Since 2002, competitors in the Ford Ironman Wisconsin have raced through the state's capitol city of Madison and the surrounding areas of Dane County.
Madison, well-known for its bike-friendly environment, is frequently recognized as one of the healthiest cities in America. Nestled among rolling hills, farmland, and forest, the "Mad City" is also characterized by a lively spirit, in large part due to the over 40,000 students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Photo courtesy of asiphoto.com
From the eclectic mix of shops and restaurants on State Street to the spectator-friendly Monona Terrace that overlooks the first leg of the race, Madison is a favorite among athletes and fans alike. To top it all off, the Capitol building provides a dramatic backdrop for Ironman finishers.
The swim takes place in Lake Monona and commences with a mass start in the water. Athletes do two laps, turning at the starting buoy to begin their second circuit. The water is usually pretty warm, about 75 degrees Fahrenheit/24 degrees Celsius. Wetsuits will most likely be allowed.
For the 112-mile bike, riders head out to the rural areas of Dane County. Two 40-mile loops comprise the majority of the second leg, with each lap featuring three difficult climbs. There will be aid stations every 10 miles.