70.3 Virginia's Blue Ridge Triathlon - PJAMM Cycling

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This course contains the third hardest climb in any Ironman race in the world: the 4.8 mile, +1600 foot Route 43 North to Blue Ridge Parkway.  Furthermore, right out of transition you'll be greeted by half a mile of +6% grades. This is an extremely popular race and tends to sell out quickly every year.

70.3 Virginia's Blue Ridge is a half-Ironman triathlon located in Roanoke, VA, USA. The swim is 1.2 mi, bike is 56 mi, and the run is 13.1 mi.  Use the profile tool, route maps, weather forecast, and other tools on this page to more efficiently and effectively train for your race. 

Also, find and compare other Ironman and 70.3 races on our Triathlon Homepage.

Full Event Schedule

There is no parking at Carvins Cove Reservoir/T1, instead park in one of these 4 lots and take the athlete shuttle (running from 3:15am to 5:00am)
  - Carilion Clinic Riverside Parking Garage
  - Carilion Clinic Crystal Springs Garage
  - Carilion Clinic Riverwalk Parking Deck
  - Carilion Clinic Center for Simulatio
Spectators will stay at Ironman Village for a live-stream watch party!

Historical Weather:
Can be very rainy and usually is humid.  Check the PJAMM Cycling Weather Tool for current and historic weather data.

Local Tri Shops:

Local Public Pools:

Popular open water swim areas:
Other than for the race, it's illegal to swim in the Carvins Cove Recreation Area** (race venue)
   - The bike course is mountanious with 4,081 ft of elevation gain.
   - 10.2 mi of the course is an uphill false flat (1 to 3%)
   - 10 mi of uphill climbing (+3%)
   - 21.3 mi are downhill (< -1%)
   - 15.4 mi are flat (-1 to 1%)

Major climb:
@ Mile 23: Route 43 North to Blue Ridge Parkway (4.8 miles, 6.4%, 1640 ft climbed)

The run is flat with 220 ft of elevation gain and 234 ft of elevation descent.
   - 1.2 mi of the course is an uphill false flat (1 to 3%)
   - 0.1 mi of uphill climbing (+3%)
   - 1.3 mi are downhill (< -1%)
   - 10.5 mi are flat (-1 to 1%)

The race reaches a peak of 2,500 ft above sea level.




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   70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Bike Course Recon                                                                        

Overall Surface Quality: 

Very good, especially while on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Strava workout from last year’s race:



Significant Ascents:

Right out of transition you'll be greeted by half a mile of +6% grades. But most notably, this course contains the hardest climb included in an IRONMAN race in the western hemisphere: the 4.8 mile, +1600 foot Route 43 North to Blue Ridge Parkway. Thankfully there are beautiful views at the top!

Route 43 North to Blue Ridge Parkway (@ mi 23.3)  

10.8km,  402m gained,  11.9% peak gradient

Google Street View at start

Google Street View at end

After a brief descent, there are some typical BRP rollers that could classify as climbs themselves by some standards:

Blue Ridge Parkway (@ mi 29.8)                                         multiple +9% gradients

There is one significant descent (gradients dropping below -9%) but there are no sharp turns along this section:

Click here to view a full interactive profile of the 112 mile course.

Turn By Turn                                                                                

*Turn angle is measured by the sharpest corner angle throughout the entire turn*

Click thumbnail for example (66˚ turn)

There are only a few sharp turns along this course (mostly during the first few and final few miles) and just 2 that you might enter at high speeds:

Turn usa:

90˚ right turn;  mi 51.5

Google Street View

Turn usa:

90˚ right turn;  mi 55.3

Google Street View

Transition Layout

Satellite Image of T1:

Satellite Image of T2:

Obstacles and Other Notes:

  • Due to the amount of climbing/descending, it’s not uncommon to see people choose to ride road bikes with drop bars + clip on aero bars for this triathlon.

Current / Historical Weather Patterns

Full Interactive Bike Course Profile

Link to main race site:


Notice an error,  have a suggestion, or an update to this information? Contact us at samlyons@pjammcycling.com!

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