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2021 Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 bicycle course comes through Vinton on June 6

The 2021 Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge is scheduled for Sunday, June 6, 2021. The cycling portion of the triathlon event will pass through Vinton and Washington Avenue will be closed for much of the day (approximately 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).

Race weekend activities will officially begin on Friday, June 4, with athlete check-in at Roanoke’s River’s Edge Park-North. On Sunday, June 6, athletes will begin their IRONMAN 70.3-mile journey—a 1.2-mile swim, followed by a 56-mile bike ride, and then a 13.1 mile run through Roanoke and the surrounding areas.

The race begins at Carvin’s Cove Reservoir on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. for the swimming portion of the event. (Average water temperatures at Carvin’s Cove in early June are in the 70’s.) The event begins with a rolling start, where athletes self-seed based on anticipated total swim time.

Once out of the water, athletes will take on the 56-mile bike course that is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Athletes will depart from Carvin’s Cove in Roanoke County and continue east into Botetourt County towards the Town of Buchanan. It is the starting point for an epic five-mile climb on Route 43 to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance.

Athletes will ride and descend 21-miles of completely closed roads to the Town of Vinton at Route 24/Washington Avenue. They will follow Washington Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the town, until they reach Maple Street. Bicyclers will turn left onto Maple, right onto Lee Avenue and then left onto Walnut Avenue at the Vinton Farmers’ Market. They will continue on Walnut until it exits Vinton and becomes Wise Avenue in Roanoke.

The bicycle ride will end at River’s Edge Park, next to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, in the heart of Roanoke.

Athletes will close out their 70.3-mile journey when they take on a 13.1-mile run. The run course follows the paved Roanoke River Greenway path along the banks of the Roanoke River. This provides athletes shade while running through several parks along the course. The finish is conveniently in River’s Edge Park.

Carilion has released “Road Impact” information for the Ironman Triathlon as follows:

The portion of the Ironman Cycling Route within East Roanoke County/Town of Vinton will be as follows and will take place between approximately 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.:

  • Exit Blue Ridge Parkway at Washington Ave/Rte 24.
  • Follow Washington Ave, turn left on Maple
  • Turn right on Lee Ave
  • Turn Left on Walnut Ave
  • Follow Walnut until exits Vinton and transitions into Wise Ave.

Road Closures as a result in and near Vinton include:

  • Blue Ridge Parkway between Rt. 43 (Buchanan) and Rt. 24 (Vinton) will be closed 5 p.m. June 5 through 2 p m. June 6.
  • Beginning at approximately 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 6, the Westbound exterior lane (right lane) of Rt. 24/Washington Ave will be closed from the Blue Ridge Parkway interchange to Bypass Rd in Vinton.
    • Lane is expected to reopen at 2 p.m.
    • Vehicles will be allowed to travel within interior (left lane) throughout the event.
    • Cross traffic will only be allowed to cross closed lane of Rt 24 at the discretion of police officers stationed along the route when a natural break in the athletes will safely allow.
  • Beginning at approximately 8 a.m. on Sunday June 6, the Interior Lane (left lane) of Washington Avenue will be closed.
    • Only Westbound Traffic existing on to Washington Ave. will be allowed to travel on exterior lane (right lane). No cross traffic will be permitted.
  • Beginning at approximately 8 a.m. on Sunday June 6, both Eastbound Lanes of Washington Ave/Gus Nicks Boulevard will be closed from King St. to Bypass Rd. Lane is expected to reopen approximately at 2 p.m. There will be no cross traffic permitted.
  • Beginning at 8 a.m., Maple Street between Washington and Jackson will be closed. Expected to reopen at 2 p.m. No cross traffic permitted.
  • Beginning at 8 a.m., Lee Avenue between Walnut and Poplar will be closed. Expected to reopen at 2 p.m. No cross traffic permitted.
  • Beginning at 8 a.m., Walnut Avenue will be closed to the Town Limits by Cargill (formerly Southern States). Expected to reopen at 2 p.m. No cross traffic permitted.

Carilion has released several human-interest stories involving the Triathlon.

Dean Paxson, age 80, from Sun Lakes, Arizona, will be the oldest competitor in the Ironman 70.3. Matthieu Rouxel from Bethesda, Maryland, at age 18, will be the youngest competitor.

Stoney “The Skuller” Hale, age 41, from nearby Goodview Virginia, is a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter supporting a record of 12-3 and 68-9 in Welterweight boxing.  He has been looking for a new challenge to scare him. The distance of an IRONMAN triathlon appeals to him because he has completed multiple Ultra marathons and 24-hour races, so he feels he can handle the distance with the right training.  Stoney believes that this new opportunity will help make him a better person while taking his is talent out of the ring and onto Virginia’s Blue Ridge this June.

Robert Reid, age 42 of Goodview, Virginia, is a firefighter for Roanoke City. He is racing to promote better physical fitness for a job that requires it, yet surprisingly has a high obesity rate and death rate due to cardiovascular events. He is showing his colleagues that with a little work, big things can happen.

Carlos Omar, age 36, from Bay Shore, New York, is attempting to earn a Guinness World Record with the most long-distance triathlons in a year. At age 36, Carolos has been an endurance athlete much of his adult life and is most passionate about inspiring families and their communities to live active, healthy lives and pursue their biggest dreams. He is currently attempting a break a Guinness World Record completing the most long-distance triathlon races in a single year but is also already looking forward to next year’s epic missions.

The 2021 Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon will offer 200 Age Group qualifying slots and 25 Woman for Tri slots to the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah.

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