Ironman Racine Competition Means Road Closures On Sunday

Check out these maps and times to keep on top of where the road closures will be in your area.

If you are traveling on the major roads in Caledonia, Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant, Racine and Wind Point on Sunday, you would be smart to consult these maps before heading out.

The Ironman Racine triathlon will be held Sunday and 2,220 participants are expected to swim, run and bike their hearts out. This means local residents will have to cope with road closures as the race takes place and area law enforcement agencies are asking for residents to plan ahead if they expect to get where they need to go.

“It’s going to be a nightmare as far as traffic flow goes in these communities,” said Sgt. Robert Kittel, of the Caledonia Police Department. “And we’ll need residents to be patient.”

Kari Dawson, the volunteer director for the Ironman Racine competition and sports director for Real Racine, said the event would be an inconvenience because of the road closures.

The sold out event includes a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike course, and a 13.1-mile run.

The swim starts at 7 a.m., but the bicycle portion of the race would be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the run would follow the bicycle race and last until about 4 p.m. Most of the bicycle course is in Caledonia, but some of the race will be in Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant and Racine. The run starts at North Beach and goes towards Wind Point Lighthouse, which requires runners to go out and back twice along Michigan Avenue, Main Street to 3 Mile Road and back.

Click here for the swim map, the bicycle map and the run map.

Traffic will be affected and the entire road will be closed on Main Street at Three Mile Road going northeast from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Avoid that intersection of North Main and Three Mile Road if you don’t want to drive yourself nuts,” Dawson said.

Kittel suggested that people that live along the route should plan accordingly, familiarize yourself with the maps and leave their homes early if they need to be somewhere.

Alternate routes include:

  • Highway 32
  • Three Mile Road
  • North Green Bay Road

Dawson said this is the third year for the Ironman competition, which had previously been called the Spirit of Racine. They are anticipating hot temperatures.

“But we’re used to it and we are ready to go,” Dawson said.

Spectators should know that the athletes aren’t allowed to accept anything from any non-sanctioned aid stations, per the race regulations.

“But come out and cheer for them, make some noise,” she said. “The racers love it when the homeowners come out of their homes to support them.”

If you live along the race route, feel free to contribute your observations to our Twitter Feed by sending them to @caledoniapatch. We’ll also be updating our feed frequently throughout the race. You can also upload your photos to our race day story. Check back on Saturday for the URL.

JQCitizen July 12, 2012 at 05:57 PM
So back to my point, you could have it any day of the week and the people will come. It would be less intrusive other than a Sunday.
OrbsCorbs July 12, 2012 at 07:43 PM
"The Ironman 70.3 Racine Triathlon has an estimated $1.2 million impact on the Racine area economy" - prove it.. It's easy to pull number out of the air. This assault on Racine has an effect upon the wallets of certain connected businesses and people, NOT the people of Racine. This same old tired lie is trotted out whenever Racine residents wonder if having their city taken hostage for bread and circuses is worth it. If all this money pours in from all these events, why can't we afford streetlights? I have no doubt this event brings in money, but NONE for the average Racinian who has to put up with all this nonsense. The elite party on the backs of the working people of Racine, over and over and over, then lie to us about huge amounts of money coming into the city that we never see. How many permanent, sustainable JOBS doe this party create? Remember the people who miss Sunday church every year because of this event.
OrbsCorbs July 12, 2012 at 08:04 PM
All the athletic evevts that are inflicted up Racine citizens could easily be held at Pershing Park. Close off Pershing Dr, and run back and forth all you want. No, you have to close down major roads on a major day off for most people. I live on Main St. It's closed almost as much as it open during party season. I lived here long before these events were forced on us by the city's elitists.
OrbsCorbs July 12, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Why was my comment about Pershing Park deleted? Because it's true? Again, all of the athletic events inflicted upon the people of Racine could easily be held in Pershing Park. Close off Pershing Dr. and run back and forth all you want. Why do you have to ruin the day for thousands of other people who live and work here?
JW July 13, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I have no problem with an event of any sort being handled in a mildly obtrusive way... but this event takes it to an extreme... its ridiculous. If it brings in money... thats at least some consolation... but the level to which it shuts down so many public roads and highways is ridiculous and should not be allowed. I'd hate to see someone delayed in the event of a real emergency over this event as well, that would be a huge shame. Why not take some of those "millions" involved here and build a bridge or something so that there are options... hell, there has to be some temporary engineering feat/bridge option that would at least keep hwy 32 open as an alternative to the lost ability to cross 31 or 38 during the event. I have definitely been stuck in the event unable to either get south or get back north after going south. Again... it's an abuse of power to inconvenience the many thousand who live here by closing ALL major routes north and south for the benefit of a couple thousand visitors.
Frank T. July 13, 2012 at 10:59 PM
after living on the first turn of the bike route for 9 years now you learn how to get around the course and planning ahead by getting your car out early if need be out somewhere. this is nice for the bikers to have one day to use the whole road and NOT share it. notice I said ONE day the money put into the local economy is WELL WORTH the inconvenience
Stormy Weather July 14, 2012 at 02:32 AM
People... It's one or two days a year! It's a positive thing for Racine and it draws in people from all over the place. quit complaining, adjust your schedule if necessary, or go out and cheer them on!
Caledoniaanon July 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Oh for goodness sake, if you live north and need to go south go out to the interstate and get off on hwy 20. What's the big deal? If it's an emergency you don't think they'll let an ambulance/firetruck through? Get real!
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) July 14, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Thank you, Stormy! My sentiments exactly.
Tansandy July 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Let's see, you say 2200 contestants. If they each bring 2 more people with them that's 6600 people total. You say this event brings in 1.5 million dollars. So by my limited math skills, this would tell us that each person spends $2,272.00 while in Racine!! Come on, I didn't just fall off the cabbage wagon. But I will say it is a great event and yes I will be inconvenienced. But I'll get over it.
OrbsCorbs July 15, 2012 at 07:34 PM
It's a lie to keep the proles occupied while City Hall loots Racine. I grew up in Racine. Never once did I hear that we have to attract more people. Why do we have to now? There;s nothing for them here. Lower the crime rate, disband RUSD, prosecute the criminals in City Hall, lower property taxes, etc. etc. That's what will attract permanent residents to Racine. Instead, our city and the elitist organizations lie and lie to us about the effects of the parties that they throw on our dime. Racine is facing a 2 million dollar deficit. If you elitists aren't lying, how can that be? You say these events are bringing millions and millions of dollars into Racine. How can we have a deficit with all the money that these parties generate? You want positive comments about Racine? Stop lying to us. You are not "Real Racine." The people born and raised here are the Real Racine. You are just leeches on their backs.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) July 15, 2012 at 09:33 PM
@Orbs - you talk a lot of stuff, but what are YOU doing to make things better, to make a difference for the positive? Remember the saying about if you don't have a solution, then you're part of the problem. And let's remember - the county was able to keep the line on taxes this year and very well may next year as well. Events like the Ironman help make that possible.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) July 15, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Also, @Orbs - this isn't the Racine Patch so we haven't been covering Racine news. Perhaps one day we will, but for now, we are in Caledonia, Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant.
crowny2 July 17, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I'm amazed at the negative comments. 1. This is one time out of the year. Is it really that inconvenient? For one day? 2. Weekend v. weekday - so instead you would rather have it interfere with a greater number of individuals during rush hour? Weekends allow for a greater number of participants as well as ultimately minimizing the impact on the community. 3. 2200 participants from all over means at least lodging for a minimum of one night (~$220,000 if they are charged $100/ night, so that is a conservative amount), plus let's say a minimum of another $220,000 if you take into account $100 total per person for all of the meals they will eat (breakfast, lunch, dinner), which is also probably pretty low. I would be willing to wager a good number spent more lodging time (at least one more night, if not two) and therefore more money on food. I do not think it is unreasonable at all to think that will add up to $1.5 million.
crowny2 July 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Your math is off by a factor of 10. $1.5 million/6600 people = $227.27. So no, it is not that far off to think that $227/person was spent. At all.
JW July 17, 2012 at 07:30 PM
You shouldnt be amazed. A short inconvenience is based on perception. Who gets to set priority over how important the inconvenience is? Why should the recreation of 6600 supercede the activies of many more thousands of others? I do not have a problem with the notion of the event. My issue is in the extreme nature of what is all closed down. I am also surprised it is considered acceptable to have so many public workers involved (police at various locations across the route)... is that not tax payer dollars at work? But... to me that is minor. What is unacceptable is that they cut a route across so many miles that leaves no way through for most people trying to go north or south and while it was managable at some points, it was also kind of unmanageable at others. It is NOT reasonable to expect major highways to be closed with no alternate routes. Locals have learned about this, but what about people trying to travel through? My son was delayed getting to his own personal activities south of Racine (why should his activies, whatever they are, be deemed less important than those in the event?). While he was stopped a guy behind him was stopped and came out of his car to complain to the officer who was VERY snotty to the guy about the situation and kept yelling for him to get back in his car. That is just wrong. He had the right to be annoyed with this abuse of power. The event ran all the way to the lake, no way around even at the farthest eastern edge.
crowny2 July 17, 2012 at 07:43 PM
The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), that owns the Ironman brand pays the police for their time. As well as paying the medical staff that are on hand and the lifeguards that assist on the swim. So no, your tax dollars are not at work. If you have a problem with how the road closures were posted, then don't blame the event, blame the town and the media. BUT, this document was up a full 5 days BEFORE the event. Therefore, you had options to look at the map well in advance to find alternate routes. That is not the events fault that you didn't know.
Mr Angry July 17, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Orbs, that must have been the one day a year you come out of the basement, do everyone a favor and stay there. As far as the rest of the negative comments, get over yourselves, this area needs things like this, it is in fact a positive and more events that spotlight the area need to be held! Oh and Orbs unplug your computer!
JW July 17, 2012 at 08:37 PM
These are reasonable things to point out and question, even if some think it is a minor thing from their point of view. Look at a map... there are roads all over the place. Why could they not find a route that would run either more north and south... or perhaps less east and west (not ALL the way to the lake and all the way to or past I-94). I have to believe there could also be options for crossing some roads without clogging them. How about getting the rail operators to not have service down the track at Hwy 32 and utilizing that rail crossing there by having them go up the bank on one side and down the bank on the other? If it were allowed, I am sure they could add an inexpensive temporary surface to that 4 1/2 mile bridge area to make it crossable and then have Hwy 32 run traffic down its east lanes without interruption to at least provide some route through for the public. I suppose that would be too much of an inconvenience for THEM as there may not be enough room on the bridge or sidewalks for multiple racers at a time (and YES I realize it is probably not easy to get the railroad to approve giving access to that bridge). Also... the event brings in money and part of that money better be going to the costs of the officers involved... its not like average joe citizen can just plan an event and shut down ALL the roads in their neighborhood and get police to station at the various locations to keep traffic out. All for the hobby of some visitors...
crowny2 July 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM
As I said above. The costs of the officers, medical staff, life guards, etc, are all paid for by the WTC and NOT by your tax dollars. And frankly, if you were aware of the closures ahead of time, finding an alternate route really is not that difficult. So again, if you weren't notified, don't blame the event. This document was on the Patch a full 5 days before the event and after some very quick googling see that it was on other websites including realracine.org and The Journal. Finally, I would be willing to wager that the route, to get to the 56 miles of the race, has been evaluated for the minimum impact to all involved. That isn't a fact, just an opinion.
crowny2 July 17, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Just as an aside, you do realize that this is not just for amateurs but pro's race in this as well. Professional triathlete's who make their living off of races like this. Including the womens winner who is from Green Bay. AND it is an opportunity for those amateurs (or Age Groupers) to potentially qualify to move up into the elite status and/or for the National Championships. And so you are aware, the cycling race, coming your way this week, also has folks that are either pro's or hoping to be pro's. I really fail to understand why this is such a big deal. Racine is now on the list of some of the premier racing cities on the planet with this race. It is a destination for athletes from all over the world to come, race, and see what Wiconsin has to offer, and more importantly, what Racine has to offer.
Michelle M. Funkenbusch July 17, 2012 at 09:09 PM
I was a competitor at Ironman Racine and have mentioned on Facebook and to all my friends that I cant wait to go back to Racine to vacation because it was so wonderful. I am from St. Louis and never heard of Racine before this race. The beautiful beach and clear water, the nice people at the local restaurants, the neighbors who put out the lifesaving sprinklers on the run, the patience of most drivers on the road, the supportive volunteers at the aid stations... it made for a great race. Ironman is a life-changing moving event, I am thankful to have been part of your community for a couple days. The competitors are all very thankful for the residents of Racine allowing us to use 70.3 miles of the local area to race. Literally MILLIONS of people world-wide know of Racine, Wisconson now because of Ironman alone. The economic impact of a worldclass event like Ironman is immeasurable. A local Italian restaurant called Salute was booked the entire day before when I went in and even opened several hours early to accommodate triathletes. Road closures are inevitable for a race like this, but they save lives. A cyclist was just killed in Missouri last week due to a lack of road closures in a charity bike event. Be thankful to WTC for being organized in its efforts to protect the competitors. It would be terrible for Racine to be known world-wide for killing cyclists on the road during a race due to a lack of patience. Ironman is THE most organized race in the world.
JW July 17, 2012 at 09:40 PM
You know... this event is like harrassment. Just because some seem ok with it doesnt mean it is acceptable... it should be more about those who are not ok with it. Those who DO find it an inconvenience because it is NOT a public event or situation that is unavoidable... it is for the benefit of a private organization and small subset of VISITORS. It just seems wrong. Seems like something that should be voted on rather than approved to be so intrusive and just be something we all should just suck up and not complain about.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) July 17, 2012 at 09:47 PM
You know those people you voted to represent you either on the Common Council or your Village Board? They voted to allow the road closures, etc. so you did get your say in the matter ... it happened when you cast your ballot. That's how a democratic republic works.
James R Hoffa July 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Ironman got the permits, the same as any other group could petition and pay the money to do the exact same thing. How come none of you are complaining about how they close off public streets all over America almost every federal and even non-official holidays for parades and the like? Give it a rest already people - it was one day, represented a net positive for the community as a whole, and didn't disrupt anything any more than any other kind of special event does. By the logic being espoused on this board, every special event that diverts or even inconveniences traffic beyond normal capacity should be voted on by the effected constituency before it's permitted to take place. That would mean no more County fairs, no more parades, no more rallies, no more baseball games, no more football games, no more.... well, hopefully you're getting the picture by now! Are some people really that bored with nothing better to do?
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) July 17, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Let me guess - if Racine were to host the Olympics, you'd cry about that, too? I mean, honestly. @Hoffa - thank you!
Michelle M. Funkenbusch July 17, 2012 at 11:07 PM
There is no economic study that I am aware of on the impact of Ironman on Racine; however, it was a a sold out race and likely will be for years to come. About 50% of Ironmen do pre-race road trips to the event site to try out the course months before the race... so don't think it is just one visit that is factored into the economy. The Visitor's Bureau should plan post Ironman Lake Michigan fishing tours, etc. etc. for the families to do while on vacation, encouraging the athletes to stay as long as possible. The average Ironman makes over $160,000.00 and is the kind of tourist you want to have in town. Here is a study that shows the ecomonic impact on Lake Placid... which was over $6 million. http://www.roostadk.com/files/2005EconomicImpactofIronman.pdf
Jake July 18, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I used to live in Northbrook Illinois. I paid huge property taxes for things I never used. Now I pay much less tax for a better way of life. If taking a little detour keeps my taxes lower, so what!
crowny2 July 18, 2012 at 02:37 PM
You did vote for it when you voted for your representative in the city. You do not vote on every single issue individually. This is a democratic republic. You vote for individuals that you feel will vote, on average, how you want them to vote. Don't like that they did this, vote them out.
Bob July 22, 2012 at 03:58 AM
I am a competitor and have participated the past three years in this Ironman. Possibly I can give you the economic impact. First, the average triathlete comes from a home with an income average of $164k. Next, the typical stay is 1.2 days and .8 hotel nights per participant. This means every forth participant stays over two days. The average participant brings .6 additional people or more than every other has at least one more person that they bring with them. There are about $50 per person per day food costs, $56 per person lodging per night, local shopping(my wife made me go to the local Kohls and Dicks and a local garden store to shop - I spent $95 bucks at those three places). We bought has from the local gas station and the list goes on. I'm typical as a triathlete as I run a Chicago tri club and we survey our members to get these general numbers. On top of all of this is the fee that world tri (Ironman) pays to the city for its use. I don't know the number but it would be interesting to find out. The comment that this only helps the big guy is incorrect. Every restaurant and hotel in the city was packed for two days. You could see the athletes everywhere. Every waitress, policeman, etc saw the benefits. Last, not the crabby patties in this forum, but the people of Racine are really great. They sit out and enjoy the race as a world class event that it is. The people on the run are compassionate with water and cheers. Keep it up Racine people.


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