Once again, the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel will be the headquarters hotel for the Ford Arizona Ironman. The Tempe Mission Palms Hotel is expecting over 400 athletes to arrive at the Hotel between November 16-20, 2011.
This grueling, yet inspiring display of athleticism features a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and a complete marathon (26.2 miles) all in succession. All transitions and finish line are at Tempe Beach Park. Athletes have 17 hours to complete the event.
The triathlon starts with the swim in Tempe Town Lake. The deep-water start is just east of the Mill Avenue bridges and begins by heading east. The rectangular course will go just past Rural Road bridge and first turn north and then west all the way back under the Mill Avenue bridges, where another turn south will put athletes on course to head straight back to shore and transition at Tempe Beach Park. Water temperatures should be in the low to mid-60s F.
The bicycle portion is a relatively flat three-loop course that 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. To finish, the competitors run a marathon course set up around Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park.