Ironman triathlon returns to Madison

Posted by Samantha Haas on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 9:47pm.

If someone asked me to go for a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26-mile run, I'd maybe be able to over the course of a year. Or two. 

And yet thousands of triathletes from around the world are about to accomplish that feat in just one day. They've been training for the Ironman Wisconsin, which returns to Madison on Sunday, Sept. 10.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the event without actually signing up, but you may still break a sweat.

Cheer them on!

Whether or not you personally know an Ironman, tens of thousands of fans show up each year to cheer them on during the grueling race. It starts Sunday at 6:40 a.m. and goes all day, ending on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., where there will be a finish line party from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Grab a seat at your favorite downtown restaurant or head to the Capitol City Trail or Monona Terrace for the best views of them swimming in Lake Monona and running near Capitol Square.

Keep in mind there will be limited parking downtown on race day, so consider leaving your car at the Alliant Energy Center for $7 and taking a free shuttle from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m., and be sure to allow for extra time.

You can also take a free shuttle from Monona Terrace to Verona to see them bicycle twice through the city, which will hold its annual Loop Festival on Main Street from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Show your support in another way by volunteering. Ironman Wisconsin relies on more than 3,500 volunteers to function properly, from helping athletes get registered to providing them with food and beverages along the route.

For information, visit the volunteer tent in the Ironman Village, which is open during the day from Sept. 7-11, or click here.

Run for fun

The whole family can get in on the fun by running a route near Capitol Square on Saturday, Sept. 9.

The Madison Area Sports Commission will host the IronKids Wisconsin Fun Run at 9 a.m. Kids ages 3-13 can participate in the half-mile race around Capitol Square and get a T-shirt, medal and goodie bag. Registration is $15 online and $20 on-site.

Then at 11 a.m., Ironman will present the Madison Friends and Family 5K for ages 10 and up. The course starts at Law Park and goes along the Lake Monona trail toward Olin Park and back. Athletes will receive a race bib and gift. Registration is $20 online and $25 on-site.


While Ironman competitors eat for free, family and friends of Ironman can purchase food tickets for a Celebration Day breakfast, held from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at Monona Terrace. 

Stick around for the awards ceremony and announcement of the 40 age group qualifying slots for the 2018 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, followed by a volunteer appreciation party. There will also be entertainment, vendors and merchandise for sale.

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