After the swim, athletes shed their wetsuits and go to the transition area, where their bikes and clothes are waiting. They then start the biking part. This is a photo from Ironman 70.3, which took place in Chattanooga in May. u00a0(Photo: Chlou00e9 Morrison)

It’s Ironman time again; this Sunday, thousands of competitors will run, bike and swim through areas of downtown, Riverview and the North Shore. 

The competition includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 116-mile bike ride and a 26.3-mile run, for a total of 144.6 miles. 

In past years, the event has drawn huge crowds of spectators. The event also means road closures, and some people are organizing alternative or coinciding events. 

Here’s what you need to know about Sunday. 

North Shore cheering party 
Here’s a list of places to watch the different portions of the race, but a couple of businesses have also teamed up for a cheering party near the event’s route. 

Brewhaus and Devils Backbone Brewing Co. are hosting a party from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in front of the North Shore restaurant, which is located at 224 Frazier Ave. 

Virginia-based Devils Backbone Brewing Co. expanded into Chattanooga in 2015 and can be found around town, Kelsey Randall said. 

“Who we are as a brand is about craft beer and adventure,” she said. “We’re about getting outdoors and being active-biking, hiking, all of that is in the brewery’s DNA. When thinking about something to do down here, the Ironman really fit with who we are as a brand.”

Other activities 

Public activities start Thursday evening with the Ironkids race at 6 on Riverfront Parkway. 

The Ironman Expo area will be open on the Chattanooga Green from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 

Leaders with the brewery and restaurant also reached out to another local business, Fast Break Athletics, to partner for a drawing at the event. Fast Break will donate some gear and gift cards, Randall said. 

The drawing proceeds will benefit Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga and likely help fund their climbing camp scholarships for low-income children, she also said. 

Click here for a full spectator guide. There are events starting Friday evening and continuing through Monday. The link also has helpful spectator information, such as electric shuttle service details.  

Toyota test drives 
Official Ironman automotive partner Toyota will be allowing spectators and athletes to test-drive a variety of vehicles, courtesy of Capital Toyota and Toyota of Cleveland.

The ride and drive will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Ironman Chattanooga Village, which is located near Ross’s Landing. All drivers will be accompanied by a professional right-seat driver, who will inform them about key product features.

Road closures 
The Tennessee River will be closed to pleasure crafts between Ross’s Landing and the Chickamauga Dam from 5 until 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. This includes the Rivermont Park and Tennessee Riverpark boat ramps.

Ironman starts with the swim portion at 7:20 a.m., and athletes will be transitioning to the bike race from about 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Traffic will be stopped from crossing the cyclists’ lane when they are present between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Riverfront Parkway, West 20th Street, Broad Street, Market Street and Alton Park Boulevard.  

-Riverside Drive/Riverfront Parkway between Aquarium Way and Molly Street, Chestnut Street between Aquarium Way and Riverfront Parkway, and the southbound Veterans Memorial Bridge ramp to Riverside Drive are closed now through Monday. 

-The right eastbound lane of Riverfront Parkway between Molly Lane and Market Street, the right southbound lane of Market Street between West 20th Street and West 40th Street, West 40th Street between Alton Park Boulevard and Tennessee Avenue, and the I-24 on-ramp and southbound off-ramp at Market Street will be closed. All streets crossing these routes will be controlled by Chattanooga Police Department officers.  

-The intersections of St. Elmo Avenue and Virginia Avenue at West 45th Street will be four-way stops from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday for the bike portion. Cyclists will also be on Tennessee Avenue and St. Elmo Avenue to the state line, riding with traffic.

-Several streets will be closed and have their cross streets controlled by police officers from 12:25 p.m. Sunday to midnight Monday. Those roads are:

  • Right eastbound lane of Frazier Avenue between Forest Avenue and Veterans Bridge
  • Right northbound lane of Barton Avenue between Frazier Avenue and Baker Street
  • Right northbound lane of Veterans Bridge between East Third Street and Barton Avenue
  • Right westbound lane of Amnicola Highway between Old Curtain Pole Road and Lindsay Street
  • Riverside Drive between Lindsay Street and Molly Lane
  • Battery Place off-ramp from Riverside Drive
  • Aquarium Way between Riverside Drive and Walnut Street 

Local organizers recommend that spectators park in the lots and garages surrounding downtown and use the free electric shuttle or Bike Chattanooga‘s bike share system. 

The shuttle will have extended hours for Ironman on Sunday, beginning at 4 a.m. and ending at 12:20 a.m.  There will also be extra shuttles running the route.  

Bike Chattanooga ambassadors will be at bike share stations to assist folks renting a bike.

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