IRON MAN Whistler is one of the busiest times of the summer season and it’s not hard to see why. On July 30th, 2,500 participants will descend upon Whistler to test their running, swimming and cycling ability in the short and long race options. By crossing the finish line, the participants will earn the title of IRON MAN and if they are among the top 40, they will have a qualifying spot in the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Watching and cheering on the athletes in this race can be exhilarating and inspirational; However, the expansive size of the course and traffic closures can make seeing all the action a challenge. There is a way to see it all, we’ve got your guide to IRON MAN Whistler.
The swimming course takes place on Alta Lake. Here racers are required to do two loops of the lake which equals 3.8km. Competitors will enter the water as early as 6:40am and they have a maximum of time of 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete this leg of the race!
Spectators Tip: To view the swimming portion, head over to Rainbow Park. There is no parking during the race so it is advised to walk or take one of the shuttles running from Lot 4.
Upon completing the swim portion of the race, participants make the transition to biking. There are change tents and even wet suit strippers that aid in getting everyone on their bikes as fast as possible. The biking course is 180km long so the athletes are going to need all the cheering they can get.
Spectators Tip: The course runs from Rainbow to the Callaghan Valley and then back through Whistler on the way north to Pemberton. Since it is such a long leg, there is a number of great spots to take in the action and support the athletes. Remember, there is limited vehicle access.
The final portion of the race is the run which takes athletes through a two-loop (42.2km) course along the Valley Trail past Lost Lake and Green Lake with a return through Whistler Village at the halfway point of the run. Athletes then repeat the same loop a second time before finishing at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.
Spectators Tip: This leg skirts the village so there is plenty of opportunity to help the participants get through the last stretch.
The finish line is located on Blackcomb Way. Once the athletes pass under the arches, their total time will be documented and their place as an IRON MAN will be finalized.
Spectators Tip: Watching the participants cross the finish line is extremely rewarding. Since athletes can be found completing the race well into the late hours of the evening, it is suggested to stay in Whistler until Monday. Whistler’s boutique hotel, the Adara is nestled in the heart of all the IRON MAN action!