IRONMAN Lake Placid Course Changes 2024

IRONMAN Lake Placid has a few course changes in store for the 2024 race.  We spent some time up in Lake Placid in June for our annual training camp.   Here are some thoughts on the new changes:


Gone is the old Hazelton long out and back and instead it is replaced with a loop in Jay.  While this loop does add some elevation to the course, there are some benefits as well.   I have been riding the IMLP course since 2013, and this is by far my favorite edition.   The beginning of the loop has some punchy climbs, one that has an average grade of 3.2% and is about 1.75 miles long (according to the Garmin).  For point of comparison the climb from Jay into Wilmington has an average grade of 4.2% and 1.65 miles (according to the Garmin).
There are some technical downhill sections on this loop.   Towards the end there is a long downhill which leads you straight to the left turn you will make on Rt 9.   These can benefit the more skilled descender.
The biggest benefit of this change is the amount of time facing the same direction. Where before, when you turned around at the end of the Hazelton out and back you turned into the wind for the entire 25 mile stretch back up to Lake Placid, this loop breaks that up some which can be a benefit if there is a headwind coming back into town.
If you override the first loop on any of these climbs, you are going to pay dearly on the second loop.   This course requires patience and smart riding.


Shortened is the River Road Section, which is great on the spectator front.  Instead of the long climb back into town you will take a right onto 86 for a short out and back to the top of Papa Bear.  This can allow you to see athletes more frequently on the run course.
The out portion of 86 to the top of Papa Bear is a net uphill as well, but the grade is much less than continuing up into town.
For athletes running at dusk, this can be a welcome change as there are likely less bugs on 86 than running near the water of River Road.
That said, Route 86 is more exposed than River Road, so expect to wear plenty of sunscreen during the run.

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