Ironman Wisconsin triathlon to span a full weekend for the first time

MADISON, Wis. — The 20th annual Ironman Wisconsin will span two days over one weekend for the first time ever in the race’s history.

The results of months of training for thousands of athletes will be on display next weekend, as they run, bike and swim their way through more than 140 miles of Dane County

The half Ironman will kick off the weekend on Saturday, Sept. 10, and the full triathlon will take place on the usual Sunday. In previous years, the 70.3-mile race was held earlier in the summer during June, with the exception of last year when the two competitions happened in tandem on the same course.

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Race director Ryan Richards said the shift came after feedback from participants in both events who wanted their own race.

“(The benefit is) just to be able to know exactly who their competitors are and know who they are running with or biking with out on the course,” he said, “versus the person that’s ahead of you, could be in a totally different race, with a totally different time, it just kind of plays mind games.”

The two back-to-back competitions will each have their own routes and larger traffic delays are only expected Sunday.

The 70.3-mile race on Saturday will be much shorter; bikes will be off the road by about 2 p.m. and much of the course will be away from downtown.

Richards said they’ll likely continue to split the race into two days in the future but will wait to complete a review of the changes before committing.

To commemorate two decades of the competition, organizers said they plan to have a few extra celebrations including a live panel about the legacy of Ironman Wisconsin.

Volunteers are still needed to help the event run as seamlessly as possible. If you’re interested you can sign up through Destination Madison online.