LAKE PLACID – Last month we began our outline of Lake Placid summer events, highlighting the Lake Placid Horse Shows, road races, lacrosse tournaments and the Can-Am Rugby Tournament. Now we’re ready to tackle the two Ironman triathlons that Lake Placid hosts each year.
Our two-time Olympic village began hosting ViewSPORT Ironman Lake Placid in 1999 at the full distance of 140.6 miles (swimming, biking and running). The community opened its arms in late July and the competitors came….and they haven’t stopped. So much so, that another triathlon was added to the Lake Placid summer events lineup in 2017. This one, however, is a half triathlon (total 70.3 miles) that’s held the Sunday after Labor Day.
The July race, at the full distance, is the longest running Ironman event in North America. It sells out quickly with well over 2,000 athletes converging on Mirror Lake at daybreak for the 2.2 mile swim leg. That’s followed by a 112-mile bike ride (a 56-mile loop ridden twice) that features an hellacious, high-speed downhill descent on Route 73 leaving Lake Placid, followed immediately by a punishing, long climb up Springfield Road. A full 26-mile marathon concludes the event. The marathon leg must end by midnight for racers to be credited with an official finish.
There is a professional division each year that sees racers battle for prize money; male and female pros alternate each year for the dash for cash. However, what is offered annually is the chance to qualify for the World Championship in Hawaii. Athletes can advance in their respective age groups.
The September race in Lake Placid uses the same courses cut in half and ends by 5 PM.
As most are aware, Lake Placid is more than an Ironman community. Much more takes place. For a complete listing please log on to our local visitors bureau ; for activities to do log on to the hotel website.