The main post says it all, but in early 2020, I made the decision to race in my own backyard. Not literally, but not far off. There are no 70.3 distance races in Hong Kong, so it was nice to actually race one, albeit not official. I was strict with the 'protocols' and raced it as I would any other Ironman 70.3. Certainly not my best work, but I came through and can easily say this was the most memorable of all my 70.3 races.
My first time in Sri Lanka - I loved this small but well-organized race which left me with a lot of good memories. Despite the increased swim training, my slow swim was apparently current-affected. A fast bike for me, but a shocking run in hot conditions led to a reasonable time, but plenty of time left on the course.
Unfortunately the race hotel where I stayed - the Shangri-La - was bombed 6 weeks later which left a gaping hole in many people's lives. Longer report in the Half-Ironman section.
Back to Da Nang again. Still too hot, but a better performance and a better time. Happy with that swim, a slightly faster bike, but the run is where I lose it - need to find a better strategy to handle the heat.
First time to Vietnam since a very early 'Vietnam Triathlon' in 2011. Very hot conditions, but a well-organized and friendly race. Good experience all round. The ocean swim was fairly calm and easy to navigate, a decent and generally flat bike course, with just one incline up one of the bridges. Beware of cattle though - I saw one guy's race end prematurely with a hard collision. Run course is out and back along the coast with very little shade, and in the midday sun, that's tough going. Good fun though, enjoyed the experience.
Back to Phuket for the first time in 4 years. A different race venue and a much more manageable course for me, especially the generally flat bike. A proper training plan for the first time, which came together but the marginal gains in the swim and bike were nothing compared to the run, which was my first and still only, decent 70.3 run. A hot race, but the slightly overcast conditions when I got off the bike made a world of difference. A 70.3 PB, primarily down to the run time starting with a 1, and great to take a whole hour off my 2015 race.
Back to Cebu for another crack at my 'home race'. Very tough swim with a strong current against us for the long stretch with many DNF. Similar bike to previous year - hot, dusty and windy, and the usual furnace of a run. My worst outing, but clearly down to lack of an organized training plan.
Despite flirting with this race over the years, my first attempt at my 'home race'. I knew the course well, but also know how tough it would get on the roads and running in the midday sun. Not a bad effort, but could do better.
A mass start on the beach, but clear water over coral reefs. The currents are always strong at the race and if the timing is wrong, it can be tough. I got through, but not great. The bike is hot, dusty and windy and with a rough road surface, it was not much fun. The run is super hot too, with little shade and tough going for most. Great support throughout though - the streets are lines with people from start to finish and lots of support from my home crowd.
2013 - Port Macquarie
Our first travel/race trip, worthy of an expanded race report in the Half-Ironman section. A great experience at my first race away from 'home soil', we all loved this trip and once the swim was done, I actually enjoyed the race. Swim cutoff was 1 hour and although I don't think I was close to being pulled off the course, I would hate to have been DNF'd. Bike was a tough slog on slow roads, but the run was almost decent.
2012 - Phuket
Back to Phuket again. Same course and same hills and heat. Not my best day out there, but always good to get to the finish in one piece.
2011 - Phuket
The first one - this one worthy of a report in the Half-Ironman section. Just happy to finish and in hindsight, not a bad first effort on a very tough and unique course. Swim starts in the sea, then finishes in a slow and heavy lake. Bike hills were unique, and although I'd trained on them and been up them a number of times, they stung. A hot run wrapped it all up, but the classic photo on the home page is one I'll always cherish.