Ironman triathlon brings 3,000 athletes from around the world to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ironman triathlon brings 3,000 athletes from around the world to Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The athletes are already arriving in town for Sunday's Ironman Louisville triathlon.

"[It's my] first time in Louisville," said Drew Pittnter-Smith from Wisconsin. "Love the community, just heard such great things about it."

Some leaving a hurricane for another form of brutal impact.

"I'm hoping it will make me go faster," said Leslie Young from North Carolina. "So I can get to the finish and make sure they're OK." 

It's the tenth year Louisville has played host, the second year for the race to be held in cooler October instead of stifling August. 

Three-thousand athletes from 46 states and 30 different countries are registered. 

"It's just under $7 million economic impact, and that's people staying in hotel rooms and spending money in our restaurants bars and attractions," said Karl Schmitt with the Louisville Sports Commission.

The sprawling course takes competitors on a 2.4 mile-swim in the Ohio River, a 112-mile bike along River Road, to U.S. 42 and then through Oldham and Henry Counties, and a 26.2-mile run through downtown Louisville out to near Iroquois Park and finally finishing at 4th Street Live!

Drivers will see road closures all along that route starting at 5 a.m. Sunday.

It's a long and demanding race, so know that some downtown streets will be closed off until 2 a.m. Monday. All should be back open before the morning rush. 

"Sorry for being an inconvenience, but these are our guests in town and spending their money with us," Schmitt said.

The race starts at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. For a list of road closures click here. For a spectator guide if you want to cheer on the triathletes, click here.

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