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Ironman Arizona

Triathlon: Swim 3.8km, Bike 180km, Run 42km

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This race stands out as one of the most urban races in North America.

The race kicks off with a single-loop swim in Tempe Town Lake. The rolling start is just west of the Mill Avenue bridge and begins by heading east. The rectangular course will go just past Rural Road bridge and first turn north and then west all the way back under the Mill Avenue bridges, where another turn south will put athletes on course to head straight back to shore and transition at Tempe Beach Park.

The relatively flat three-loop course heads out of Tempe and zig-zags out to the Beeline Highway, which gradually climbs approximately 10 miles through the Sonoran Desert to the turnaround just before Shea Boulevard. Athletes then return to Tempe Beach Park to start their second and third laps.

The run course is flat and spectator-friendly with a few small rollers, as athletes wind their way around Tempe Town Lake and through Papago Park. Athletes should be sure to pack a visor or hat in their T2 bags, as the course offers very little shade.

Review summary

2 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


Erik T
"Well the race is in Arizona and most of the athletes would probably start..."


Dave M
"The Salt River is cold to me, 60 degrees this year. Wore a neoprene cap under..."
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How to enter the Ironman Arizona

  1. ironman triathlon

    Triathlon: Swim 3.8km, Bike 180km, Run 42km
    Standard Entries

Ironman Arizona route

Event Details

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Ironman Arizona weather forecast

Partly cloudy throughout the day.

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Ironman Arizona reviews (2)

4.9 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the event in 2018

    The Salt River is cold to me, 60 degrees this year. Wore a neoprene cap under my swim cap and also wished I had put on warming cream for my calves which cramped a few times as well as maybe swim booties. I also wore earplugs or else I'd get vertigo out of the water. The sun was in our eyes 2/3 of the way though not a big issue for this course. For the bike course, practice being in aero for long periods because you will be on this course, even possibly near the end of the out section with more elevation. I got uncomfortable for the 3rd o&b and couldn't maintain being aero as much. Run is not flat but no real challenging hills per se. A few of the short "ups" surprised me but nothing I couldn't handle. Be prepared for the long gradual climb on the back end. Also, the dirt sections along the river were uneven and one has to watch your footing. I did like the courses overall and hope to see what I could do another year now that I know.
  • Did the event in 2018

    Well the race is in Arizona and most of the athletes would probably start running around lunch time so expect it to be hot. The course has no shade to so I suggest wear a hat or whatever headwear you're comfortable wearing. The course is well marked too so you dont have to worry about directions.