The much-hyped triathlon competition happening in Traverse City this Sunday (August 25th) will not be televised. Downtown roads—along with select backroads and sections of M-22/M-72 in the surrounding townships and counties—will be closed or become one-ways. So how's a person check out the action?

By Bob Butz, Adventurist

Thousands of vendors, fans, and some 2,500 amateurs and top triathletes from around the world are coming. So, yes, it’s fixing to be a bit crowded in downtown Traverse City this weekend. Toss in necessary road closures from 4 am to 2pm and the only thing tougher than running (and swimming and biking), the Traverse City Ironman this Sunday might be getting around downtown to watch it any place other than the start and finish lines. But for the adventurous spectators among us, here are some options:


Iron Man Swim Course




source: Ironman 70.3 Traverse City/facebook]

The race begins at 7am Sunday with a 1.2-mile swim in West Grand Traverse Bay.

The swim portion kicks off with a rolling start just north of the open space and Ironman Village, with racers exiting the water just south of the Clinch Marina before sprinting to a transition area across E. Grandview Parkway at the corner of Cass Street. (Click on the hyperlinks for more detailed maps.)







Iron Man Bike Course


[source: Ironman 70.3 Traverse City/facebook]

The swim is followed by a 56-mile bike ride out to Empire and back. The course takes athletes from the downtown Traverse City transition area and west to Cedar Run Road. Check out the bike course map here. From there it’s a back, country road race (Almira to Rayle to Fowler) before bikers take a northerly jog on scenic M-22 toward Empire and the 23.9 miles back to T.C. along M-72.

A section of M-72, namely South Benzonia Trail/CR-667 in Empire Township, will be completely closed from 8am to 12:30pm. All others will see the eastbound lane closed.  Again, for more detailed closure information, consult the IRONMAN 70.3 “Traffic Impact” list by clicking here. 

By traveling back roads to the north and south of the route, spectators looking to cheer on bikers at various stages of the course can easily keep ahead of the pack. Just consult the course map and remember that patience and Google maps on your smartphone are your friends.





 Iron Man Run Course 

[source: Ironman 70.3 Traverse City/facebook]

Upon reaching the transition area again at the corner of E. Grandview Parkway and Cass Street, athletes will begin the race’s final leg—a 13.1-mile run through downtown Traverse City and the Boardman Lake Trail. Check out the detailed run course map here.

The flat and fast, two-loop course leads athletes from downtown out along the east (or Woodmere Avenue) side of Boardman Lake. Runners complete the first out-and-back section on the east side of the lake before heading back downtown to start lap-two, which see them heading down the west side of Boardman Lake.

Runners will finish in front of the historic State Theater on Front Street in downtown Traverse City. Elite athletes are expected to finish the race in around four hours. But the majority will take around six hours.





For complete athlete and spectator information, check out the website for IRONMAN 70.3 Traverse City or their Facebook page (click here).