Lake Placid – Participants in the annual Ironman Lake Placid race have learned not to be fooled by the beautiful scenery on these competition courses in Upstate New York.
Swimming, biking and running in the shadow of the Adirondack Mountains definitely has aesthetic appeal, but if athletes are not ready on July 23 for the Lake Placid Ironman course, totaling 140.6 miles, the result can be punishing.
For nearly 25 consecutive years, the 2.4-mile swim in Mirror Lake begins the race for over 2,000 competitors. It’s followed by 112 miles of biking and a full, 26.2-mile marathon. And while the scenery here is unmatched, the final two legs of this endurance battle are among the most strenuous in Ironman’s lineup of global events.
As of this writing, the in-season training window is nearly four months in length. As soon as winter departs and spring temps appear, competitors look for the best places to stay for Ironman Lake Placid. And it’s not just for July, but for the many weekends that find athletes coming to the region for training on the actual courses prior to race day.
Ironman Lake Placid – where to stay
The Mirror Lake Inn has traditionally been one of the top Lake Placid Ironman hotels. Every day, our AAA Four Diamond retreat is known for its cleanliness and friendliness. Ironman athletes and families also appreciate the inn’s quiet demeanor and luxe accommodations that allow racers to gain critical rest before and after July 23. The resort’s location is also appealing; it overlooks the swim course – you can enter the lake from our private beach – and is just down the street from the transition area for the biking and running legs of the event.
The bike segment
The bike leg is held over two loops, each measuring 56 miles, and includes a long, screaming high-speed downhill section on Route 73 from Lake Placid to Keene, followed by a tortuous climb into Upper Jay.
It culminates with an 11-mile rise from Wilmington, past the entrance to Whiteface Mountain, through the winding and narrow Wilmington Notch, moves along the famous Ausable River, up the wall of Route 86 as the athletes get closer to Lake Placid and a ride past the 1980 Olympic Center, site of the Miracle on Ice. That 11-mile section alone offers an 850-foot vertical ascent.
Run to the finish
The run is a similar challenge, with a pair of 13-plus mile loops. Again, the scenery is memorable and the sites on course are famous, including the Olympic ski jumps. That portion of Route 73 presents one of two severe climbs in the final stages of each loop. The other is on Sentinel Road in Lake Placid with another attention-getting uphill leg burner to a traffic light. That signal will tell you that the transition area and finish line are very near.
Speaking of the finish, all athletes must complete the entire course by midnight to get an official result. The top finishers in each age group will qualify for the World Championship held annually in the fall in Hawaii.
So the stage is now set. There are less than four months to race day. You know what you have to do between now and then.
We wish you the best of health and preparation on your way to an Ironman PB!