Ironman Wisconsin…Run Baby Run!

It’s Ironman Wisconsin week, and all week long, we’ve been previewing the race in The Active Zone. Today it’s the Ironman run preview.

By the time the athletes get to the run, they have already completed a 2.4 mile swim in Lake Monona and a 112 mile bike ride through the rolling hills to the west of Madison…and now it’s time for a full marathon run…26.2 miles!


The run starts at Monona Terrace and heads out Pinckney and around the square to State Street. From there, the runners wind through campus on a route that takes them past the Kohl Center…through Camp Randall Stadium…up and over Observatory Drive…up and down State Street…out Lakeshore Path…past Picnic Point and then back downtown again. It’s a 13 mile loop that they do twice | which means that at the end of the first loop, they’ll see the finish line, but have to turn and head out for another 13 miles before finally crossing the line and hearing the announcer say the words that they have been for…

 (name)   —  YOU are an Ironman!

As a specator, there are some great places to watch this part of the race | the best is at the finish line just before Midnight, when the final few racers are coming in | it’s pretty emotional, especially as you get closer to Midnight, as the runners MUST cross the finish line before Midnight to make it official.

If you can’t stay up ’til Midnight, the finish line is still a great place to watch the race…but there are other fun spots. Being that the race goes up and down State Street a few times, you might want to try to grab a sidewalk seat in front of a restaurant or bar on State Street. If you want to watch a little suffering | and cheer the runners through it | try Observatory Drive, they have to climb that hill twice. There’s a big electronic sign near the Picnic Point parking lot | as the athletes run past it, personalized messages flash on the screen. And Lakeshore path is lined with signs made by friends and family, encouraging the runners…some of my favorites from past years…

Remember That 2.4 Mile Swim?

Worst Parade EVER!

Bet You Miss You’re Bike Now!

…and in a year that the Packers played the Bears on Ironman Sunday (as they do this year)…

Ditka Would Be Done By Now!

…and my favorite…posted inside the porta-pottie…

Shouldn’t You Be Running a Marathon Right Now?