ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Ironman Triathlon in the Roanoke region returns and is attracting thousands of runners to Roanoke Valley. This comes after organizers had to cancel the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year 49 states will be represented this weekend. The event brings in participants from around the world including Canada, Mexico, and Europe. WFXR News Breana Albizu spoke with Matt Cook. Cook is the IT Business Relationship Director at Carilion Clinic and also a runner in Sunday’s event.
The event has 2,000 athletes participating this year.
Cook had this to say about the other participating runners: “I’m really just hoping people stay safe on the course. The bike on the Blue Ridge is beautiful. You want to make sure people keep their eyes on the road while they’re riding and don’t get too distracted and what not. But I really just hope people enjoy Roanoke for the weekend and get to see the all beauty we get to enjoy everyday.”
The Ironman is also a big event for spectators to come and cheer on the athletes. Drivers heading to the event on Sunday, June 6 can expect some traffic impacts. East Roanoke County/Town of Vinton between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Below are a list of road closures and traffic impacts:
- Blue Ridge Parkway between Route 43 (Buchanan) and Route 24 (Vinton) will be closed 5 p.m. Saturday through 2 p.m. Sunday.
- Beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday, the Westbound exterior lane (right lane) of Route 24/Washington Avenue will be closed from the Blue Ridge Parkway interchange to Bypass Road in Vinton. Lane is expected to reopen at 2 p.m.
- Beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday, the Interior Lane (left lane) of Washington Avenue will be closed.
- Beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday, both Eastbound Lanes of Washington Avenue/Gus Nicks Boulevard will be closed from King Street to Bypass Road. Lane is expected to reopen around 2 p.m.
- Beginning at 8 a.m., Maple Street between Washington and Jackson will be closed. Expected to reopen at 2 p.m.
- Beginning at 8 a.m., Lee Avenue between Walnut and Poplar will be closed. Expected to reopen at 2 p.m.
- Beginning at 8 a.m., Walnut Avenue will be closed to the Town Limits by Cargill. Expected to reopen at 2 p.m.
Ironman race activities this weekend include a swim event at Carvins Cove Reservoir, a bike race on roadways in the city, neighboring cities and on the Blue Ridge Parkway and a run that will follow the paved Roanoke River Greenway path along the Roanoke River.
Besides all the excitement at Ironman Village, the City of Roanoke will keep the Star perched atop Mill Mountain illuminated overnight on Saturday, June 5 to 6 a.m. on Sunday during the Ironman triathlon.
Ironman Village is located at River’s Edge right outside of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.