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Ironman Wisconsin Spectator Guide

Ironman Wisconsin Spectator Guide

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Published by: Djgoldnboy on Aug 18, 2008
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09/21/2010

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PARKING / SWIM COURSE Parking on race morning isn’t nearly as bad as you might think.

Where ever you are coming from, head towards downtown Madison to the Capital. When you get to the Capital, your best bet would be to park to the north of the Capital building. (You can park south to get a “closer” spot, but expect more traffic, more people, etc.) To watch the swim, you can find a spot anywhere along the Monona Terrace. The roof-top will be packed with people. The North Helix can be a good spot to watch from. Ground level can also be good. If watching the swim start is not that important to you, you won’t have to get down there until 7:30-7:45 in order to start seeing everyone come out of the water. RACE START: 7:00 Chris’s ETA: Swim Finish: 8:15-8:30

Hint: The lady atop the Capital Building faces all the action (swim course, transition, finish line, etc.) So if you get turned around while downtown, look up at the Capital, the lady up there will point you in the right direction!

TIME TO HEAD TO THE BIKE COURSE – Two Options (The Hills or Verona) Your only task here is to get from where you parked (probably near the Capital) onto the Beltline (Highway 12/14, the Orange Highway). Depending on where you parked, your best bets will include John Nolen Dr or Park St. Once you decide where you want to go (one of the hills or Verona), get on the Beltline and head WEST. If you plan on hills, go to the page below, if you plan on going to Verona, skip to option two, two pages below. (Just an FYI, the bike takes up a major portion of the day, 6 and half to 8 hours most likely for me, so feel free to move around the course if you like. Perhaps go to Verona for the first loop, then come on out to the hills the second loop, or vise versa.)

MAP TO IRONMAN BIKE HILLS – Option 1 Now put on your running shoes pick your hill to cheer the bikers up them! The first is Old Sauk, long and gradual. The second is Timber Line, short and steep. The last is Midtown Road, a hair longer and steep. The black dots represent the bike course. It a 2 loop course so we will pass through TWICE. People will pass through the same point no less than 2 hours apart. For most people more like 2:15-2:45 or more. After the first pass, it is very easy to switch hills, just follow the map below (However please do not expect to be able to drive on the course, use the round about routes to switch hills.) Chris’s ETA’s – Old Sauk – (Mile 44) – 10:25 - 10:40 Timber Line (Mile 45) – 10:30 – 10;45 Midtown Road (Mile 49) 10:45 – 11:00 As for the second loop on the course, hopefully I’ll be back around in 2 and ½ hours give or take 5-10 minutes after I pass the first time. These could change DRASTICALLY depending on what the day brings, but it should be a loose guideline hopefully.

MAP TO VERONA – Option 2 During race day, Verona is perhaps just as exciting as Madison itself. The town goes all out. There’s a small festival with plenty food, things for kids to do, a DJ, and even some announcing of the race by Mike Reilly, the voice of Ironman. The only downside to this part of the course is it’s one of the flatter parts of the course, so I’ll be going through this much faster than the hills, where I’ll be going, much, much, much slower to work my way up them. If you elect to go to Verona, below is probably the best way to get there. My ETA’s for Verona for the first lap to enter Verona is 11:05-11:25.

Upon arriving in Verona, if you decide to go there, take a right at Enterprise Drive of off Verona Ave, and then park anywhere in the suburb that is north of Llanos St (blue circle area), we parked there last year and it was easy to find a spot. The entertainment will be just south of the cemetery on the map below and the yellow circle is the small incline where we watched everyone last year. (The red line is obviously the bike course.) Like I said Verona is pretty flat, but if you walk up to where the yellow circle is, there’s a little incline, so I will not be going as fast as I will be if you would see me on “M” on the decline.

BACK TO MADISON FOR THE RUN COURSE Time to run! The run course is very spectator friendly. It is compact, and for the most part the runners will pass the same point 4 times over the course of the marathon (6 times if you do the Johnson to State Street turn around viewing points correctly). ETAs here, all bets are off, at this point I’ll be “happy” to be able to shuffle as slow or as fast as I can. Parking: To avoid runners, I’d recommend coming into downtown as follows. Take the Beltline to John Nolen Dr (151). Head towards downtown. After you go under the Monona Terrace, turn left and head towards the North Side of the Capital Building again. This will be a great place to park to avoid the course. (Alternative would be to park in the Kohl center parking lot (below on the map) and walk to the course, we did this last year and it worked great, but it is a little bit of a walk, just fair warning). The Course: The marathon begins at the Monona Terrace (where the swim was). Around the capital, towards the Kohl Center (basketball arena), to Camp Randall (football stadium), through campus to the to the bike path, up Observatory Hill (argh!), down State St, turn around, and back along almost the same course. Then we get to do it all again! Food: If you need some food, there are tons of places along State St to get some dinner, where runners will be going up and down the street while you dine. Finish: On Martin Luther King Drive just south of the Capita by the red square, a site not to be missed!!

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