The inaugural IRONMAN Arizona was held on April 9, 2005, in cooperation with the City of Tempe and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. With its fast course around Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake, and spectator-friendly atmosphere, the race quickly gained popularity. Given the desert heat, the race was moved to a much cooler November race date in 2008, where it attracts a wide range of triathletes who’ve had the whole summer to train.
The race kicks off with a single-loop swim in Tempe Town Lake. Athletes will walk to the swim start, just west of transition and will self-seed according to their expected swim time. This controlled rolling start will get athletes into the water to begin their day. Athletes will walk down the ramp and into the water. Swim briefly west and then take a right hand turn to head to the north side of the lake. Follow the buoy line along the north shore just past the Rural bridge and then swim back towards the south shore. Swim back west towards the Mill Avenue bridge and exit the lake via the ramp in front of the KPMG building. Once out of the water, head west to transition.
The relatively flat three-loop course heads out of Tempe and zig-zags out to the Beeline Highway, which gradually climbs approximately 10 miles through the Sonoran Desert to the turnaround just before Shea Boulevard. Athletes then return to Tempe Beach Park to start their second and third laps.
The run course is flat and spectator-friendly with a few small rollers, as athletes wind their way around Tempe Town Lake and through Papago Park. Athletes should be sure to pack a visor or hat in their T2 bags, as the course offers very little shade.
2019 IRONMAN Arizona offers 40 qualifying slots for the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.