Lake Placid – Participants in the annual Ironman Lake Placid race have learned not to be fooled by the beautiful scenery on these courses in Upstate New York.
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.
The bike leg is held over two loops, each measuring 56 miles. The segments include 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 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.
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 section 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 section to a traffic light. That signal will tell you that the transition area and finish line are very near.
The challenge of the Ironman Lake Placid courses brings athletes here each weekend starting in May. Familiarity breeds confidence. If a racer can spend additional time on these courses prior to July 24, they will see the benefit on race day. It’s a formula that has evidenced itself in the nearly 25 years this event has been held in the two-time Olympic village.
The Mirror Lake Inn is well-positioned for competitors to take advantage of pre-race training in the spring and summer. For ease of access, the AAA Four Diamond rated property overlooks Mirror Lake where the Ironman race begins. Athletes can literally walk from their rooms into the lake. Water temperature was 66 degrees in late May.
If you want time on the bike course, ride out of our property and quickly tackle that layout. Finally, just a few minutes away by vehicle, you can start striding the run course.
Typically, families accompany the athletes and are their support team making the Mirror Lake Inn an attractive option for training weekends as well as the race itself. Please contact us at
518-523-2544 and our onsite reservationists will guide you through the options that will suit your needs.
With less than two months and counting to race day, we wish all athletes the best of health and preparation on your way to an Ironman PB!
(Photos courtesy of Ironman)