Intense training for weeks, months, even years…. Talk about blood, sweat and tears. This is the life of an Ironman.
The Ironman is one of the most recognized endurance events around. This Sunday over 2000 athletes will participate in the seventh Ironman Arizona. The triathlon is a three-part race that begins with a 2.4 mile swim in Tempe Town Lake with temperatures in the range of 60 degrees. Most swimmers prefer to wear a wetsuit for the swim. Next the participants grab their bikes for a 112 mile bike ride around a three-loop course to the Beeline Highway, through the Sonoran Desert back to Tempe Town Lake. The last leg is running a full marathon, which is 26.2 miles throughout the city-where spectators can cheer you on!
I am always amazed to watch athletes compete in this race. It is definitely not meant for beginner athletes. Some people don’t even finish the race. Those that do cross the finish line, earn the title of “Ironman”.
In 2009 the first place finisher, Jordan Rapp of Scarborough, NY, crossed the finish line at 8:13:35, while last place doubled that time finishing in almost 17 hours. Only 112 people of the 2516 participants registered did not finish the race.
What: Ironman Arizona Triathlon
Where: Tempe Town Lake and surrounding roads
When: Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 at 6:50 a.m.
Cutoff times (meaning you must be finished with each leg of the race by a certain time)
- The swim event- 9:20 a.m.
- The bike ride- 5:30 p.m.
- The run course- Midnight
Driving around Tempe will be a challenge this weekend as many roads will be closed to accommodate for the biking and running portions of the race. To travel north and south use Priest Drive of the Highway 101. For east and west, use Highway 202 or University Drive.
Dial 511 for traffic information.