ROANOKE, Va. – Runners, bikers and swimmers will experience the Blue Ridge Mountains like never before. The second annual IRONMAN race is Sunday, June 5.
Two thousand five hundred participants will race in the IRONMAN Triathlon in Southwest Virginia. They will start by swimming at Carvins Cove, then bike through Botetourt and Buchanan and finish with running on the Greenway in Roanoke.
The race is broken down into three main parts. Participants will swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles, all equaling a total of 70.3 miles.
Brandt Bernat, operations manager for IRONMAN races, says that this race ranked in one of the top ten in North America for 70.3s last year.
“Roanoke and the event region here is an unbelievable place to host an IRONMAN. We are fortunate to be able to share those resources and availabilities here to not only the athletes but all their friends and family that come with them,” says Bernat.
Racers are coming from all 50 states and a couple of different countries to compete in the IRONMAN.
The race beings at 6:30 a.m., and it usually takes about 5 hours for racers to complete the 70.3-mile course.
Leading up to the race on Sunday, there will be the Carilion Children’s IRONKIDS Fun Run on Friday at 6 p.m.
The IRONMAN Village will be set up starting on Friday at River’s Edge Park at 12 p.m. This is where the racers will check-in and register, but there will also be plenty of fun activities for the community.
“It is free and open to the public. We have a bunch of vendors down there, food trucks. People can come in the merchandise store,” Bernat says. “Just come on in and hang out honestly. On race day, it will be open. We will have a live stream of the race down there. Star Hill will have a brewery, a beer garden down there as well.”
If you would like to come out and watch to cheer on the racers, you can do so during the biking and running portion, but no spectators are allowed at Carvins Cove for the swim. The entire race will also be live streamed for visitors at the IRONMAN Village.
With the race comes a lot of road closures. If you are having trouble navigating this weekend, Bernat recommends downloading the Waze App. He says all of the road closures are programmed in and it should reroute you around them.
For a full list of road closures, click here.