ROANOKE, Va. – In less than a month, thousands of athletes will ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Ironman 70.3 triathlon.
On Sunday, athletes from across the nation took advantage of the weekend to get a feel for the 56-mile bike course.
It will be a familiar view for Kim Herbert even though she traveled hundreds of miles away from Boston, Massachusetts.
“It’s nice to have a race in Virginia,” Herbert said. “Back in my home state to enjoy. Having my family cheer me on which I don’t always have the opportunity now that I live in Massachusetts.”
Herbert said the toughest part of the race will be the one-lap swim at Carvins Cove Reservoir.
With limited access to pools this year because of the pandemic, other athletes like Jen Jordan, from Christiansburg, said it’s harder to train.
“Overcoming obstacles and challenges is what triathletes do,” Jordan said. “And this is just our way proving we can overcome another obstacle, and we can come back stronger.
While Jordan is going to focus on hydration and the hills, the wind is another factor Allison Paul, from North Carolina, said she will be looking out for.
“I think the wind is going to be hard,” Paul said. “I think the climb is going to be hard. But it’s a beautiful course. Race workers have done a tremendous effort to get it ready.”
The athletes said they are ready to run past the finish line and agreed that Roanoke would be an ideal location for future races.
Carillion Clinic is sponsoring this year’s triathlon and still needs hundreds of volunteers.