An iconic North American triathlon, Lake Placid offers the ultimate IRONMAN family vacation.
IRONMAN Lake Placid is the longest-running American event aside from the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Located in the beautiful Adirondack mountains, it's an accessible event every athlete should put on their bucket list.
Having hosted two Olympic Games (1932 and 1980), this charming town knows how to deliver a world-class athletic event. It's also the home of one of the most challenging IRONMAN courses with its famous Adirondack climbs.
Athletes begin with a two-loop swim in clear Mirror Lake, with the famous sight line at the bottom of the lake to guide them. Transitioning in the Olympic Speed Skating Oval to the bike, the rolling mountain views provide a scenic backdrop to the ride. Two loops of 56 miles bring competitors back to the Oval once again, where they begin their 26.2-mile run through the town and around the lake.
Lake Placid has the amenities of a large city and the convenience of a small town, offering high-end restaurants, shopping and world-class accommodations. It boasts history, approachable charm and an abundance of on-course personality.
Originally from: http://ap.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/lake-placid.aspx#ixzz48M5IkC9g
This was my first Ironman after competing in triathlons for nearly 7 years. After volunteering the year before, to experience the race firsthand from the sidelines, I signed up and trained my tail off for a year. The entire town comes out and cheers you on. The town feels like it was built to host an Ironman.
The swim in Mirror lake was great, although a little rough, tough to get separation till about 1.5 miles. The water was extremely clean and the buoys were very easy to follow. The transition was a little bit of a run from the swim exit, but nothing I couldn't handle knowing I had the bike and run ahead of me.
The bike course was hilly and challenging but overall a great ride. The water/aid stations were well stocked with the staff being very attentive to make exchanges very quickly. From volunteering the year before, it seems like most of the volunteer leaders have been doing this for years and have everything planned out and streamlined.
T2 was smooth and quick, no hiccups. The run course is 2 out and backs, each time passing by the ski jumps and through the center of the town. Once again the crowds were great and it helped being able to run by my family 4 times. Obviously weather I couldn't control, but that helped make the race that much better - 75 degrees and besides a brief downpour during the bike, dry the rest of the day.
Finishing in the olympic oval was one of the best experiences of my life. Truly a life changing experience. And going back at midnight to cheer on the rest of the athletes was awesome.
Would compete here again in a heartbeat.
The only downside is how expensive it is to rent. I paid $2500/week for a dumpy 2 bedroom, I know others who spend double that for a 3 bedroom. There are so few rooms and houses available that they go quickly. So hop on a rental when you find it.
"Overall - This was my first Ironman and I had an absolutely amazing experirence. The race course is great - particularly if you're a more timid swimmer and can handle hills on the bike. Crowd support and atomosphere are amazing. It's easy to fall in love with Lake Placid (but hard to find a place to stay - I stayed in a house 40 min away to keep costs down.)
Swim - Perfect if you're a timid swimmer. The swim start initiative was very helpful although I still got pummeled on the first lap. Second lap - the cord is there and it's amazing!! I got pulled out of the water with 2 buoys to go (the 2014 hail/rain stom) and am determined to do it again some day.
Bike - Do not underestimate this course. Highly suggest biking the course beforehand. I did not (I practiced the back 20 miles but it didn't give me a full appreciation for the cummulative effect of the stepladder hills). I am slow but still love hills and it did a number on me. The descent (miles 8 - 14) in the rain/hail was terrifying but if you drive the course beforehand and break it into legs (I used the ""trucks use low gear signs) it helps mentally. You're always doing something for a long time - descending for awhile, flats for awhile, then climb (cherries and bears) for awhile.
Run - Man what support. I'm slow so I was at the very back of the bike finishers. Support was perfect, both spectators and aid stations. There's enough aid stations but no salt pills - bring your own. I brought my own salt pills and shot blocks for between aid stations. I talk to everyone and high five everyone possible.
Finish - Best party over. I finished around 10:30 and still so many people around. The catchers are great at making sure you're okay and get enough fluids and food. (I went with french fries and chocolate milk over pizza and pretzels because I've been gluten free.)
All in all - amazing experience. Great first Ironman. But be ready for rain."