Ironman 70.3 Muscat Oman Race Diary by Meera

Hey You Guys!

I am Meera Cheema, an Age-Group Triathlete from Delhi (Yes, Dilli Meri Jaan!). It is a pleasure to write this Race Diary for Mastermind's blog, and I hope it helps my fellow athletes when I share my experience of Ironman70.3 Muscat, the race that left with me so many beautiful memories for the years to come.

So lets begin! Why did I choose this race?

A : So, I raced the Ironman70.3 Goa 2019, which was the first ever Ironman branded race of India, and that was also very special. After Goa, I wanted to do a race in or around February to kickstart my race season, so I had two choices - Dubai and Muscat. I chose Muscat, because I wanted to do a challenging race to be honest. Dubai is great of course, but the bike leg is quite flat, and Muscat is pretty solid with around 800 meters odd elevation. So, to challenge myself (and torture myself :P), I signed the dotted line on Muscat, Oman!

Let me give you a brief Travel Tip for this race.

I travelled from Delhi, landed in Muscat on Wednesday afternoon (the Race was on Friday in Muscat!). Due to work and family commitments, I could not travel in advance at all. But yes, if time permits you, then I would recommend you to go maybe on Tuesday, just to get a day extra to have the hang of things and weather. I did not do a single practice workout there, not out of any arrogance or disrespect, but I simply did not have the time for it, so I just backed my training and decided to jump on the race day. Of course, if you want to do some practice swims or rides or runs, the organisers had all the arrangements in place for the athletes to be comfortable and confident.

I took Oman Air flight, and I would so NOT recommend it to athletes. We (me and my fellow athlete friends from Delhi) ended up paying INR 12,000 extra just for our bikes to be transported to-and-fro per person. Unfortunately, Air India flight was not fitting into my schedule, but I will recommend flying Air India as I am sure they are a much more bike-friendly airline.

For accommodation, I had booked the Coral Hotel, which was 10 minutes away from the Race Venue. From the Airport, I took an Cab, easily stuffing my bike bag behind. Remember, Oman feels a little expensive country for Indians (1 Riyal = Approx 200 INR). The Hotel is very race friendly, allowing the bicycles in the room without any hassle. There are multiple food options available around the hotel, there is a mall as well nearby, and the hotel had many fellow Ironman athletes staying there too.

Athlete Briefing and Registration/Check-In Details

The briefing and registration process was quite good and fast, with no fuss or confusion at any stage. The Athlete kit provided had all the essentials, and the organisers were pretty well informed and ready to handle the huge crowd of athletes. Overall, absolutely no complaints there from the Ironman team.

Let me talk a little about the Pre-Race Day (Thursday)

For me, the pre race day was very calm. I attended the Expo and roamed around the Race venue for some time. The Expo was not very vast to be honest, but I would say it had all the essentials you would possibly need for the race, in case you forget anything in your packing.

The Bike Service Team was also quite efficient, but we did not need any service or help, as me and my friends could manage to assemble and get our bikes up for the race. This is always a great thing, since you can save a good money there when you race abroad.

The D-Day comes!! Race Day is here!

Swim course is beautiful. The sea was absolutely calm, not scary at all. The organisers do a fantastic job to arrange the buoys and kayaks and safety personnel at strategic locations, there is never a danger to be lost or without help, even for a newbie triathlete. It is a single loop swim, so not much chaos in the water, if you stand in your estimated time queue.

On the race morning, it was announced that the swim will be wetsuit legal (as the water temperature was a little lower than 24 degree celsius). Wearing a wetsuit always helps a little to improve your swim timings, so it was a great swim experience for sure.

The Bike Course is a Monster! Go for it! ;)

The roads are great, with good tarmac, making it a good course for Triathlon Bikes of course. The first 30-odd kms are quite flat to race, and then the real fun begins! Relax guys, its not something which you cannot achieve, but of course, do not go there to underestimate the challenge!

You get a good combination of desserts and hills all along the course, in fact the whole sightseeing of the city happens on the Bike Course itself! :) Remember, it starts to get hot on the bike, so do not forget to stick to your hydration plan along!

There are long sustained climbs as well, where you just need to keep your head down, and back yourself and your training. All in all, a wonderful course to challenge yourself, and something which you will be proud about forever!

Run Course is flat and nice!

The run course is a two-loop course, with very minimum shade, or I can say no shade! It will get hot during the run for sure, so your nutrition and hydration game needs to be spot on, if you are gunning for a good completion time.

Good part is that the run course is within the city itself, so no dessert heat, but I would say you need to fire on all cylinders and stick to your plan to avoid the unnecessary burnout towards the end.

I actually backed myself, and stretched myself right till the end, to get my Sub-2 Hour Half Marathon in the nick of time! :D :D (Yayy! Bragging time :P )

Finish Line Experience! (Hell you are an Ironman!)

I must say, the atmosphere is quite electric at the finish line. The loud name announcements, people cheering, and the announcers are in full spirit to make you feel your special moment.

The food after the finish was not so great, so if you are hungry after the race, make sure you keep some of your own energy bars in your Street Bag which you can access after the race.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience, which I would urge all the Triathletes to experience. This race is definitely worth visiting to, and I promise you, it will be one of the best races of your life. So, go for it!

About The Author


Meera Cheema is one of the top women Triathletes of India and she is a resident of Delhi. Her journey is nothing short of inspirational, as she has also been awarded the ALL WORLD ATHLETE status by the Ironman Organisation for being one of the top athletes in the calendar year.

Meera is also known to finish another one of the toughest Ironman70.3 races - the Staffordshire 70.3 in UK.

The brightest feather in her cap is that she is NO.2 Ranked Indian Woman Athlete as per Ironman Global Rankings!

She can be reached on her email :

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