Even though over the course of your Ironman raceday journey, T1 and T2 are relatively small segments, most Ironman triathletes like to have a picture or map of how transition will work and how they can best navigate through it.  There are some unique aspects of an Ironman transition different from most other triathlons, namely.....


1.    Only your bike can be racked on the bike racks (everything else goes into your T1 and T2 bags provided by Ironman and handed to you as you enter T1 and T2 respectively).  You can have your bike shoes already clipped into your bike if that is your preference.


2.    There are Men's and Women's Changing Tents and if you wish to have it you'll have assistance from a volunteer as you change/prepare in the tent.  Recognize that these tents can be hot and messy with so many bodies running through all day.  There is some aid/water/etc...in the changing tents.


3.    Ironman volunteers are set up to rack your bike for you when you come into T2.....You essentially hand off your bike and run down to get you T2 bag and change for the run.


4.    There are Ironman volunteers to smear sunscreen on you after your swim (T1) and bike (T2) for those interested.


There is also a bike tech set up inside of the transition area if you have any needs.


One suggestion for when you drop your bike off in transition the day before the race is NOT to inflate your tires fully.  If it is a hot afternoon some tires will pop and you'll have to deal with the aftermath of that on race morning.


The transition area is located on the Great Lawn in Downtown Louisville.  It is completely grass covered and generally flat (slight grade upward from the Ohio River).  Your approximate total walk/run through T1 (i.e. from leaving the Ohio River to exiting on your bike) is 1/4 mile.  For T2 (i.e. from dropping off your bike to the volunteer, run/walking to changing tent and back out for run) is about 1/8th mile.


I thought I'd create this discussion on Transition at IMKY in the event others have insights, suggestions, etc....to help (especially newbies to this race) with T1 and T2.  So feel free to chime in.






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Replies to This Discussion

HR monitor is Polar brand. I believe is waterpoof. Heck, I sweat like crazy during spin classes and long rides, so between all the sweat and salt, I think it can handle an hour or so in the water. I will wear the watch and strap in the water.

I will be wearing a hat/visor for the run for sure.

the only thing i want to do in T1 is put on shoes, socks, sunglasses, and helmet. And then go!


Ok, this my be a dumb question, but.....if you wait until race morning to inflate your tires, where do you put your pump during the race (since only the bike is in the transition area)?

apparently you're meant to hand it back to a friend once you're done

Yes, you pass it to a friend/sherpa to take. Many people will have a pump so if you beg a little you can likely borrow one if a friend doesn't walk with you to transition. FYI they do not want you to put your pump in your "morning bag" - the pump is too bulky. There are usually bike mechanics in transition but they use a compressor to fill your tires, which is harder to control accurately.

Make sure to bring a pump and pass it off to a friend/family member when you are done with it. I did the first year but did not bring one last year and it was almost impossible to borrow one from some one else.

Good advice, especially with athletes wanting to get to the swim start line up.

I agree, many want to high tail it over to the swim start and will not want to stand and wait for people to borrow their pump.

Your Ironman sherpa! In my case my wife and brother in law have been wonderful.

Thanks, guys.  I lined up my sherpas this week.  Guess they have another job to do on race day.  I'll tell them the night before that they have to get up at 4 am :-)

Sasha, one other thing for your sherpas - if you have something you would especially like for recovery food, ask them to bring it. I don't know what will be served at IMKY but I've always been glad to have my favorite stuff available (O'douls "beer" for one - hahah).

I have a question. IF I clip my shoes in to my pedals WHEN I get to T1 and run my bike out, am I going to get in any trouble?  Will they assume I ALREADY had my shoes clipped in? It was really muddy this year and I saw people mounting their bikes with tons of mud in their cleats. That can cause some issues that I do not want to encounter.


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