IRONMAN launches IRONMAN 70.3 Desaru Coast 2020

IRONMAN has cemented its expansion in Asia with the official launch of the IRONMAN 70.3 Desaru Coast, in Johor in April 2020. The inaugural event will be part of a wider Desaru Coast Multisport Festival, which will also include the first 5150 Triathlon event in Malaysia as well as a SPRINT Triathlon and IRONKIDS, held over the course of a three-day period. It will be the first such event on the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia.

The course will start with a single-loop 1.9-km (1.2-mile) swim, with a start line located footsteps away from the official hotel, The Westin Desaru Coast Resort. This is followed by a 90-km (56-mile) ride on a two-loop bike course along the coastline on smooth, flat roads. Participants will then take on a 21.1-km (13.1-mile) shaded run course to the finish line back at The Westin Desaru Coast Resort.

For the triathlon faithful, it will be of particular interest to note that the Desaru race scheduled for April 17-19 2020 will offer 60 qualifying slots to the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupō, New Zealand taking place on November 28-29, 2020. Desaru will be a nice lead up to the main event, since the scenic racecourse will feature a pristine 17km beachfront overlooking clear ocean waters, amid warm tropical weather.

As the latest addition to the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia race calendar, Desaru is expected to provide a fresh challenge for new faces in the triathlon community. IRONMAN Asia Managing Director Geoff Meyer reckons it is a timely move, considering there is now higher interest in multisport events. “It is a testament to the growing appetite for triathlon in Asia, and IRONMAN’s commitment to developing the sport in the region,” he believes. 

Desaru Coast enjoys a moderate, windy climate year-round with a natural landscape that includes white sandy beaches, sea and jungle. While the half course is shorter than the full IRONMAN course it is still expected to present an irresistible challenge for athletes looking to test their mettle. “It should be a nice race. I’m sure of it,” says Malaysian Ironman ambassador Rupert Chen, who also runs triathlon coaching outfit RCCoaching. “As good as IRONMAN Langkawi, even.”

IRONMAN 70.3 Desaru Coast and 5150 Desaru Coast will join the IRONMAN Asia circuit as the third and fourth races in Malaysia, adding to existing races which includes IRONMAN Malaysia and IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi. Registration is now open for the Desaru Coast Multisport Festival presented by IRONMAN. For more information, visit and