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Ironman festivities begin

Swimmers enter the water of Mirror Lake at the start of last year’s Ironman in Lake Placid. (Enterprise file photo — Justin A. Levine)

LAKE PLACID — As the crowds begin to gather for the 20th anniversary of the Ironman Lake Placid, organizers say that much will remain the same except for a change to the bike course and the addition of a baby race.

Greg Borzilleri, who is the race organizer, said the swim and run courses are the same as they’ve always been, but there has been a tweak to the bike ride. An Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride and then a full 26.2-mile marathon. This year’s race will take place Sunday.

“Both the run and swim have not changed a lick, except the style of start, since 1999,” he said. “We’re still going down Van Hoevenberg Road. This year it’s a little different than last year, because last year we went through the (Whiteface Mountain) ski area up to Kid’s Kampus and back, but we’re eliminating that part.

“This year, we’re going from Cobble Mountain Lodge — the Northwood Road — this year instead of turning right, we’re going to go straight into town and basically turn around at the Sunoco station and then come back and turn left on the Northwood Road. So there’s usually a bunch of nuts hanging out, just screaming and flaunting themselves in Speedos and bikinis. So those people will get to see people turning around on the bike. So people on both the run and the bike will get to enjoy that.”

Borzilleri said there are just shy of 3,000 people registered this year, and he expects the normal contingent of 2,300 to 2,600 people to actually start the race. He also said that Ironman will not be taking over the large municipal parking lot across from the post office this year, freeing up parking.

Forrest Harrington looks strong as he rounds a corner near the Lake Placid High School during last year’s Ironman. (Enterprise file photo — Justin A. Levine)

In addition to the slight changes, kid’s events will still be held this year, as they are “dear to my heart,” Borzilleri said.

“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s one of the biggest kids’ races in the country. Last year we had over 450 kids participate and most other places have 100 or 150 kids. So we have three times that many, and it’s pretty cool.

“We have what we call a dip and dash, where they swim and run, and we keep that to about 100. This year we have a new thing they’ve asked us to do which is called the ‘Diaper Dash.’ We get a piece of brand new carpet from the carpet store. It’s basically we hope the kids crawl to a spot and we call it a race,” he laughed. “We try and get them to crawl across the carpet, so we’ll have moms with their pacifiers on the other side.”

The Diaper Dash will take place Friday at 2 p.m.

Borzilleri said there will be a women’s panel on Friday as well, as the sport hopes to increase the number of women participating. This year, the professional men will be taking part as the two sexes alternate years in Lake Placid.

Heather Jackson, a professional triathlete, celebrates winning the 2018 Ironman Lake Placid. (Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)

He also said that the race is still looking for volunteers, and that those interested can contact Bethany Valenze at ROOST for more information.

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