It is 135 kilometres of bitumen that no Ironman Australia Port Macquarie athlete has ever ridden on.
When athletes exit transition at Westport Park on May 7 they will now ride a different course that now heads north and west of Port Macquarie before turning to Lake Cathie.
Ironman Oceania regional director Carl Smith admits the annual event wasn't becoming old and tired, but organisers jumped at the opportunity to revitalise it following the 35th anniversary celebrations last year.
"It almost feels like you're launching a new event," Smith said.
A large portion of the previous Camden Haven stretch of course that went down to Dunbogan is no longer.
"We've been doing the same course down to the Camden Haven since 2012 when the event went to a two-lap [bike] course and there hasn't been any modifications to the bike course since then," Smith said.
"We saw a good opportunity to take the bike course to a new part of the region that had never really been impacted on or benefitted from the event before."
The new course will utilise Hastings River Drive, Winery Drive, Telegraph Point Road, Pembrooke Road and Redbank Road before a turnaround point at the Wauchope end of Stoney Creek Road.
Athletes will twice ride the section of course from Blackmans Point to Stoney Creek Road before they head back on Hastings River Drive, through the traditional course and down to Lake Cathie.
"It's a super creative way of doing it, but it's the only way to utilise Hastings River Drive so we don't lock down the whole of Port Macquarie," Smith said.
Hastings River Drive will remain open to traffic with one eastbound lane - nearest the median strip - blocked off for athletes.
"Our athletes will be in the fast lane, going against the normal flow of traffic in their own dedicated safe lane heading west past the airport and out to Winery Drive," Smith said.
"From Winery Drive we will have all road closures except for local residents at Fernbank Creek Road all the way out to Wauchope."
The full-distance event won't be the only race that has a different course, with Port Macquarie 70.3 (or half-Ironman) athletes to take on the gruelling Matthew Flinders Drive twice instead of once.
They will also turn around at Lake Cathie, but will not utilise the part of the course which covers Hastings River Drive.
"The 70.3 course and experience still adds so much for the athletes and we see it equally as important for us [as the full-distance event] to continue to grow into the future," Smith said.
"The unique part of this new course is that the Ironman athletes will get to ride a completely separate course to the 70.3 athletes."
Both the full-distance and half-distance athletes will head out to Tacking Point Lighthouse before they head down Matthew Flinders Drive.
"Ironman Australia is the longest-running Ironman event in the country and we're absolutely hyped to be adding to its history," Smith said.
"We're taking athletes on roads they've never raced before [which] will add a completely new dimension to the event and breathe a new lease of life into the event's future."
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