The IRONMAN triathlons offer the opportunity for local and international athletes to test their endurance in an intense competition. While the highly anticipated IRONMAN Chattanooga event will draw thousands of athletes to compete on Sunday, September 25, it’s also great fun for spectators. If you’re going to be in the area, here’s a list of some of the great attractions and events.
Before the Race
Head to Ross’s Landing in downtown Chattanooga on Friday, September 23, to check out the sights. If you arrive early, take a look at the memorabilia in the official IRONMAN store, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the event.
Starting at 5 p.m., you can enjoy live music. The opening ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and is a great way to learn a little more about the IRONMAN Chattanooga competition and the athletes competing in the event.
Watching the Events
Of course, seeing the athletes compete is the greatest part of the day. To see the swimming area, walk down to the Chattanooga Riverwalk. The race sponsors provide shuttles for spectators get to at the swim start, or you can walk 2.6 miles up the river along the trail to watch this part of the competition.
For the biking portion, the best views are at Historic Chickamauga, which you can get to via a shuttle. For the run, you’ll have a variety of viewing areas from which to choose. Your kids can enjoy some playtime at the Ross’s Landing Park before you take a quick walk up Riverfront Parkway to access the area where the runners start their second lap. The nearby Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge and Barton Avenue are also top spots for watching the race.
Grabbing a Bite
If watching all the activity gets you a little hungry, go across the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge to Frazier Avenue. This street is lined with local restaurants that give a good view of the running portion of the event. Make sure to arrive early, though, since the lines can be long during race day.
After the Event
After the race ends, stick around for an extra day to watch the award ceremony at the Chattanooga Convention Center. If you have more time, take advantage of the many outdoor activities in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. Here’s our list to get you started.
Even if you’re not competing, IRONMAN Chattanooga offers plenty of events and excitement for spectators. For more information, check out the event’s spectator guide.