea about my future travel plans but I could hear a voice in my head: “I`ll be back”.
If you are planning to attend the Ironman Langkawi I suggest you arriving about 1 week before to get acclimatized. Seriously the heat and humidity there are crazy, even Ironman champions like Patrik Nillson mentioned that the hardest thing in Langkawi Ironman is the heat. Spare some days to enjoy the island, I will give you precious tips on what to do in Langkawi.
» Pre Race – Ironman Langkawi
First of all the registration must be done on the Ironman`s official website. The action starts on October 23rd with the Athletes Check-in, the Ironman Expo and the opening of the info booth. On October 24th there are the swim training, transitions tours, official dinner, and the race briefing. The Bike Check-in happens on October 25th, also one more swim training and transition tours. Follow the updated schedule here.
» The Race – Ironman Langkawi
The race starts on October 26th, at 7:00 am. At 5:45am the transition area (T1) opens.
The swim will take place on the sheltered waters of Pantai Kok beach. Two laps with a 20m run between laps. Wetsuit is not permitted, expect a very warm sea on November, the water temperature will be around 30C!
The 180km course will cross the whole island and you will be able to enjoy its nature. It consists of 2 loops, expect some steep hills and flat areas. I would suggest training some climbing! Also, a lot of attention when passing the “Monkey Zone”, for your safety and the monkeys’ safety too.
Again a 2 laps course. This one is mainly flat and with a pristine landscape. You will finish the race on a palm-fringed beach. 🙂
One great feature of this race is the air-conditioned T2. Yep! After hours on the bike you can cool down during the transition. I`m sure that my T1 will be way faster than my T2 (I was wrong, check out my race review here)!
I started training for the Langkawi Ironman 2015 in July 2015. We were in Bulgaria, in a small village in the mountains. My cycling training was done with a MTB, not easy to keep cadence in the hilly Bulgarian countryside. To run was great, empty roads, fresh air and some wild encounters [snakes, wolves…]. No swimming over there.
While living in Bangkok I have a swimming pool in my condo, the streets for running training were quite ok. Although to cycle was hard. The traffic is chaotic, from 6 am to 11 pm the cars and motorcycles take the roads. One advantage is that I was getting used to the heat, the temperature is always over 28ºC, sometimes over 35ºC. I’m getting used to run on warm & humid places, on 2014 I ran the Angkor Wat Half Marathon.
My coach, Lucas Helal, from Luquitri Assessoria Esportiva, gave me big support on the training and motivation. Since we have a short period for the training and I have some travels before the competition we need focus and solid planning.
How to get to Langkawi
Langkawi is easily reached via Kuala Lumpur or Singapore airports. Low-cost companies such as Air Asia, Fire Fly, and Tiger Air serve Langkawi Airport. Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines also fly to Langkawi. To get the best fares check out Skyscanner. If your flight requires a layover in Kuala Lumpur we suggest to stay at Sama-Sama Hotel, it’s located in Terminal 1 of KL airport. Check rates here.
Where to stay in Langkawi
Since Langkawi hosts several international events such as Ironman Langkawi, Le Tour de Langkawi, LIMA and ISAF. There are plenty of options, and the hotels are used to handle special requests such as a place to store your bike or help you to find a van to transport your luggage + sports equipment.
I usually don’t like to stay in the official hotel. Yes, can be handy for some events but usually is too busy and too noisy. For Langkawi Ironman 2015 my choice was Berjaya Langkawi Resort. It is located less than 10 minutes from the starting area. On our first visit to Langkawi, we stayed in Berjaya and loved. The Chalet in the jungle is gorgeous. Five stars quality in the middle of the rainforest. If you want to splurge go for the Water Chalet. Literally on the sea!
Accommodation in Langkawi ranges from hostels, guesthouses to luxury resorts. Options for all tastes and pockets. Recommend you to check your accommodation on Agoda.com & Booking.com. Also, don’t forget to have a look at Airbnb, some locals are renting their house or a room.
What to do in Langkawi
Langkawi is a tropical paradise. I strongly suggest you to spare some time to explore the island. There are a lot of things to do in Langkawi, Malaysia. Snorkeling and diving in transparent waters full of life, boat tours in the mangroves, Skybridge, eagle watching, water sports, island hopping, explore the Night Market [try the Laksa soup!!!] and even some shopping since Langkawi is Duty-Free. To make your life easier check our previous posts. One is for the lovebirds and the other one is for those looking for adventure.
Update: Check how was my race in Langkawi!
Have you done an Ironman? Have you thought about race the Ironman Langkawi?
Ps. I was invited by LADA to race the Ironman Langkawi. Doesn’t matter who pays the bill you always get my honest opinion.