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Ironman runs smoothly thanks to tireless volunteers

They say the best way to experience Ironman Wisconsin is as a volunteer who donates time, and even as the event approaches, there still are ample opportunities for area residents to volunteer.

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Spectator sports

If you prefer to enjoy the event as a spectator, just as 25,000 people did last year, or mix in athlete watching with your volunteer support, you’re perfectly welcome to do so. As with all Ironman events, the Sept. 9 race day consists of swimming, cycling, and running. In Madison, Ironman athletes will do the following:

  • Swim 2.4 miles in Lake Monona, beginning at 6:45 a.m., with a cut off time (for starting) of 9:25 a.m. Based on past contests, athletes completed this leg of the triathlon in an average time of one hour and 15 minutes. According to the GMCVB, the best spot to watch the start of the swim is the Monona Terrace waterfront.
  • Bike 112 miles, starting at 8 a.m. with a cut off time for starting of 5:35 p.m., both starting and ending at Monona Terrace, with an average finishing time of six hours and 30 minutes. Based on GMCVB recommendations, among the best spots to watch the cyclists are Riley Tavern in Verona (8205 Klevenville-Riley Road), the Midtown Road hill (one of the steepest inclines along the route), and the Verona Loop Festival along Verona Road, with a celebration that takes place right in the center of the bike course. Free shuttle bus service to the Verona Loop is available for spectators; the pick-up and drop-off point is located near Monona Terrace at Wilson and Carroll streets. The shuttles will run continuously from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on race day.
  • Run a full 26.2-mile marathon, starting at approximately 1 p.m. in Downtown Madison and finishing on Martin Luther King Blvd. with a cut off time of 12:05 a.m. and an average finishing time of four hours and 30 minutes. Among the best spots to watch the runners are along State Street and the exterior of Camp Randall Stadium, the Lakeshore Path, and the finish line on Martin Luther King Blvd.

According to the GMCVB, the athletes’ overall average time for all three events combined is 13 hours and 15 minutes.

For interested volunteers and spectators, course maps are available here.

Monona Terrace features prominently in the five-day event, as it will be the site of several related programs and events, including the Ironman Village, the official Ironman Store, the Trek Bike Store and Tech Service Center, a massage room for the athletes, and the Sept. 10 awards ceremony and volunteer appreciation party.

Editor’s note: Ironman officials released the following statement regarding the event and its courses on Sept. 5 — “Due to the severe rain and flooding that the Greater Madison area and Dane County have experienced over the past several weeks, it has become necessary to make some modifications to the first and last three miles of the bike course due to the flooding on the trails. While the swim course and run course remain unchanged, removal of debris and monitoring the water quality remain top priority. Ironman officials are continuing to work with the local authorities to closely monitor the current situation. We remain committed to creating a safe and enjoyable experience for the event scheduled to take place on Sept. 9.

“For additional information, please continue to check the Ironman Wisconsin event website and Facebook page for updates.”

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