While you were sleeping, nearly three thousand Ironman participants were swimming in the Ohio River in the first leg of the Ironman Louisville.
Race officials said that in addition to the nearly 200 local residents who have chosen to take part in the seventh-annual event, there will be more than 2,400 athletes from around the globe visiting. Over the course of 17 hours on Sunday, athletes ranging from 18 to 70-plus years, will be racing, officials said.
Here’s how their day is mapped out: Athletes began with a 2.4-mile swim in the Ohio River. Next is a 112-mile bike course headed out River Road and into Oldham County and through the city of La Grange. The day ends with a 26.2-mile run course in downtown Louisville.
Ironman Louisville competitor Bill Beecher told WLKY that a lot of training goes into preparation for the grueling race. “You definitely want to be swimming a couple of times a week, biking two to three times a week and running four to five times a week. That’s kind of what I do.”
The course is mostly flat, officials said, and in Louisville, runs through landmarks like Churchill Downs, Old Louisville and the University of Louisville before ending at Fourth Street Live.
If you cannot come out and watch, check in with Ironman’s Facebook updates like this one:
“First out of the water was Andrew Starykowicz, but after taking a little longer in transition, he forfeits the lead to Marcus Fernandes heading into the bike. #IMLou” Look for updates across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with that hashtag.
Ironman.com is providing video updates for each segment and well as a live blog.
And for final results, go here.
Meanwhile, if you are driving, here is a list of impacted areas, and Louisville Downtown Partnership has provided a map of areas to avoid:
WLKY contributed reporting.