2015 IRONMAN Whistler Preview

Ironman Canada Cyclist

IRONMAN Whistler return's to town this Sunday, July 26. The world renowned endurance race combines three different disciplines as athletes must compete in a swimming, biking and running portion. Preparation for the event is key and often takes athletes several month's even up to a year to get ready for the challenge.

The Whistler triathlon serves as IRONMAN Canada's crown jewel event. The event also serves as an official qualifier for the year-end event IRONMAN® World Championships. The top 50 qualifiers in each category will be awarded direct entry into the elusive Hawaii event.

The Race Course

In total the swim, bike and running event totals 225 kilometres. Participants begin in the water, with two laps of Alta Lake totalling 3.8KM. Once the athletes get out of the water they begin the transition from swimwear to bike wear. The bike portion of the events totals 180 KM and includes a loop up the Callaghan Valley and down Highway 99 for a loop up the Pemberton Valley. At the end of the cycling portion of the race, athletes arrive back in Whistler where they transition to the final running stage. During the final stage of the event, athletes must complete two 21 kilometre laps of the famous Whistler Valley Trail System. This brings runners through the Whistler Village twice before they cross the finish line at Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Where to Watch

There are several places to watch the IRONMAN® race however race officials have published a brochure labeling the best places to watch each event.

Swimming | A designated viewing area will be positioned in Rainbow Park at Alta Lake. The lake will serve as the start area of the swimming race + the transition area for the bike start.

Best time to watch: 7 AM to 9 AM

Biking | Realistically the biking portion can be viewed anywhere along Highway 99. However, the biggest gathering area for spectators will be along Village Gate Blvd. A viewing area has been created for easy spectator viewing and attracts hundreds of rambunctious supporters.

Best time to watch: 8:30 AM to 12 PM

Running | The best place to catch the running action is at the Blackcomb Way finish line. This is where the athletes will be making their final push to the end. The place will be packed with spectators cheering them on as they come in. The first finishers are expected to roll in around 3 PM. You can also catch the running event at various points along the Valley Trail as long as you are off the trail.

Best time to watch 3 PM to 6 PM

Ironman Runner

Photo Credit: Biker: Dave Steers, Runner: Mike Crane

Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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