Race Coverage

"The Lake Was the Only Place to Find Warmth"...


By Tad Weiss

IRONMAN WISCONSIN RACE REPORT - The 20th edition of IRONMAN Wisconsin was held on September 11th in Madison, Wisconsin. After a nice day on Saturday for the 70.3 race, a cold front pushed through and sat over the Madison area throughout the day. Temperatures were in the mid-50s, the wind blew 15 to 25 mph throughout the day, and the rain was non-stop; 3 inches in total on the day. The voice of Ironman, Mike Reilly, said it was one of, if not the worst, conditions he’d witnessed covering 200 Ironman events!...

The conditions in Lake Monona were choppy as the Pro men started at 6:45 AM, followed by the Pro women at 6:50 AM. The 1,400+ age-groupers started at 7:00 AM. With the water temp a balmy 72 degrees, the lake was the only place to find warmth throughout the day. 
maggietad.jpgThe bike course is a lollipop, 16 miles south and west out of downtown Madison to a 40-mile loop that is completed twice before heading back to the Capital. The hills in Madison are relentless. Around miles 45 and 85 there are a series of three hills that are out of the saddle, all you’ve got to get to the top. But the course rarely flattens out and features 5,000 feet of elevation change throughout the 112-mile ride. The ride back into Madison was dead into the north wind in a heavy downpour. T-2 looked like a mash tent, with the men sitting around in blankets, trying to get warm for the run and waiting for a volunteer to help them change into their running gear.

The rain continued on the run and the temperature dropped, but it was warmer than the bike! The Madison run course starts at the Capital, goes through Camp Randall stadium around Mile 4, through the campus and the bar and restaurant district and along the shores of Lake Mendota, before returning to the Capital for the start of lap 2.

A total of 1,451 athletes started the day and 1,016 finished under the 17-hour time limit, a 70% completion rate. Brent McMahon from Canada won the Men’s Pro division with a time of 8 hours 36 minutes, and Chloe Lane from Australia won the Women’s Pro division with a time of 9 hours 45 minutes. Maggie

Swanson (photos) from Excelsior, MN, won the Women’s Amateur overall with a time 10 hours 48 minutes, taking 18 minutes off of her time from 2021.

The volunteer and spectator support in Madison is unbelievable, even in horrible race conditions! We have one of the best Ironman events right in our backyard, so if you’re thinking about tackling the ½ or full Ironman distance, put IRONMAN Wisconsin on your bucket list! I can promise you the race conditions will be better next year!!