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Ironman returns Sunday

Ironman triathletes begin their 2.4-mile swim in Mirror Lake during the 2014 race. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID — This village will host the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon again on Sunday, July 25 after taking a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Founded in 1999, Ironman Lake Placid is the longest-running Ironman race in North America.

According to Ironman Regional Race Director Scott Langen, around 2,000 athletes will compete in Ironman this year. The race features a 2.4-mile swim on Mirror Lake, 112-mile bike ride through the towns of North Elba, Keene, Jay and Wilmington, and a 26.2-mile run in and around the village of Lake Placid. Competitors will finish on Main Street in front of the Olympic Speedskating Oval

The race will begin at the Mirror Lake municipal beach in Lake Placid with the swimming portion of the triathlon. The first group to start will be the professional men, who will start at 6:15 a.m.

They will be followed by the professional women. The age groups will start in waves at 6:30 a.m.

Due to many roads being blocked off, parking will be available at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid Elementary School, Lake Placid firehouse, Elderwood and Adirondack Health parking lots.

There will be a free shuttle bus access for athletes and spectators.

The shuttles will drop off spectators at the parking lots, Cummings Road and between Northwood School and the North Elba Town Hall. To ride the shuttles, people must wear a mask. The busses will run from 4:30 a.m. to midnight.

Spectators can also download the the Ironman Tracker app on their smart phones to track the times of the athletes participating. The app also allows users to find athletes on an interactive map.

More information

This year’s race offers a total professional prize purse of $100,000 and 150 qualifying slots to the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Live event coverage will be broadcast on Facebook Watch via the Ironman Now Channel

The Ironman Village Expo will be held at the North Elba Show Grounds, opening Thursday.

The village of Lake Placid, the town of North Elba set forth new requirements for athletes in order to participate in the event by showing proof of vaccination. However, in lieu of proof of vaccination, athletes will now also be allowed to participate at the race by providing a negative COVID-19 test that has been taken within 72 hours of arriving to their pre-selected athlete check-In time

The youngest female athlete will be 19-year-old Sarah Adelson of Gansevoort. The youngest male athlete will be 18-year-old Kyle Kirshen of Glastonbury, Connecticut. The oldest female athlete will be 71-year-old Kathleen Peck of Goshen, Connecticut. And the oldest male athlete will be 81-year-old Dean Paxson of Sun Lakes, Arizona.

The Ironman Foundation will distribute more than $45,000 in charitable giveback to nonprofit initiatives and groups in the greater Lake Placid region in conjunction with the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon. This year’s grant funding brings the total giveback to more than $1.75 million in the region since inception.

Volunteerism grants will be awarded to multiple local groups, and community grants will be awarded to two organizations within Lake Placid and the surrounding areas. The village of Lake Placid Appearance Committee will receive a $2,500 Ironman Foundation Community Grant to assist with beautification and safety work at Peacock Park and the Mirror Lake waterfront.

In addition, the Ironman Foundation will host its “We’ve Got Your Backpack” service project in Ironman Village. Athletes and guests will have to opportunity to pack a backpack with schools supplies which will be given to students from Lake Placid Central School District.