What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Ironman race returns to Raleigh

Posted May 24, 2014
Updated June 1, 2014

— More than 3,000 athletes were swimming, biking and running through parts of Chatham and Wake counties on Sunday morning as the Ironman race returned to Raleigh for the second consecutive year.

The competition began at 7 a.m. with a 1.2-mile swim off Vista Point Beach at Jordan Lake. After getting wet, athletes will embark on a 56-mile bike ride through eastern Chatham and southern Wake counties. They will enter the Raleigh city limits on Lake Wheeler Road before finishing their ride on West Lenoir Street.

Competitors will finish the event with a 13.1-mile half-marathon on a double-loop course that begins on East South Street and ends in front of the Marriott hotel on Fayetteville Street.

In 2013, competitors from more than 30 countries descended on the Triangle for the inaugural event.

Raleigh police and other law enforcement agencies will shut down several streets during the event: 

  • Inbound traffic on Dawson Street will be detoured to Jones Street. Drivers can access the southern part of the city by using North Bloodworth Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard.
  • Dawson Street will be closed from Jones Street to Morgan Street, but will be open from Morgan Street to Lenoir Street.
  • One lane of Wilmington Street will be open from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Edenton Street. All Edenton Street traffic will be directed to turn north on Harrington and West streets where drivers can access Peace Street and Capital Boulevard and the northern, eastern and western parts of the city.
  • The lanes going west on Edenton Street will be open to vehicular traffic and will be reduced to one lane beginning at Edenton/Person Street to West Street, where traffic will be detoured north on West Street.
  • Motorist will have access to the western part of the city by using Peace Street.
  • Lake Wheeler Road at Tryon Road will be closed between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to vehicles heading north.
  • Eastbound Tryon Road vehicular traffic will be able to make either a right turn south onto Lake Wheeler Road or a U-turn at the intersection. Message boards will be placed on Tryon Road prior to the Lake Wheeler Road intersection.
  • The Interstate 40 West exit ramp at Lake Wheeler Road is open to Farmers Market traffic. Motorists will be able to turn into Centennial Drive. However, the inside lane will be coned off from the exit ramp to Centennial Drive.

Cars will not be allowed to cross the race route during the event. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Western Boulevard, Peace Street and Wilmington Street will remain open.


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  • Kathleen Volcjak Jun 2, 2014
    user avatar

    The city has an obligation to inform drivers of not just road closures but alternate routes. The information posted by WRAL and on the City of Raleigh's own website completely neglects traffic coming in from the south on I-40W (except notice for the closure of Exit 297). Signage indicating the closure of McDowell AND Dawson Streets and giving alternate routes to, say, the downtown museums and Cameron Village would have helped tremendously. Signage at Hillsborough St closures indicating the nearest crossing point would also have been helpful.

    Showing the road closures and detours on a MAP, rather than listing a verbal description, would also be more helpful (I should not have to go the Ironman site for this information!!!). I have been driving in Raleigh a long time and still had to check the map.

    Good signage is not rocket science. Lack of signage is thoughtless and rude and inhospitable.

    Raleigh, if you are going to host big events, do it right or not at all.

  • SlyBlackheart Jun 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Hotels and restaurants, sure. But that money doesn't go right back out. Servers, housekeepers, bellmen and other employees all receive tips and spend those tips locally. Contractors, private security, police and EMS are all paid and that stays locally too. Athletes and their supporters come here from all over the country and beyond. They're not here for 6 hours and gone. They come in the night before (or earlier), explore the area, buy stuff (locally), race and often spend another night, repeating the explore/buy cycle. They buy gas and plane tickets. For those who don't understand the value of a venue like this, just stop and give it some thought. Hosting events like this is a win for the whole area, and shows how Raleigh continues to be a go-to destination.

    Is it an inconvenience? Sure. But so is a car accident or a storm with downed trees across the road. Signs have been posted for over a week, so you've had plenty time to plan.

  • Alexia Proper May 31, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I've always wondered about that for other events. I'm guessing the hotels and restaurants. But most of those are national chains, so profit goes right back out.

  • Thomas Goodwin May 30, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Tons of money coming in? To whom? Not me for sure.

  • Fuzzcaster May 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    It's an Ironman event. Don't blame WRAL because World Triathlon Corporation chose to dilute the Ironman brand by calling their 70.3 events and even their shorter 5150 series races "Ironman". Even if WRAL was in the wrong, I'm not offended by a news story or non-triathletes wearing Timex Ironman watches. The "real" ironmen that get offended by such minutia and think they're better than mere 70.3er's give the sport a bad name.

  • Pepe Silvia May 30, 2014

    Wahhhhh.... I'll be mildly inconvenienced for a few hours of one day of my entire life by an event bringing in tons of money for the area because I don't know know how to look at a map and plan accordingly!

  • Classified May 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Check out the banner in one of included picture, notice the “IRONMAN 70.3”. Hopefully this clears up the notion of any perceived slights to the full course ironmen.

  • European American May 30, 2014

    If the police would do a better job of allowing cars to cross intersections when there is a large gap between racers, then the problems would ease. Last year was a complete failure be the police on Hwy. 55. Did not allow anyone to pass through intersections until ALL the racers had passed that point. There were several times when a gap of at least 5 mins. passed between racers. More than enough time to allow a few cars to move on. Police would also not allow drivers to turn around. So everyone was stuck for about 2 hrs. sitting on Hwy 55.

  • lopo May 30, 2014

    This is sponsered by ironman but it is not an Ironman. It is a half a ironman thus 70.3 miles. Real ironman athletes go 140.6 miles. WRAL should try to get it right, it is a slap in the face for every ironman to call these half's ironman.

  • James Kirby May 30, 2014
    user avatar

    personally i think its a good thing. Don't see how any resident of the area could have a problem with a weekend that will generate a half million dollars in revenue youre talking about 3000 participants and family and friends coming to the region to spend money. Don't know how that's a bad thing. Plus with 30% of the world now being obese we should probably start displaying more endurance/healthy events