The IRONMAN will be in Louisville this weekend on Sunday, August 24, 2014. Presented by: Norton Sports Health
Since it was first held in Louisville, Kentucky in 2007, this race quickly became a signature event for the charm-filled city. This quintessential race provides athletes and spectators with numerous entertainment, dining and recreational opportunities, and is the last qualifying event for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, HI; offering a total of 50 qualifying slots.
As visitors explore Louisville this weekend as participants or supporters of IRONMAN, they'll venture around our historic Bluegrass region. Louisville is home to stately Victorian mansions and a vibrant urban parks system. In recent years, we've attracted a thriving indie music scene, and families vacationing to the city will find plenty of free summer concerts and festivals along the famous Waterfront Park.
Athletes begin their day with a rolling swim start, a unique feature for a full-distance IRONMAN and a welcome one for anyone nervous about the typical mass start. After lining up along the banks of the Ohio River on a first come, first served basis, competitors jump in one at a time to start the first leg of their 140.6-mile race.
The 2.4-mile swim course is a unique, point-to-point swim set in a rolling start fashion (athlete position is first-come, first-serve). Athletes will jump off the dock adjacent to Tumbleweed Tex Mex Grill & Margarita Bar and finishes at the wharf just west of the Great Lawn. The point-to-point swim begins in the protected waters behind Towhead Island before athletes enter the Ohio River’s main channel and swim downstream toward the finish at the wharf by Joe’s Crab Shack, just past The Great Lawn. The swim course will close two hours and 20 minutes after the final athlete enters the water (projected to be by 7:45 AM) and water temperature will hover in the mid-80s F.
Upon exiting the water, you'll head into transition located on the Great Lawn, the centerpiece of Waterfront Park, before heading off for 112 miles of scenic biking.
The bike course takes athletes outside of Louisville toward Oldham and Henry counties and includes a two-loop section through the historic town of LaGrange. Athletes will be challenged with plenty of rolling hills; themixture of rolling hills and flat pastures characterizes the Louisville bike course, and riders can expect to be challenged as they traverse the Louisville Metro area and Oldham County. As part of the two-loop portion of the course, La Grange gives athletes a boost of energy: They can expect to be greeted here by thousands of cheering spectators and volunteers; so this is a great spot for you to show some love and encourage them to keep going!
After finishing the bike, athletes only have one thing separating them from their memorable finish: 26.2 miles of flat running.
The run is primarily flat and passes many of Louisville’s signature sites including the historicChurchill Downs, home of the famous Kentucky Derby, and the University of Louisville, there's no shortage of distractions. The two-loop run course comes to a close with Fourth Street Live's energetic welcome. Spectators and volunteers bring each athlete in to realize their dream of becoming an IRONMAN.
If you'd like to track an athlete
during the event there will be live race day coverage including athlete tracking and up-to-date race results. The tracking is ONLY available on race day. You can go to ironman.com and click on ‘Live Coverage’ at the top of the page and select the correct race. Select ‘Athlete Tracker’ and you can search by bib number or last name.
For a turn by turn race map, be sure to click HERE.
For information about the event sponsors, please click HERE.
Cover image: shutterstock.com/huaji