Last-minute preps, road closures for Chattanooga Ironman - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Last-minute preps, road closures for Chattanooga Ironman

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Last-minute preparations are underway as Chattanooga gets ready to host the Ironman competition. Crews are in town to make sure the course is good to go. Some road closures start Wednesday.

Wednesday morning Riverfront Parkway, along Ross's Landing, will be closed as workers install the start/finish line for the Ironman race. City officials say Chattanooga is fully prepared to be a first-time host for the event.

Volunteers spent Tuesday morning stuffing backpacks for the more than 2,500 athletes in the Chattanooga Ironman race.

READ MORE | Street closures for Chattanooga IronMan

"We've recruited over 4,300 volunteers for this race," says Ironman volunteer director Lisa Anderson.

Anderson has been working since February to prepare her staff. And as a five-time Ironman competitor herself, she knows about all the work the athletes have been doing as well.

"Most athletes prepare at least six months to a year for an Ironman. They're training anywhere from 12 to 22 hours a week," says Anderson.

The race starts Sunday morning with a 2.4 mile swim on the Tennessee River. A 112 mile cycling course comes next, with two loops in North Georgia, then a 26.2 mile run that snakes up the Riverwalk, back down Amnicola and across the river.

"We're thrilled to have Ironman come to Chattanooga," says Ben Taylor.

Chattanooga transportation engineer Ben Taylor says most closures in the city will be single lanes, with the biggest impact along the riverfront.

"On Wednesday morning we'll close down Riverfront Parkway. The basic closure people are used to during Riverbend. That will be closed until Monday afternoon," says Taylor.

"We spent a year looking for this event, essentially. So there's a ton of excitement and buzz around this event. I moved here a year ago this week to work on this race," says race director Brain Myrick.

Myrick hopes locals come out to watch the race.  

"If you see 2,500 athletes running or riding past your business or your home, come out and cheer them on," he says.

Myrick says he looks forward to Chattanooga hosting the race for the next four years.

"I'm excited personally for this town to experience what is Ironman."

City leaders are expecting the race to have an $8 million economic impact.

Free shuttles will be offered to take spectators to the swim start line and to downtown Chickamauga to watch the cycling. 

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