The 2015 Louisville IRONMAN triathlon will be moved from its usual August date to Oct. 15 in order to provide athletes with cooler temperatures. Race organizers are happy with the move, saying it will serve as a “premier fall race” for participants. In addition, the Louisville Sports Commission has committed to host the event until at least 2019.
“The date shift of IRONMAN Louisville will provide athletes with more comfortable air and water temperatures – improving race conditions and the overall athlete experience. We look forward to continuing to work with the incredible people of Louisville to deliver this first-class event,” Andrew Messick, CEO of IRONMAN, stated in a press release.
Louisville has been hosting an IRONMAN race since 2007. The event serves as an opportunity for 50 athletes to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii. Over the past seven years, Louisville has made the event its own. For instance, the Louisville IRONMAN was the first full-length race to offer athletes a “rolling start” to the swim, allowing professionals to start first, preventing the chaos and danger of 2,000 athletes jumping in the river all at once. The IRONMAN website also lauds Louisville’s 112-mile bike course, which takes riders into Oldham County and through the city of LaGrange where “thousands of spectators cheer on the athletes in a Tour de France-like atmosphere.”
Participants then finish the race with a 26.2 mile run that snakes throughout downtown Louisville and eventually finishes on Fourth Street Live!.
Anyone who has lived through a hot and humid August in Louisville can certainly understand the motivation for moving the date of the 140.6-mile race. Previous years have seen athletes struggle with the heat, particularly in 2012 when the temperature topped out around 97 degrees.
The IRONMAN has emerged as an important event for the city, both economically and as an opportunity to show off the many attractions Louisville offers. Mayor Greg Fischer believes the date change will only increase the event’s staying power.
“IRONMAN is a great event for the city, both from an economic and social perspective,” Fischer said in the press release. “We get to showcase all that’s great about Louisville while meeting these hard-charging athletes, who are often business executives, entrepreneurs and leaders in their respective fields.”
“Since 2007, more than 16,000 IRONMAN participants from across the United States and around the world have visited our community and spent approximately $30 million in the local area,” added Karl Schmitt, executive director, Louisville Sports Commission.
The 2014 Ironman Louisville is scheduled for Aug. 24, and registration for 2015 starts at noon the following day at ironman.com/louisville.